Commonly overlooked, but still incredibly important — long-term care must be incorporated in your estate plan. It’s an unfortunate reality that the majority of people over the age of 65 will require some type of long-term care services during their lifetime. These services can be extraordinarily expensive in the state of California and could easily bankrupt an individual or family within a few short years.
According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, California nursing homes average approximately $110,000 a year and assisted living facilities average at approximately $54,000 a year. Most adults require at least two years of care, but data indicates that 20% of those people will need care for longer than 5 years. The astounding costs surrounding long-term care can quickly drain a family’s life savings and without proper planning can leave them financially destitute.
Thankfully, you can avoid this scenario if you’re set up with an estate plan that’s long-term care compliant. To learn more about your legal options, contact the attorneys at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd..
Long-Term Care Attorney, Ventura CA | Elder Law Firm
On average, the median cost of community and assisted living in California is $5,000 a month and nursing home care costs as much as $10,000 a month. It’s essential you plan for long-term care to ensure you and your family are not overwhelmed by the financial toll a nursing home or residential care facility can bring. If you’re interested in understanding your long-term care options including what Medi-Cal and Medicare can cover, consult the legal team at Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd..
Both Chris Botti and Paul Morison have decades of estate planning and elder law experience under their belt. They have assisted thousands of families with their long-term care estate plans and have customized them to fit their needs. In addition, Chris Botti is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). All attorneys in the National Academy are experienced in elder law and have demonstrated extensive knowledge working with the legal issues older Americans face.
Chris Botti is also a certified specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. The designation is only reserved for less than one-half of one percent of attorneys in the state of California and is only granted to lawyers who have gone above and beyond their licensing requirements.
Call Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. today at (877) 585-1885 to set up your first consultation free of charge. Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. has several locations in the state of California including Ventura, Santa Barbara, Valencia, Bakersfield, Westlake Village, and San Luis Obispo.
- What is Long-Term Care Estate Planning?
- How to Pay for Nursing Home Care in California
- How Do I Protect My Assets from Long-Term Care Costs?
- Additional Resources
What is Long-Term Care Estate Planning?
We all know it’s important to have an estate plan in the event of sudden incapacity or death. What many don’t take into consideration, however, is the cost of long-term care and how that fits in your estate plan. You can utilize various estate planning strategies to ensure you receive excellent care at the end of your life without making your family bankrupt.
In long-term care estate planning, there are two primary objectives that must be accomplished. The first is to have a comprehensive and effective plan for incapacity. It’s incredibly important you have your health care wishes documented so they are clear and indisputable because incapacity is more common than you may think. In fact, the CDC released a report that 19.5% of adults over the age of 65 reported difficulty or an inability to perform at least one of the six domains of functioning – seeing, hearing, cognition, mobility, communication, and self-care.
The second obstacle you’ll want to tackle in your long-term care estate plan is asset preservation. It’s not uncommon for elderly individuals or couples to lose assets due to the exorbitant costs of long-term care. Thankfully, you can also circumvent this scenario with the proper planning. A well-crafted and comprehensive long-term estate plan can set you up to be in a legal position to avail yourself to the for long-term care benefits from certain government programs whilst securing your assets.
How to Pay for Nursing Home Care in California
You have several options when it comes to long-term care estate planning. What will work for you and your family will depend on the size of your estate, asset configuration, medical issues, and various other factors. Listed below are five different methods you can utilize to pay for your long-term care in California.
- Medicare – A common misconception about Medicare is that it will provide coverage for nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and any other long-term care. While it may provide limited coverage in certain scenarios, Medicare was never designed to cover long-term care costs. The program has various limitations, the benefits are fleeting, and they do require large co-payments that can eat into your savings.
- Long-Term Care Medi-Cal—The State of California has established its own Medicaid program known as Medi-Cal. The requirements for eligibility are surprisingly liberal and possible to meet with the proper estate planning techniques. The program provides long-term care coverage including payments for nursing home care, skilled nursing facilities, and residential care facilities for the elderly.
- Long-Term Care Insurance – Long-term care insurance provides coverage for policyholders in need of care from a nursing home, assisted living facility, and/or in-home care. You may need to apply for Long-Term Care Medi-Cal to fill in any gaps in coverage as many long-term care insurance policies do not cover the full cost.
- Veteran’s Benefits – If you are veteran of the U.S. military, then you may be eligible for certain Veteran’s Benefits for long-term care. The eligibility to obtain coverage is incredibly strict but should not be dismissed as they will provide additional monthly payments in addition to your VA pension.
- Private Pay – Of course privately paying for long-term care services is always an option. However, it’s important you understand the astronomical cost that is long-term care in California. On average, most patients staying at a nursing home pay approximately $10,298 dollars a month. The average stay for most patients is 2.3 years.
How Do I Protect My Assets from Long-Term Care Costs?
In California, the costs for long-term care are so high it’s not uncommon for elderly individuals or couples to sell their home or other valuable assets just to make the payments. Many turn to the government program Medi-Cal for assistance after exhausting assets that could have been protected. Planning mistakes may lead to the loss of assets upon death due to estate recovery claims and liens made by the Estate Recovery Section of the California Department of Health Services. This vicious cycle has happened to thousands and thousands of Californians and could be avoided with proper planning.
There are various methods you can utilize to protect your assets from long-term costs such as creating an Irrevocable Medi-Cal Asset Preservation Trust. This type of trust is also commonly referred to as the Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust. With an Irrevocable Medi-Cal Asset Preservation Trust set up, you can rest assured all assets placed in the trust will escape recovery efforts. You will still be eligible for Medi-Cal and the entirety of your trust will transfer to your beneficiaries upon death without any intervention from probate.
Frequently Asked Questions | Medi-Cal Recovery – Visit the official website for the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) to learn more about the State’s recovery program. Access the site to learn if the State can take your home by going on Medi-Cal, how they may put a lien on your home or other assets, how to appeal a claim, and how to avoid one.
The Senior List – Visit the official website for the Senior List, an online community that provides forums, reviews, and insight on services and products for older Americans. Access the site to read various articles regarding long-term care including Med-Cal, Medicare, and more.
Elder and Long-Term Care Lawyer in Ventura, CA
Don’t make the mistake of not planning for long-term care before it’s too late. Get started on your plans now with the help of a seasoned California long-term care estate planning lawyer from Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd.. Our attorneys will work meticulously to address all your needs and concerns and thereby ensure you receive excellent long-term care without going penniless.
Call Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. today at (877) 585-1885 to set up your first consultation free of charge. Botti & Morison Estate Planning Attorneys, Ltd. accepts clients throughout California and has offices in Los Angeles County, San Luis Obispo County, Kern County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County.
To read more about elder law and long-term care estate planning, please visit Preservation Nation Law.