Today I met with four clients in regularly scheduled reviews of their trusts and related documents. By coincidence, three happened to be WWII veterans who saw combat. One was seriously wounded in an enemy air attack.
We all owe these gentlemen and their fellow service men and women a great amount of gratitude and praise. I have come to realize how much we owe their spouses and children also. Life for a service family requires more sacrifice than most people understand.
One of the veterans and his wife are moving to Texas to be near their daughter. The daughter has talked with a gentleman who offers to help the veteran secure Veterans Aid and Attendance payments of approximately $2,000 per month. That payment is well deserved. However, the process the gentleman proposes will disqualify the veteran and his wife from Medicaid benefits if either has to go into a nursing home or has to receive long-term care. This would result in their having to spend all their assets except $2,000 if they needed such assistance. I doubt that the gentleman offering to help understands the complexity of coordinating each area of entitlement for the maximum benefit of the client.
Another of the veterans is fairly recently widowed. His oldest son talked him into signing a power of attorney to let the son assist him his affairs. The son then promptly depleted all of the veteran's savings - and not for the benefit of his father. Again, all documents to assist clients with their care and wellbeing must be properly created, coordinated and utilized.
The third veteran and his wife are concerned about their grandson who will soon be deployed to Afghanistan. The grandson and his new wife are expecting a child while the soldier is away. The clients want all of their estate to go to their grandson. They have significant concern to secure that if the grandson does not return, the assets be used properly for his child until the child is old enough to handle his/her own affairs. We have created for the clients a beneficiary trust that will protect all their assets for their grandson's benefit, and in his absence, for his child's benefit. The child will not have control of the assets until he or she is 30 and responsible enough to care properly for the legacy. Even after the great-grandchild receives control of the assets, they will be protected from creditors, ex-spouses, bankruptcy and spend-down for long-term care.
I feel very good about having helped three wonderful veterans and their families today. I am happy to know about advanced estate planning strategies that can protect clients and those they love.
What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100's of years of combined experience ensuring that families' assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down. The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!