One of the most challenging aspects for senior citizens who anticipate one day needing long-term care services is managing to legally divest themselves of the assets they wish to leave to their heirs so they qualify for governmental benefits.
Nobody wants to see everything that they have worked for over their lifetime taken by the state. Yet that is what will occur if your parent needs to transition to a nursing home or long-term care facility or even access some medical services.
There are legal ways to transfer assets
As with many other major life decisions, timing is important. At present, Massachusetts has a five-year look-back requirement regarding asset transfers. That means that, at minimum, five years before any government health benefits are needed, the assets must have been transferred legally to heirs or be otherwise protected by a carefully crafted estate plan.
Help your loved one find a workable solution
It can be difficult to initiate such a conversation with elderly relatives. But if you want to be an effective advocate for your loved ones, it helps to educate yourself on the asset divestment process. There is a website to help Massachusetts seniors (and their families) navigate the red tape regarding health care coverage. But that is typically not a sufficient source when protecting assets is vital.
Reaching out to a Boston estate planning and elder care attorney can clarify your options and give you a chance to explore the best path.