Published in the Long Island Press, longislandpress.com, and danspapers.com.
There are many kinds of trusts, each with a different purpose, such as asset protection, minimizing estate taxes, and avoiding probate. If your objective is asset protection and Medicaid planning, it is imperative that you have your trust reviewed by an elder law attorney to ensure the trust is properly drafted to accomplish your goals.
Consider a common scenario where an individual transfers multiple properties and cash to an irrevocable trust which they are told will protect their assets for Medicaid purposes. However, years later when that individual falls ill and needs nursing home care, their children go to an elder law attorney only to find out that their parent is entitled to receive income and principal from the trust. As such, the trust does not protect any of those assets for Medicaid Nursing Home benefits purposes and all assets (which have appreciated in value) are not, in fact, protected at all! This is clearly not what was intended.
This nightmare scenario often occurs when the original trust was completed online or by an attorney who does not practice Elder Law. While many trust and estates attorneys prepare these documents, they are often not knowledgeable in the intricacies of the Medicaid program.
In this particular case, the family might be able to save half of their assets, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. An irrevocable trust is a complex document that is a core part of an elder law plan for many older adults. It is essential to rely on an experienced elder law attorney like the attorneys at Cona Elder Law to ensure that you can trust your Trust.
Don’t let this happen to you. Get another set of eyes on your trust, especially if it was drafted years ago and/or if you are unsure of the terms of your trust. Contact our office to schedule your appointment to review your trust or engage in asset protection and estate planning now. If drafted correctly, your trust will give you and your family peace of mind if and when a future health care crisis occurs. Call us at 631-390-5000.
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