Last time I discussed MassHealth programs that can help elders who need long-term care live at home for as long as possible. Now I’d like to describe some other long-term care planning strategies that can make home care affordable for elders and their loved ones. I’ll also provide links to past articles in which I discuss these strategies in greater detail. Remember: the goal is to stretch out your assets to help you stay at home or in assisted living for as long as possible.
A reverse mortgage is a loan in which a homeowner borrows money against the value of his or her home. These types of mortgages are designed for elders and only available to people 62 years of age or older. The loan can take several forms, including a lump sum, a monthly payment, a line of credit, or a combination of these options.
Long-Term Care Insurance
I am a big fan of long-term care insurance. If an elder eventually requires long-term care, the policy will likely pay for itself many times over. While costs for long-term care insurance have risen, a variety of strategies can help make premiums more manageable.
VA Aid and Attendance
The VA Aid and Attendance Benefit is available to eligible veterans, spouses, and widows. It can be used to pay for home care, assisted living, insurance premiums, prescription drugs, co-pays, and more. The maximum amount of thetax-free monthly benefit depends on the veteran’s family situation. Here are some examples: $2,229 for a single veteran, $2,642 for a married veteran, $1,749 for the ailing spouse of a healthy veteran, and $1,432 for a surviving spouse.
An irrevocable trust can help an elder in need of long-term care become eligible for assistance from MassHealth and/or Aid & Attendance while protecting the elder’s life savings. Again, we are bringing in the MassHealth and A&A in order to make your assets last longer. In addition, irrevocable trusts can protect assets from creditors, ensure an estate won’t go through probate, and provide for loved ones who are minors, financially irresponsible, or who have special needs.
Until next time, take care…
If I have created a plan for you and you are happy with it, the best compliment you can give me is to recommend my firm to family and friends. As you know, everyone should have an estate plan.