Redding, California, Law Blog

Medicaid planning explained

On Behalf of | Jul 26, 2019 | estate planning, Firm News

Many people in Northern California who are approaching retirement may also be thinking about how they are going to afford the cost of long-term care. As people age, after all, they may require the assistance of a retirement facility or of a nursing home, but these services can cost thousands of dollars a month. Most people do not have this kind of money lying around, and the money they do have they would prefer to pass on to their children or other loved ones.

To resolve this dilemma, many residents of the Redding area may wish to turn to a process called Medicaid planning, which, in California, may more appropriately be called Medi-Cal planning. This is part of estate planning. The goal of Medicaid planning is for a person to qualify legally for government-funded long-term care while still being able to preserve at least some of their assets. However, because Medi-Cal is meant for those who have limited means, a person wishing to take this approach will have to make sure that, legally speaking, he or she does not have property available to pay for his or her own medical care.

While a person is allowed to hang on to some property, much of it may have to be transferred well ahead of time through a process of planned giving. After all, the government frowns on those who quickly dump all of their assets the minute they realize they need to qualify for government aid.

Moreover, because government agencies are expected to pursue assets after incurring expenses. This includes making claims against a deceased patient’s estate and planning must account for this possibility as well.