If you are a SINGLE person (or a not married couple), the steps necessary to protect your assets and your asset protection options are as follows (this is in addition to keeping your Exempt Assetssee list provided):
Create new or update your current Estate Planning documents (i.e., Trust, Power of Attorney for Finances, Power of Attorney for Real Property or other related documents) as necessary that allow your trustee/agent to protect your assets a) If you ever require long-term care assistance in the future, or b) If you require long-term care assistance immediately.
If you are applying for Medi-Cal long-term care benefits at this time (or will be in the near futurethe next 2-3 months or so), prepare the necessary documents to properly transfer and protect your homeand other personal assets as needed.
If you have more than $130,000 in your name in any form (i.e., bank accounts, financial investment accounts, annuities, mutual funds, stocks, life insurance etc., see asset schedule you submitted for details), you will need to protect the amount that exceeds $130,000 in your name by one of the options listed below (items 4-7).
Create a Medi-Cal asset protection Annuity, which will allow you to protect much of the principal of your estate and still qualify for Medi-Cal benefits.
Spend-down your assets on Exempt Assets (see Exempt Assets list attached).
You can make Gifts of money/assets to your beneficiaries as desired, however, this must be done properly so as not to interfere with your Medi-Cal benefits or create a penalty period (requiring you to wait a period of time before you may be considered eligible for Medi-Cal benefits) as a result of the gift.
- You can enter into a LIFETIME PERSONAL Care Agreement or contract, which allows you to give a certain amount of money to your current and future care providers and they will sign the agreement (contract) to continue to provide such care to you; or to see that such care is provided for you if you enter into a facility, for the remainder of your lifetime. This type of agreement (or contract) if properly designed, will not result in a “penalty” for any transfer of assets should you apply for Medi-Cal benefits in the future.
Note: The steps and options listed DO NOT include all possible asset protection strategies/options and IS NOT to be considered legal advice, and therefore I recommend you either contact our office or another knowledgeable Elder Law Attorney in your area before attempting to protect the assets of your estate as discussed above.
In addition, because the laws applying to Medi-Cal and Asset Protection do change from time to time, again I recommend you either contact our office or another knowledgeable Elder Law Attorney in your area before attempting to protect the assets of your estate as discussed above.
You may contact our office directly to assist you with this matter by calling (916) 536-1773 in Fair Oaks, CA, or, if you desire to retain legal and/or financial asset protection services within your local area, please contact our office so that we may assist you in locating a knowledgeable Elder Law Attorney in your area.