This hour, elder law attorney Jim Koewler at the Koewler Law Firm provides us with a guide to help people who are worried about long term care costs in the future. There are three basic strategies: do nothing, buy insurance, or give away assets. When giving away assets, there are two approaches: direct gifts, and an irrevocable trust. This segment focuses on direct gifts. A PowerPoint presentation accompanies this segment — watch this segment on YouTube’s Answers For Elders channel.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following podcast is by Mr Jim Koewler, elder law and special needs attorney, helping and protecting those who need long term care. And Welcome back to answers for elders podcast network with elder law attorney in the State of Ohio, Mr Jim Koewler, from the Koewler law firm, and his website is www dot protecting seniors.com. And we’ve been talking about preparing for long term care and really how do you do that? And Jim, do you want to give us a little bit of a summary at before we go into our final segment? Sure, sure, so we’re talking about protecting your assets now because you’re worried about long term care in your future. So that there’s three strategies. You can do nothing, you can buy insurance. Can you have assets away? In segment in segment to, we talked a lot about to do nothing. And segment three, in part of two and three, we talked about buying insurance and then in three we started talking about giving assets away. There are two ways to give ask boy, I guess dumb luck landed on the right slide just by holding the right button. Hey, the you can give assets away now, while you’re healthy. Uh Huh, before you need care, because you can. We’re talking about preplanning here. You worried about here. You’re not needing care yet. Okay, you can give give gifts away, and this is called gifting. You’re giving things away, so it is a gift and medicates mine, an improper transfer, they call it. Okay, you can give them directly to someone or to a charity or, yeah, I mean anyone will take your money. I suppose. You can give the gift to anyone, or you can use an irrevocable trust so that controls it while you’re still alive or some other controlling date. Okay, we talked about the trust and the the criteria we’ve been using, and you’ll see it on the trust screen here. The cost to implement the strategy, the risk added by the strategy, and this is a financial risk added by the strategy, the convenience of using the strategy. Main how much control do you maintain over your money, excuse me, and the likelood of protecting your assets. Those the criteria we’ve been using to all the comparisons and our last discussion is on direct gifts, and then we’ll probably tire thing together and try to summarize. Okay. So the direct gifts are gifts usually to your children. Could be to your grandchildren, niece nephew, could be to a charity. Okay, if you give money weight outside the family, do not expect to Gett you have it back. I don’t care how badly you need it. I don’t think you’re going to expect to get it back in the family. It depends. That depends on your family. Okay, if my mother were to give assets to me or my sister’s I would be very surprised if we didn’t give them back should she need them. Okay, okay, there now you may have to be careful and how you do that so as not to create an Issio of Medicaid problem, but that’s something that where you should get help from an outlaw attorney. Right, okay, and I think before you make a direct gift you got to get help from an outlaw attorney. If you’re in Ohio, please call me. If you’re in another state, please look up an outlaw attorney through the National Academy of Outlaw Attorneys and AELA DOT org. We something call it Nayla, rather ungraceful waited thing to call it, but it fits the letters. Okay, Nayla Dot Org will have a find an attorney button. Once you find them, that will find a NYLAM members. Go check the individual websites and see if long term care is really what they focus on. All you could do is join Nayla to get on there on a state planning attorney. Someone writes wills and powers of attorney and doesn’t do long term care can be an Outa law attorney by joining. Okay. So so look for look through the directory to someone who really does long term care. You may have to file a title document. If it’s the house or a car. You may have to do the paperwork at your financial house in order to change the name on Accounter, have them open a new account and move stuff over. Okay, if you if you have stock directly from the company, you got to do the paperwork to tell the company, Hey, here’s the new owner of the stock. Okay, but still that’s let’s low cost, right. You can pop hire somebody to do it or not, but still low cost. Okay, the risk advertise strategy is high. You’re given this up and they can spend it, they can squander it or they can own it and then get into a car accident and injure Lebron James’s kid and get sued for everything they’ve got. And since what they’ve got now includes what you gave them, that’s at risk. True, okay. Or they could get divorced. Now, in theory at least, you know Ohio, but my suspicion is this is probably true across most are all the states. Gifts from family are not included in divorce proceedings. If spouse one gets money from family, spouse to can’t put a claim on it and fight it through the divorce court. That is gift inside the family. Spouse to doesn’t get a shot at it and divorce. But like with all litigation, most divorces and in negotiation rather than litigation, it doesn’t go to court. It simply gets blessed in court because they worked out in a conference room right. So in a conference room it’s all at risk. Hey, you got money, you want to you want me to go away. I want some of that money. I don’t care where it came from, I want some of that money. So the risk is high. Okay, the convenience is low. You’ve given it away. You’ve got to go through the Houseles to give it away. So giving it away is relatively convenient. But what happens to it after that and can be completely it ain’t yours. You can’t touch it, it’s gone. You don’t know what they’re doing with it and you you can ask, but they have the right to tell you no, I’m not going to tell you. Okay, right control over the money. At least what you gave away is it’s beyond low zero. You gave it up. You can ask them to invest in particular way. You can ask them to give it to particularly charity, you can ask them to hold it for someone you want to have it later in life, to say a grandchild, for education, and maybe they will listen to you, but they are an obligated to do so. They now okay, and the likelihoit of protecting those assets is moderate, again because of the need to go five years before we ask for medicates help. If you don’t make it through the five years, then everything you gave away is going to be counted against you before you’re eligible to get full medicaid coverage. That’s why it’s moderate. In addition, if the person, and we talked about this a little bit, if the person gives it back to you, you’ve now maybe blown a hole your whole plan because of the state wants to really be aggressive. Oh, obviously you can get that back, so we’re going to count it all as effectually own it. Correct. Okay, so it’s a huge problem. So that is how we compare the criteria that I’ve set out. What’s high cost us to implement, what’s low cost, what’s convenient, what’s not? What allows you to keep control of your money. The choice of what you want to do going forward may depend on those criteria and what you want out of your money, your peace of mind and your life. I can’t tell you which is the right way, because what might be the right way for me is probably not going to be the right way for you. There’s only four or five choices here. You know, traditional insurance assets, tight insurance, direct gift to somebody, gifts into a trust. So I guess there’s five choices. Do nothing of those four. Yeah, but still what you Choo and you can mix a match. By the way, okay, what you choose to do is yours. It’s your personal money, it’s your peace of mind and what I tell people on whether the plan ahead is how well, are you sleeping at night? If you’re losing sleep worrying about this, then do something. If you would lose more sleep by doing something, giving away to a trust, giving it to your kids, paying long term care insurance premiums or life premiums for a policy that has long term care insurance on it. If you don’t like the idea of giving up control at all, that you don’t like the idea of paying an insurance premium, fine, don’t do anything. Just remember planned me. Should you need long term care later, seek out an not the law attorney. We can, based on my experience in Ohio, save roughly forty percent of what you’ve got. But until you needed care, you had complete control and you were as happy as you were going to be again. That happiness is for personal okay. So I’m not going to say this is going to make you happy exact of unhappy people, okay, but you’ve made your own personal choice and carried it out and that’s great. That’s what it what for you. Yeah, you know, this is really interesting because obviously there’s so many ways in which you can use utilize trust, you can utilize gifts, but every single situation it’s unique to everyone and obviously consulting an elder law attorney that understands what long term cares about what your care plan maybe in the future, depending on what your you know, situation is, and and it may be for the fact that you know, maybe husband has Alzheimer’s and you know wife is very healthy and worried about the fact of losing their home. Are Different things like that. So every situation is unique, gem and I am so grateful that you taken the time to go through this with us, because so often we just don’t realize what we’re you know, what all is there? I mean and and obviously there’s no but there’s no cookie cutter solutions. It’s it’s everything is unique. And in addition, in addition, yeah, while Medicaid is very, very similar from state to stay. HMM, it is not identical. Right. The feller government sets the framework, but every state can have their own little criteria as long as they stay within the guard rails. In addition into that, trusts are state animals. Okay, so what is necessary for a trust in Ohio? May? It’s got to be, so, excuse me, P I got to be similar to what’s necessary for a trust in Washington. But right have some different nuances. Okay, so, so look for someone who works in your state before you do any of this. Yes, yes, well, this is really, really good information and for each and every one of you that are interested in working with Jim or an elder law attorney, please go to Naela. If you live outside of Ohio, Dot Org and AELA DOT org. But if you’re in the state of Ohio, a gym where you located and tell us a little bit about your your your realm of practice. Okay, I’m in Richfield, for those who don’t remember, where the Cavs used to play. That’s halfway between Cleveland and Akron. Okay, ‘m in near the northeast corner of Ohio, but I have clients all over Ohio. That’s right. Ohio is similar, and I say similar, it’s supposed to be identical, but the way Jiaga Medicaid views are rule, in the way Portans to Medicaid use it rule, even though the right next to each other could be different. I’ve even had two people whose desks are next to each other view the rules differently, but the the language of the rules of the same. And I have a clients as far away as the Michigan Indiana corner of the state. I’ve had clients down your Cincinnati is. Yeah, I can help her go technology and a zoom. We can actually work with clients throughout and, just like we do, an answer for elders and we are against. So grateful to you for breaking all this down. I think it’s really important that we you know that you pay attention as soon as possible to prepare, you know, for the future and be in an inevitable and if not, you know there’s a lot of fallback if you don’t. So, Jim, thank you. Go back and go back and check our podcast on powers of attorney. Yes, messing with your money. A good power attorney is a big part of planning head for long term care. Boy, that’s a very good point and I couldn’t agree with you more. So. Thank you, Jim. I’m very excited to learn about this and again for everyone, this presentation will be up on our youtube channel, so stay tuned. State of Ohio residents, you have a friend to help you navigate long term care while protecting your assets. You can reach Jim at www dot protecting seniorscom or just email him at j Koewler afe. That’s j Taylor AFE at Protecting Seniorscom
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
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