Everyone’s situation and priorities are different, so there is no one-size-fits all approach to long-term-care planning. You should, therefore, discuss all of this with a trusted financial advisor. When you do, use the following as a basic checklist:
1.Should I purchase long-term care insurance? And, if so, will that eliminate the need to consider MassHealth coverage?
2.Should I purchase life insurance through an irrevocable trust? (This would ensure that an inheritance goes to your children, so you can feel comfortable spending down your savings and home equity for your care when and if needed.)
3.Should I file a Homestead Declaration and put my home in an irrevocable trust? (This is generally advisable, especially if the equity exceeds the state limit ($828,000 in Massachusetts). It helps you qualify for Medicaid or MassHealth and protects your home from estate recovery at your death. If your other resources are insufficient to pay for care during the resulting five-year-penalty period, you may be able to buy long-term care insurance to cover that period of risk.)
Again, you should consult an elder law attorney or financial advisor to devise a plan that works for you. When you do so, you can point to this chapter and the table below to ensure that you cover all the correct legal documents and options in creating an “estate planning portfolio.”