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It is never too late to begin planning for long-term care

Many St. Paul residents are well-intentioned when it comes to making plans for the future. At the same time, it can be difficult to set aside the time necessary to make these plans. Soon enough, individuals can find themselves in a situation where the lack of plans may put them in a bad place.

For instance, when it comes to long-term care, it is very helpful to have a good plan in place for the future. Nursing home costs can be severely high, and without proper planning, individuals may find themselves in a bad situation where they do not have the resources necessary to afford the care they desire.

This does not mean that those who have not planned for decades are without any recourse. Individuals may incorrectly believe it is too late for them to do anything if they failed to save a significant amount of money for nursing home costs. In truth, there are different options available for individuals no matter what stage they find themselves in.

For instance, one stereotype in elder law is that any assets a person owns may be available to a nursing home before Medicaid can be used. Under Medicaid law, there are exemptions that apply under certain circumstances, including exemptions for IRAs and other retirement funds. Accordingly, individuals need not necessarily lose all of their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid.

Long-term care planning can be complex. Medicaid alone is a difficult and comprehensive system to get one's head around. Attorneys with experience in long-term care planning can help people to understand this complex subject and find ways to make it work for them.

Source: Times Herald-Record, "Elder law estate planning misconceptions," Bonnie Kraham, June 3, 2015

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