More and more, residents of Cape Coral and other communities in South Florida realize that part of their overall retirement and estate planning needs to account also for how they are going to afford a nursing home or other assisted living.

Many times, this is going to involve considering whether or not the person will be able to qualify for Medicaid.

Many people find themselves in a sticky situation in which they have too many assets, or too much income, in order to qualify for government-funded Medicaid benefits, benefits which will cover the cost of a nursing home.

On the other hand, funding a nursing home stay without these benefits will likely drain a family’s savings very quickly.  After all, the median cost of a nursing home in Florida, for a semi-private room, is close to $90,000 a year.

Planning to qualify for Medicaid is a legal process in which a person thoughtfully disposes of her assets in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits when the time comes to pay for a nursing home.

Successful Medicaid planning will allow a person to hand on some of their savings to their loved ones instead of seeing it go to pay off nursing home bills. On the other hand, the person will still get the nursing care he needs.

Medicaid planning is a complicated process which requires attention to legal detail.  Missing important steps or details can lead to serious consequences, including significant penalties that would force a family to find private funding for a nursing home stay.

As part of their overall estate planning, residents should consider how they are going to pay for their care as they age or in the event that they get sick. Having an experienced legal professional go over Medicaid eligibility and help them review their options for Medicaid planning is important step in this process.