Indianapolis Estate Planning Tips for Boomers & Seniors
Indianapolis Estate Planning Tips for Boomers & Seniors
July 31, 2012

As an Indianapolis senior move expert who helps Indy seniors sell their homes and downsize into smaller homes, I have the opportunity to come across many excellent professionals in the elder care arena. That’s why I asked Clifton Dennis, an elder care attorney with the law firm of Melissa Winkler-York LLC in Indianapolis, to supply us with a guest blog on issues boomers and senior citizens should consider.

 

Clifton A. Dennis
Top 10
Estate Planning Tips For Middle-class Couple
Who Have a
Risk of Long Term Care
Clifton A. Dennis,
Elder Law Attorney
July 2012
  1. Provide
    as broad Power of
    Attorney authority

    as appropriate to permit transfer of assets between spouses and
    investment in Medicaid-exempt assets, such as income-producing real
    estate.
  1. Assure
    you have an appropriate legal
    backup for the caregiver spouse
    .
    Multiple challenges and high stresses face the caregiver. Many
    nursing home placements occur when a health crisis overtakes the
    caregiver. Who is prepared to respond in that circumstance?
  1. The
    caregiver spouse can, and generally should, have a testamentary
    special needs trust

    to provide for a surviving disabled spouse. Moving assets to name
    of caregiver spouse can facilitate Medicaid qualification planning
    and provide special needs protection for the disabled spouse if the
    caregiver spouse dies first. In some cases, wills with trusts for
    each spouse and appropriate division of assets provides best
    protection for uncertain order of death.
  1. Timing
    and strategic use of non-exempt assets is critical to maximizing
    protection of assets and income under Medicaid Spousal
    Impoverishment protections. Early evaluation of assets, effect on
    Medicaid qualification permits the planner to identify
    of probable course action for Medicaid qualification even though
    execution of the plan will often be delayed until the point of need.
  1. Begin
    early to plan for
    non-exempt assets that are difficult or expensive to liquidate
    .
    Examples: tax-deferred retirement accounts, annuities and other
    assets with early withdrawal penalties, non-income-producing real
    estate.
  1. A
    Retirement Community or Assisted Living for the Community Spouse

    may prevent her/him from also becoming an institutionalized spouse.
    Planning with the Spousal Impoverishment protections in Medicaid law
    can help make this possible through the “excess
    shelter allowance
    ,”
    and maximizing the assets protected for the Community Spouse.
  1. Since
    assets must generally be moved to name of non-recipient spouse after
    Medicaid is established, second marriages, his, her and/or our
    children situations, and differing legacy plans present special
    challenges for legacy planning in relation to Medicaid-wise
    planning. Consider family agreement or other devices that will
    permit fidelity to
    each spouse’s legacy plan despite Medicaid requirements
    .
  1. Caution
    clients against simplistic solutions.
    Doing
    what the neighbor did, transferring the house to the children or
    buying what the “single-solution” annuity salesperson offers can
    be disastrous.
  1. Assure
    that clients understand that gifts
    by the well spouse can disqualify the disabled spouse for up to five
    years.
  1. Protect
    the well spouse
    with
    long term care insurance or a Medicaid contingency plan.
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