Contrary to popular belief, it is never too late.  An elder law attorney can work to implement many different techniques even at the 11th hour to preserve assets.  What is important is that you have a relationship with an elder law attorney.  An elder law attorney can relieve some of the anxiety natural to this time of your life and has resources in many different areas.

Some examples of last minute planning might include taking advantage of certain exempt transfers.  For instance, the house can be transferred to a caretaker child, spouse, another sibling with an equity interest in the house or a disabled person.  Take caution when transferring the home because there are significant tax considerations to be mindful of.

If your loved one needs home care, there is no look-back period.  Thus, transfers of assets can be made in short order to qualify for Medicaid.  This assumes the person has capacity.  If there is no capacity and no power of attorney (with a statutory gifts rider), then a guardianship is needed.

Finally, if nursing home care is required, there is a planning technique to save approximately forty-five percent (45%) of the available resources.

I often see people spending down their assets because they believe they waited too long to do their planning.  In most cases, they are unaware of simple things like the protection afforded an IRA.  In all cases, they do not have an elder law attorney properly guiding them and are wasting away their assets.

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