Massachusetts Asset Protection Lawyers
You have worked hard for the money you've earned and assets you own, and now is the time to properly safeguard and protect those assets from any unfortunate events that may befall you in the future. How do you protect your assets from the escalating cost of health care, from the government or from creditors? There are various tools at your disposal and we can help create a unique and effective plan for you. That is why it's important for you to have the asset protection planning team at Percy Law Group, PC on your side. Call our firm today to arrange an initial consultation regarding your case.
Long-Term Care Insurance — The Hidden Cost of a Missed Opportunity
Long term care insurance is perceived as being very expensive, and there is no doubt the cost can be disturbing. But long term care insurance can offer both sound payback and substantial peace of mind. The average annual premium is generally about the same as the cost of one or two months in a nursing home. Understanding long-term care insurance and the options available can be complex and confusing. We can help you determine whether long-term care insurance is right for you. While long-term care insurance is not for everyone, it may be an important part of your Estate and Medicaid plan.
Early & Proper Medicaid Planning — The First Line of Defense
Medicaid planning involves finding ways to preserve assets while receiving medical care. Ideally this process is undertaken years in advance. Medicaid planning is the practice of preserving assets by securing eligibility for government benefits. The goal of our Medicaid Planning attorneys is to help you secure the best available health care while preserving your hard-earned assets to pass on to your children or other beneficiaries. We can help you attain both goals with proper and legal Medicaid planning. Early planning is the key to preserving your assets, allowing you to make lifetime gifts outright to family members or to a trust, thereby assuring your assets will not be spent on your health care or paid to the government. More emphasis than ever before is now placed on how early you begin to plan for the financial cost of long term health care due to the recent enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2006. Through the Act, the federal government severely restricts Medicaid planning, the likely result of which will cause many seniors to spend all of their assets on long-term care costs before Medicaid eligibility. There are different rules for transferring assets based upon family composition and the type of care required. Spouses may have special rules that allow for exempt transfers of assets. In addition, the laws governing Medicaid Home Care benefits are different from the laws governing Medicaid nursing home benefits.
Protecting Your Family Home — Many Options Are Available
If your family is like most, the family home is your largest asset and you are concerned about losing it to the rising costs of health care or to other potential liabilities. So, how can you best protect your home while achieving other planning objectives? There are many ways to protect your home, each of which may have Medicaid planning consequences and tax consequences that should be carefully explored with an experienced asset protection attorney. Some of those ways are:
- Outright Transfer. You may give your home to another individual, such as a spouse or child, by signing a new deed to that person. If successful, the value of your home will not be countable as part of your estate assets and Medicaid will not place a lien on that property. You may lose your real estate tax exemptions. Further, the new owner may incur significant tax consequences, particularly if the house is not that person's primary residence.
- Life Estate. You may give your home to another individual and retain a life estate. The retained life estate means that you have all rights and obligations regarding the property during your lifetime. For example, you have the right to reside in the home for life. You may also be responsible for up-keep and taxes while retaining all real estate exemptions. Upon your death, the property will pass to your designated beneficiary automatically (i.e. without the probate of your Will). If successful, the transfer with a life estate protects the home from a Medicaid lien. The life estate also has tax advantages for your beneficiary, which may reduce capital gains taxes when the house is sold.
- Irrevocable Trust. You may transfer your home to a Trust. If successful, an irrevocable trust will protect the home from Medicaid and, like the life estate, you will keep your real estate tax exemptions. Your heirs may get certain tax advantages and will inherit the home without the need for probate of your Will. Unlike the life estate, the house may be sold without losing any capital gains exclusions.
Gift Planning — Often a Missed Opportunity
The federal government allows each individual to gift up to a certain amount each year free of gift tax. In 2010 the maximum tax free gift is $13,000 each to any number of beneficiaries. If you and your spouse make the gift then the amount is doubled, in 2010 to $26,000 per beneficiary. Making such gifts can reduce estate taxes, thereby ensuring that a maximum amount of money goes to your heirs and not the government.
Comprehensive Medicaid Planning and Asset Protection
At Percy Law Group, PC, we offer comprehensive Medicaid and asset protection legal assistance. We are committed to protecting your assets from nursing home costs.
Tax Estate Planning Attorney Serving Taunton Area
Contact the experienced estate planning law team at Percy Law Group, PC, for sound advice on your particular Estate Planning Asset Protection planning needs. We can provide a comprehensive review of your options, advise you on the best course of action, and as appropriate create the documentation needed to accurately protect your interests.
Contact us online or call us toll free at (508) 206-9900 to schedule an initial consultation.