New York Asset Protection
Asset Protection and New York Elder Law
At Littman Krooks, our approach as New York elder law attorneys is holistic; rather than focusing on a single aspect of elder law, our dedicated team of attorneys, paralegals, and support staff is committed to the idea that estate planning should be handled as early and thoroughly as possible. In fact, it’s only when estate planning is viewed as a lifelong endeavor affecting your entire family that the breadth and depth of the decisions to be made become obvious. Fortunately, Littman Krooks has developed proven strategies to deal with all aspects of estate planning, including asset protection.
Asset protection, integral to any comprehensive estate plan, seeks to ensure funding for long-term care while minimizing detrimental effects on your family’s accumulated assets.
Medicaid law and the policies governing Medicaid eligibility are complex; most families fail to understand how their assets are calculated for the purposes of determining who qualifies for Medicaid. However, the firm of Littman Krooks LLP has been navigating through the red tape and confusion on behalf of clients for 20 years.
It all begins with an asset protection consultation session. Your elder law attorney will begin by walking through a detailed set of questions in order to understand your family’s financial, medical, and legal position, as well as your primary objectives. This information enables our elder law attorneys and capable staff to craft an asset protection plan that fits into your overall estate plan.
Some of the strategies utilized by Littman Krooks elder law attorneys include:
- Establishing trusts. Trusts are, by far, the most common method used by elder law attorneys as an asset protection vehicle. In effect, trusts are pools of assets that are controlled by one or more trustees, who make decisions regarding investment and disbursement of the assets. When set up properly, trusts can be used during your life to shelter your assets, ensuring that you receive the full Medicaid or Veterans’ Benefits to which you are entitled. Additionally, many parents set up trusts designed to maximize the financial benefit to their survivors after their passing, preventing their assets from disappearing through taxation, legal costs, or unwise spending practices.
- The right of spousal refusal. This strategy enables a healthy spouse to protect resources in excess of the Medicaid allowable amount.
- Disinheriting an ill spouse. This strategy sounds much worse than it is. Basically, it is often in your family’s best interest to ensure that a spouse in long-term care isn’t named a beneficiary of the well spouse’s assets. This ensures that, in the event an ill spouse outlives the well spouse, the assets are transferred to other family members, rather than being eaten away by long-term care costs that can be covered by Medicaid.
Other recommendations may include gifting strategies, reallocation of monetary and non-monetary assets to minimize exposure, considering long-term care insurance policies, pre-paid funeral accounts, and more. Additionally, your Littman Krooks elder law attorney will explain the tax implications of each strategy recommended and assist in the preparation of necessary paperwork and filings.
To ensure that your entire family enjoys the maximum benefit from the assets you’ve accumulated, contact a Littman Krooks elder law attorney today to schedule a consultation.