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More and more, seniors and their families are painfully aware that the need for long-term care in a nursing home or other care facility could be a devastating financial setback. Costs in Atlanta, Georgia, and surrounding areas will typically range between $57,000 and $115,000 annually. Expenses in North Carolina are very similar. Knowing that the average stay in a long-term care facility is three years, how long will your savings last?

People with substantial assets can manage this cost with financial investments and long-term care insurance. Those with very little money or assets can qualify for federal resources like Veterans Aid and Attendance or state resources, such as Georgia or North Carolina Medicaid. Middle-income families need to look at legal strategies to uncover more options.

The Law Office of Keith R. Miles helps you answer the following questions about long-term care expenses:

  • How can you qualify for Medicaid or Veterans Pension-Aid and Attendance to pay for in-home, assisted living, or nursing home care?
  • How do you preserve hard-earned assets from being spent down to qualify for Medicaid or Veterans Pension-Aid and Attendance and maintain a legacy for your heirs?
  • What types of trusts help you maintain control of assets and property during a medical crisis?
  • Would a private long-term care insurance policy make sense, or is the Medicaid partnership program a more affordable option?
  • Should you pursue non-traditional hybrid long-term care insurance policies or life insurance with a long-term care rider?

Whether you can afford long-term care insurance premiums or not, qualifying for public benefits may require asset protection through specialized trusts, including:

  • Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts
  • Medicaid Family Protection Trusts
  • Veterans Asset Protection Trusts
  • Parental Protection Trusts

Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts (MAPTs) transfer ownership of specific assets, like your home and other high-value assets, to the trust so they won’t be counted for Medicaid eligibility purposes. MAPTs enable middle-income families to become eligible for Medicaid and receive the care they require.

Medicaid Family Protection Trusts (MFPTs) are similar to MAPTs but offer more significant asset protection. MFPTs protect your assets and those of your beneficiaries. They are an excellent option for younger retirees who want to protect themselves and their families in the event of a medical or financial crisis.

Veterans Asset Protection Trusts (VAPTs) are intentionally defective grantor trusts used to freeze certain assets for estate-tax purposes but not income-tax purposes. A VAPT should be considered if you’re a wartime veteran, or the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran, looking into long-term planning. The VAPT is considered a complete gift or relinquishment of assets.

Parental Protection Trusts (PPTs) are used when traditional irrevocable asset protection trusts aren’t an option. Assets are given away — usually to children. Then they establish a third-party trust for the parent’s benefit, with the children being the third party. The children can choose whatever funds and assets are set aside for the parents to be preserved until their deaths. At that time, any remaining assets are distributed back to the children.

If you’re looking for solutions to long-term care expenses in Georgia or North Carolina, we can guide you to the right combination of estate planning tools based on your unique family circumstances.

The Law Office of Keith R. Miles, LLC was founded in 2008 and serves clients throughout Georgia and North Carolina. The firm focuses on holistic legacy planning  and elder law for individuals and families – both traditional and “blended.”

Because our clients may have minor children while also caring for aging parents, we handle complex elder law issues such as long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, and special needs planning.

Contact us for a consultation to discuss long-term care planning and qualifying for public benefits today!

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