Asset protection should include strategies to protect assets from creditors, litigation, divorce, market downturns, nursing home spend down, faster spend down of assets in lower interest rate environments, and more. Proper estate planning should include asset protection.
Preserving as much of a nest egg as possible is important for care in the future. Asset protection can protect some, or all, of the assets for a surviving spouse in the case one spouse passes and the surviving spouse needs care. If all of the money is spent on the first spouse, the surviving spouse has either no or limited options.
Too many families spend down their assets faster than they need to. A proper income plan, effective tax planning, proper asset titling and beneficiary designations can help protect assets.
Asset protection for a single person can help ensure money for options down the road. If a single person or married couple properly plans for their future years, they can make sure that there are funding options if one, or both, would need nursing home care for an extended period of time. If you don’t work with an advisor that knows these things, you will spend more money than needed, reducing or eliminating potential options when needed in the future.
This planning needs to be done 5 years or more before the need for a nursing home arises and application for government assistance takes place. Government assistance (or Medicaid) is for those with limited resources. They do allow for division of assets protecting slightly more than $125,420 or half of the asset base, whichever is less. You may also protect money needed to pay for funerals, up to $16,900 per person in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania (as of January 2019). Each state and county may be different, and the numbers can change. Check with your local Department of Human Services for current amounts or call us to find out.
Integrity Retirement Solutions can provide funeral trusts to protect this money. There is no charge for the actual trust; it is included in the policy. Funeral trusts are not a resource when you apply for Medicaid, so you know there will be enough money available for burial expenses and the burden won’t be on the family members.