Estate Planning for Medicaid Benefits

Estate Planning for Medicaid Benefits in Utah

pexels-photo-9824Often times Medicaid represents the biggest source of care for people who want alternatives to nursing homes or other assisted living facilities. Medicaid Asset Protection is protection and planning against the spend-down requirements under Medicaid. A Medicaid spend down is what happens when you have too many resources or assets. In other words, you have too much money and you have to spend down or deplete your assets before you can be eligible for Medicaid.

The Utah Medicaid program has income and asset limits that you must not exceed in order to qualify for the program. The typical spend down scenario is to pay for nursing home bill’s using your assets until you’ve reduced your life savings to the point that you qualify for Medicaid coverage of those bills. What you are trying to do is essentially convert an asset that is countable into one that is not countable. There are some very smart ways to spend down but the consequences of making transfers that are not eligible for exemption can be severe and could include Medicaid ineligibility.

Medicaid Benefits Attorney Salt Lake City

If you start early enough, you can plan for the possibility of applying for Medicaid on terms that protect your Medicaid eligibility while protecting assets you wish to pass on to your heirs from the Medicaid spend down. However, when you’re trying to qualify for Medicaid, a look-back period of five years is now applied. The look-back period tries to balance the government’s need to be fiscally responsible while providing Medicaid support between your desires to be able to leave property to heirs in your estate plan. Basically, your net worth according to the Medicaid formula will be ignored for eligibility purposes if a transfer took place within five years of the time of need.

The cost of long term care continues to increase and shows no signs of stopping. The best strategy for dealing with long-term care issues is often through a long term care insurance plan. Unfortunately, like most insurance, the people who can afford to pay the premiums are the ones who are young enough to not think it is a priority.


Because of all these potential pitfalls an estate plan should be custom-built for you and it is important to do things correctly the first time around. Feel free to contact us to set up a free consultation or simply to ask some clarifying questions.