Medicaid planning can affect someone’s legacy, not just their care

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Medicaid Planning |

One of the most compelling reasons to engage in advanced Medicaid planning is the potential need for future medical care. Those preparing for retirement never know when their health might decline, leaving them in need of long-term care support.

The limits of Medicare coverage make it important for older adults to ensure their eligibility for Medicaid if they need a nurse to regularly visit them at home or a bed at a local nursing home. The New York Medicaid Program can provide long-term care benefits that help someone get the support they need for their health and safety later in life.

Unfortunately, many people may fail to act if the only incentive is their own protection. However, when people realize that Medicaid planning could also benefit their loved ones, they might make advance planning more of a priority. Proper Medicaid planning does not just help someone get medical support when they need it. It also helps to better ensure that someone can leave a meaningful legacy after they die.

How Medicaid affects someone’s legacy

New York imposes very strict limitations on Medicaid coverage. Applicants have to provide financial records to verify that their income levels and personal holdings are below certain thresholds. What assets someone does have could be at risk of liquidation after their death because they received Medicaid coverage.

Federal and New York state laws require recovery efforts after Medicaid recipients who need long-term care die. The New York Medicaid estate recovery program can claim the remaining assets in someone’s estate. Certain assets that did not preclude someone from getting benefits could be at risk after they die.

For example, someone’s home usually doesn’t count towards their total assets for the purpose of qualifying for Medicaid coverage. Still, their home might be at risk of liquidation after their death if the state paid for long-term care on their behalf. Someone’s primary residence might be their most valuable asset, and the forced liquidation of the home could eliminate the inheritance they hoped to pass to their children.

Advance Medicaid planning can help someone protect their assets in addition to improving their chances of qualifying for Medicaid when they need help later in life. Those who understand how Medicaid handles long-term care benefits may come to understand the benefits of Medicaid planning. As such, thinking about their future healthcare needs can be as important as thinking about what someone hopes to leave for their loved ones during the estate planning process.