While long-term nursing home care is expensive, Medicaid can help cover these costs if you qualify. Part of this qualification may hinge upon developing a proper estate plan,including a properly drafted Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust, which can help you meet the requisite asset limits. Even if you are already in a nursing home, The Law Office of Keith R. Miles, LLC can help.
A single error in Medicaid planning can prove to be incredibly costly. If you fail to qualify, you may be forced to sell your home or use other hard-earned assets to cover the entire cost of your nursing home care. Moreover, the government can even seek reimbursement for any Medicaid benefits you received in error and pursue Medicaid Estate Recovery after death. Rest assured we will take the time to inform you of your options, answer your questions and help you take careful and proactive steps toward obtaining Medicaid benefits.
While Medicaid planning and related elder law matters are complex and present many challenges, we have the significant experience and in-depth knowledge needed to overcome those obstacles. Why lose assets and money? Why deplete your estate when there are legal methods available to allow Medicaid to cover some of the costs of your nursing home care?
When you come to us to help with after the death of a loved one, you can rely on us to be compassionate about your situation and open to discussing all aspects of probate and estate administration. Rest assured we will gather all the necessary data and provide you with options so you can make informed decisions.
Dying With a Will
When a person dies with a will, the process of distributing assets in accordance with the will is called “probate.” Many people do not feel comfortable navigating the myriad rules and court documents that are required in the probate of an estate. As experienced probate attorneys we can help. If you are named as Personal Representative (also called an Executor) under the will, we can make the process understandable.
Dying Without a Will
Our goal is always to create comprehensive estate plans for our clients. However, we understand that various circumstances or personal decisions sometimes result in a person dying without a will or trust in place. We are experienced at helping families in such situations. The estate of a person who has died without a will is called an “intestate estate.” The process of handling an intestate estate in the courts is similar to a will probate, but instead of following the terms of a document, the laws of the State will dictate who will receive the assets of the estate.
Dying with a Trust
If a person created a revocable living trust as part of his or her estate plan, then the administration process after his or her death can be simpler if the trust had been properly funded before his or her death. A fully-funded living trust where all of the deceased’s assets are titled in the name of the revocable living trust) can avoid oversight of the probate court. However, this is not to say that every revocable living trust administration is easy and without pitfalls. Regardless of whether the revocable living trust document was prepared by The Law Office of Keith R. Miles, LLC or not, anyone named as a trustee after someone’s death
should seek the guidance of an experienced attorney before they begin to administer the provisions of the trust.
While many trusts are straightforward and will be able to be administered without hiring an attorney, it is essential for individual trustees to get good advice. All trustees are considered fiduciaries and as such are subject to individual liability for failing to adhere to the instructions of the trust or for mishandling assets. Some trust assets such as IRAs and other complex investment vehicles can incur tax liability when not handled appropriately.
At The Law Office of Keith R. Miles, LLC, we can address our clients’ tax concerns in any number of ways. Strategies we explore include:
• Income, Estate, Gift and GST tax disputes with the IRS or State
• Infra-family Loans
• Spousal Gifting Trusts
• Simple and Advanced Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) Strategies
• Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT)
• Life Insurance Trusts
• Dynasty Trusts
• Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Planning
We work hand-in-hand with corporate and individual trustees; executors and
administrators; investment advisors; guardians and conservators; as well as personal representatives to handle a variety of estate, trust, and fiduciary disputes. This includes:
• Will contests
• Trusts interpretation, decanting, and reformation.
• Will and Trust administration and disputes
• Guardianship and Conservatorship proceedings.
• Closely-held and family-held business disputes involving trusts and estates.
• Creditor claims against trusts and estates.
• Claims regarding the validity of testamentary instruments where undue
influence, lack of capacity, fraud, or other deficiencies in execution are alleged.