This blog is a service of Murphy & Murphy LLP Attorneys at Law of Danbury, CT and is provided to the public for the purpose of educating seniors and their families regarding elder care issues and estate planning. In the weeks and months ahead, we will post insightful content on topics including preserving your independence, qualifying for life-altering benefits, maintaining control as you age, wills and trusts, and more. Follow us!
New Elder Care, Estate Planning Website
You can jump-start your education regarding Connecticut elder law and estate planning topics by visiting our new website, murphyandmurphylaw.com. We’ve designed it so that you can quickly skim it and find the topics you are interested in, and some that you also should be aware of. It will help you identify the issues you face and the strategies which will empower you to succeed.
Connecticut Medicaid (Title XIX, Title 19)
Learn how to leverage your resources so you can afford home care or assisted living longer, and cover nursing home care if you need it. You can protect your assets through transfers, trusts, annuities, and converting exposed assets to exempt assets. Transfers of assets within five years of your Medicaid application result in penalty periods, but the penalty period can be much shorter than five years. Also, there are exceptions if you live with a family caregiver, have a disabled child, or transfer certain exempt assets. If you already need assistance with daily activities, you can transfer assets and trigger your penalty period to run now, so you get Medicaid when your cost of care has risen. Couples can protect a portion of their assets and income for the healthy spouse’s support. Medicaid home care recipients who are “over-income” can qualify by running the excess income through a Pooled Trust, which returns the income to you by paying your bills.
VA Aid and Attendance Pension
Aid & Attendance pays you up to $1,788/month ($2,120 if married) to use toward home care, assisted living, or nursing home costs, if you served during wartime and need assistance with your daily activities. Surviving spouses can get up to $1,149/month. You can qualify and protect through transfers, trusts, annuities, and converting exposed assets to exempt assets. If you are over-income, you can qualify by deducting medical and care expenses, including assisted living and care provided by a family member. The greater the deductions, the greater the pension benefit amount!
Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts
Your Will ensures that your estate is distributed according to your wishes, but it can be so much more. You can include a testamentary trust to support loved ones who are minors or spendthrifts, a special needs trust for disabled persons, and a credit shelter trust or QTIP trust to reduce estate taxes. You can avoid probate by establishing a Revocable Living Trust. If you transfer assets to qualify for Medicaid or VA Aid & Attendance, an irrevocable Asset Protection Grantor Trust can protect those assets from your children’s whims and creditors, and eliminate capital gains tax on your lifetime gain. And, you can reduce estate taxes through an Irrevocable Trust to remove property from your estate if not needed during lifetime.