Planning for the future can be stressful. That's especially true for those in Florida who are considering their long term care needs. Many families are uncertain what level of care their loved one might need in the years ahead, making it difficult to know which path to pursue. For those who believe they might need to rely on Medicaid benefits to cover some of the costs of long term care, researching irrevocable trusts is a good place to begin.
When an individual places assets within a trust, the trust itself becomes the owner of those assets. In the case of a revocable trust, the creator can make changes at any time, and can dictate that he or she (or any other entity or person) be considered a beneficiary, eligible to receive wealth from the trust. The problem lies in the fact that Medicaid would also be considered a beneficiary, and could also tap into those assets.
An irrevocable trust solves that issue by limiting the benefits to those outlined at the time the trust is funded. Individuals can still receive distributions, but those distributions can be halted when the time comes to access Medicaid. It should be noted, however, that an irrevocable trust must be executed and funded 60 or more months prior to ending distributions.
An irrevocable trust is just one of many long term care planning tools available to Florida residents. The best way to chart a course forward is by sitting down with a skilled estate planning attorney and reviewing all available options. There is a solution for every set of needs, even if it doesn't always seem that way at the outset of the process.