Get on the path to results today.
Get on the path to results today.
Asset Protection Planning takes on many shapes and sizes. We take an organic approach to asset protection planning. By organic we mean we have no preconceived notions about what your asset protection program will look like. Some asset protection planners will have a solution waiting for you when you walk through the door regardless of what your circumstances are. The problem with this approach is that in some cases it may be more than you really need. In other cases this planning approach may not be enough. That’s why we don’t start the process of finding a solution until will have a good grasp and understanding about what’s going on to create the threat of risk.
Asset Protection can be as simple as changing a registration name or changing title to property. However, most often even these remedies can cause additional problems in other areas such as taxes. Therefore, we use a proprietary nine point analysis before coming up with a solution to your asset protection issue.
Asset Protection comes in two categories: Domestic and Offshore. Domestic means that the solution will be an arrangement that keeps all your assets within the jurisdiction of the United States. Offshore means the assets will be relocated to a foreign jurisdiction. Offshore planning typically takes place when advance planning techniques are necessary. Some planning may require a combination of both.
In no case should you have to release control and trust someone to look out for your assets. When we do your asset protection plan, either domestic or foreign we will never ask you to release control and trust someone. You will always remain in control of your assets.
If you plan before trouble starts you will have more planning options available to you. If you plan after trouble has already started your planning options are reduced dramatically. However, that’s not to say there are no solutions available.
Asset Protection is smart planning for anyone who may be the subject of a law suit. That’s just about anyone. There is no magic number or amount of wealth before you do asset protection planning. The only thing that is required is to have some asset that you don’t want to lose to a divorcing spouse, creditor, disgruntled business partner, a renter, a customer or a client.
Medicaid Planning is about getting you or your loved one help in paying for long term care. The average monthly costs for long term care in Massachusetts is $10,000. At that rate even a substantial net worth of $600,000 would be depleted to zero in 5 years. Therefore, it is important to preserve an estate for a surviving spouse or to hand down a client’s lifetime works to their heirs.
MassHealth, which is Massachusetts’ version of Medicaid, is an entitlement program that is a subset of Department of Health andHuman Service (DHHS) which is a federal program. However DHHS gives the authority to individual states to run their own programs under similar guidelines. Each state gets to set their own guidelines but if those guidelines fall outside the requirements of the federal program the state can not seek reimbursement for the money they spend to pay for the citizens of their particular state. Therefore, you will see similar requirement across different states.
There are three ways to pay for long term care or nursing homes. Private pay, Long Term Care Insurance or State pay rate. Private pay rate is the highest rate that a nursing home will charge you. Long Term Care insurance rates are the second highest but they are subject the limits of the policy. For example, you could have long term care insurance and still have to pay out of your pocket if a particular item is not covered or the nursing home charges more than what your policy limits allow. The state rate is the least expensive rate that a patient in care will pay. That is because a qualified nursing home has already agreed with MassHealth to only charge a maximum amount if the patient qualifies for MassHealth benefits. In some cases, the state rate can be as little as one- third of the Private pay rate. Our job is to get you qualified for Medicaid so that you are charged the least amount as possible and still get help paying the lower amount.
The Medicaid application process can be very tedious and time consuming. It’s very important to answer every question. Every answer has a certain ramification based on your answer. If you answer a question a certain way that answer could open up a can of worms and cause the case worker to ask ten more questions. One wrong answer can result in a denial of benefits. Some eligibility rules are listed below.
If you are denied benefits or your application is turned down we may be able to overcome a denial by requesting and representing you in a fair hearing. A fair hearing is an administrative review of why you were turned down and it gives you a chance to argue your case before a neutral magistrate.
If we have the benefit of planning before a nursing home is needed we can arrange your affair so that you won’t have to spend down your assets to the $2000 maximum limit of assets to qualify for MassHealth Benefits. If we are able to set up an irrevocable trust we will need five years lead time before any asset in the trust is protected. This is called the five year look back period. If a long term stay in a nursing home is imminent and you don’t have five years to plan, we may still be able to get you qualified for MassHealth benefits under the Medicaid provisions.
If you or a loved one is facing the possibility of needing long term care and you need help deciphering the maze of red tape give us a call. We can help you. If you want to protect assets for the possibility of a long term care need in the distant future and would like to organize your affair in a fashion that will protect those assets maybe some preplanning could help. If you have been denied benefits or have had your application denied, we may be able to overturn your denial.
Have you been looking forward to the day you can retire, perhaps turn your business over to a son or daughter, or sell it? Even if you are not planning to stop working, you need to plan for the day you cannot run your business due to unforeseen illness or death. Most business owners do not take the time to plan for how they will leave their business. They are busy running the company, or they don’t know where to start. However, if you continue to own a business until you die, it will be included in your estate and could be subject to substantial estate taxes. Your family could be forced to sell the business or its assets at ‘fire sale’ prices. Can you imagine having worked hard all these years only to have the vultures and Uncle Sam, not your family, reap the benefits?
Planning for how you will exit from your business should be an integral part of your estate and retirement planning. Proper planning now can provide you with retirement income, reduced income and estate taxes, and even let you benefit a charity if you so choose, regardless of whether you transfer your business to family members at discounted values, to employees, or to an outside buyer. In today’s market, the economy and trends are affecting the timing and value of business transfers.
Planning now to exit your company will result in you and your family receiving the best possible results, both now and after your retirement, disability or death. You can receive retirement income; you can transfer your business to your family, your employees or an outside buyer; you can make a difference for a charity or your community; and you can do all of this with reduced income, gift and estate taxes. whether you’re a start-up or a 3rd generation business talk with us today to help you in your planning process.