A lot of people are taken aback when they hear about the current cost of long-term care. Each year the MetLife Mature Market Institute publishes a survey that is chock-full of information, and it is certainly an interesting read for anyone with an interest in elder law issues.
Last year the cost for a day residing in a private room in a nursing home in the United States averaged $239. In 2010 the average daily cost was $229, so we are talking about a 4.4% increase from one year to the next. If things continue to trend upward like this for a couple of decades we will be looking at extraordinary expenses.
Seniors who need nursing home care at the end of their lives may spend several months up to perhaps a year or two in a nursing home. But there are also individuals who have disabilities who require long-term care for extended periods of time. Given the costs stated above these expenses can be considerable.
Medicaid will pay for long-term care, but you have to stay below financial resource limits. So if you were to leave an inheritance to someone who is relying on Medicaid to pay for long-term care, you could jeopardize that individual’s eligibility.
What you could do instead is make this person with a disability the beneficiary of a special-needs or supplemental needs trust. It must be carefully constructed to walk that thin line to improve the beneficiary’s quality of life without impacting his or her eligibility for Medicaid benefits.
If you would like to explore special needs planning in detail, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to arrange for an informative consultation with a licensed Ashland KY estate planning lawyer.