Asset Protection Lawyer
Plan Ahead to Keep Resources for Yourself and Your Family
Nursing home costs have become so ridiculously high that you may have just assumed that if you ever need to go into a nursing home, you will simply lose everything you own. You may have also assumed there’s nothing you can do about it unless you purchased long-term care insurance about 40 years ago.
But the truth is that you don’t have to spend everything you own to pay for nursing home care.
We can help you protect your assets and still get the care you need.
What We Do
Huizenga Law develops plans to help individuals and families preserve their assets in a variety of situations. We’ve focused on planning and asset protection since we opened, and we understand the strategies that work best in a variety of circumstances.
Iowa Medicaid provides long-term care benefits that can cover the cost of nursing home expenses, but you can only qualify for benefits if you personally own very few assets and receive very little income. We develop plans to reduce the assets that count toward Medicaid limits without the need to spend all assets on care. Instead, we can help you preserve your hard-earned property for future generations.
We can also develop plans to protect property from creditors if you operate a business or professional practice that puts you at a risk of predatory lawsuits.
Meeting Your Goals
We start the process by assessing your goals. You may want to protect assets from unnecessary losses due to long term care costs. You may have a spouse or family living in your home and want to enable them to retain the same standard of living secure in the house.
You may want to keep your home in the family or leave assets to help pay for your grandchildren’s education. We look at your goals and your specific circumstances, and then we develop the blueprints to turn your goals into reality.
Your Asset Protection Plan
No two plans are quite the same. Your plan might include one or more irrevocable trusts, which can hold property in a way that it cannot be accessed by creditors. In some situations, you can continue to receive income from property you have transferred into a trust. In other situations, the property and income will go to a loved one you choose as your beneficiary. Trusts protect property in ways that can be tough to match.
However, trusts are only one tool asset protection lawyers can use to conserve property. We often recommend spending strategies that convert countable funds into assets that are not counted against you for Medicaid eligibility. We might also recommend gifts and retitling assets.
We consider all the potential ways your assets may be at risk. For instance, Medicaid rules may allow you to keep your home if you’re receiving Medicaid benefits to pay for care in a nursing home, but after you pass away, Iowa Medicaid will seek reimbursement from your estate for the amounts spent on your care, and that usually requires selling the house. We can work to ensure that does not happen.
Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts and Miller Trusts
A Medicaid Asset Protect Trust is a tool that helps many people who want to establish eligibility for Medicaid but own too many assets to qualify. Because property you place in a trust no longer technically belongs to you, it cannot be counted toward Medicaid asset limits. (By contrast, property you have in a revocable living trust is still under your control, so Medicaid will count it among your assets.) With a Medicaid Asset Protection trust, you cannot serve as trustee, but a family member can manage the property and receive the benefits of the property, preserving your valuable resources.
A Miller trust, also called a Qualified Income Trust, may be helpful for individuals who receive too much income to qualify for Medicaid long-term care benefits. Income that exceeds the limit can be placed in a trust and used for approved expenses such as medical costs and certain personal needs.
Let Us Help You Protect What You Have Worked So Hard to Gain
It is not fair to lose the home and assets you’ve worked for all your life just to pay for nursing home care. We can help you set up a plan and understand how to follow the rules to keep assets you need for yourself while preserving a legacy for your family. Schedule a session with us today to get started.