Planning involves more than drafting wills, trusts, health care directives, or a buy sell agreement. It is a lengthy process of figuring out and applying a lawful series of techniques to protect and preserve your assets. The goal of any technique is to achieve the goals of the client. Sometimes the goal is protecting assets from creditors, others are concerned with minimizing estate taxation and/or probate, and everyone must plan for your long term care needs and the Medicaid eligibility.
Estate Planning is the process by which an individual or family arranges the transfer of assets in anticipation of death. An estate plan aims to preserve the maximum amount of wealth possible for the intended beneficiaries and flexibility for the individual prior to death. A major concern for drafters of estate plans is federal and state tax law. Wills and trusts are common ways in which individuals dispose of their wealth. Trusts, unlike wills, have the benefit of avoiding probate, a lengthy and costly legal process that oversees the transfer of assets. Sometimes, though, it will be useful to make inter vivos gifts (gifts made while the donor is alive) in order to minimize taxes. The Federal Gift Tax exempts certain levels of lifetime gifts. We've all been told that if we do nothing else to take care of our legal affairs, we should write a will. That's pretty good advice. If you don't make a will before your death, state law will determine who gets your property (and it may well not be whom you would have chosen), and for those with minor children, a complete stranger will decide who raises them. The Lawyers at DLS can guide you through the planning process and advise you on your options.
Asset protection planning involves applying a lawful series of techniques to protect your assets from claims of future creditors. The techniques are designed to deter potential creditors from going after you, and frustrate them if they do, generally by making it difficult or impossible for future creditors to grab hold of your assets or collect judgments against you.
Medicaid and Asset Preservation
Medicaid is an assistance program under Title XIX of the 1965 Social Security Act and covers a vast array of services including inpatient hospitalization, x-rays, laboratory services, doctor's visits, dental care, eyeglasses, prescription drugs, and nursing care. The program is need based, intended to cover those over 65 who are blind and disabled. The State of Ohio has stricter standards than that of the Federal guidelines. As in all governmental programs, eligibility is based upon the circumstances of the applicant. An individual is only allowed to keep a very limited amount of their financial resources.
Most Americans fail to plan for long term nursing home stays or long term disability. In the greater Cincinnati area, the cost of nursing care facilities run from $165.00 to $290.00 per day. These costs will only increase over time and quickly deplete the estates of all but the wealthy and the well prepared. There are several ways to pay for end of life care, and there are several strategies which can be used to pass on your assets without foregoing your ability to qualify for treatment.
To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case, contact the estate planning and probate lawyers at Dever Law Firm at (513) 823-2112 or toll free (877) 464-5297 .