Page 26 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - November 2019 - 26-11
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Page 26
Senior Times - November 2019
Ask The
Helping Seniors Preserve Their Lives
Asset Protection Planning for Persons in a Nursing Home or Entering a Nursing Home Powers of Attorney • Wills • Trusts • Probate
Don't Lose Everything You Have To the Nursing Home
I can help you save up to 100% of your assets.
Michael B. Walling, J.D., LL.M.
Let me help you properly draft and fund a trust before you or your spouse enter a nursing home; it could save you over $50,000!
Elder Law Attorney
Author of "Ask the Attorney"
 Call for a free
initial consultation*.
*Except Asset Protection Planning
(269) 324-7344
 Offices in Portage & Battle Creek
Helping Seniors preserve their lives for more than a decade.
    ANSWER: One of the big pushes I am seeing right now in the area of elder law and long term care is the irrevoca- ble trust. So what is it? An irrevocable trust is a trust that you transfer assets (money, etc.) into. Once the assets
are in the trust, they can no longer be counted as your assets for the purpose of qualifying for Medicaid. This is the "golden ticket" of Medicaid planning right now. But is it a good idea?
to name a few. If you tie all of your money up in an irrevocable trust, you won't have money available to pay for those wonderful things.
Here are my thoughts on it: First,
the assets have to be in the trust for
five years before they can help you as they are subject to the five year look- back. So if you put your assets in the irrevocable trust today then you had
to go into a nursing home a year from now, you are going to have a problem. You will incur a penalty and the State of Michigan won't pay for your nursing home care for a period of time. You see, the thing about the irrevocable trust is that once you put your assets in, you can't get them back out. So you are pretty stuck.
Who wants to go to a nursing home anyway? Do you? Did you say to your- self, "When I get older, I want to go
to a nursing home?" I doubt it. More than likely you said, "Don't ever put me in a nursing home." SO WHY PLAN TO GO IN ONE? That's what you are doing when you put your assets in an Irrevocable Trust. You are sheltering your assets in order to qualify for Medicaid. Sure there is the MI Choice Waiver program where Medicaid will pay for home care, but there are limited slots available, income limits, people coming into your home, etc.
I have heard of people being told that you can get your assets back out. That is NOT true. The people who are saying that are getting confused with the new Michigan Asset Preservation Trust. Those types of Trusts will not work for Medicaid. They are also tell- ing people that their children can get money out. This is true. However, now you will have to ask your children to take money out of their own inheri- tance. How is that going to go over? On top of that, do you really want to ask your children every time you need money?
I am not saying that an Irrevocable Trust is not useful in certain situations. But I am saying that companies are trying to push them on people much too often. Whether you are 30 or 85, you want to enjoy your life. Why not do
so? Use the money you saved to enjoy the rest of your life - to improve your quality of life. There are a lot of great options out there now for you to do so. Live well!
Michael Walling, Special to Senior Times
QUESTION: I just went to a pre- sentation and they are talking about irrevocable trusts and how I should have one. Are they a good idea?
if you need help. There are many home care agencies, big beautiful new assist- ed living facilities, senior apartments, senior communities with activities including swimming pools, etc., just
  The biggest problem that I have with the irrevocable trust is that you lose control over your money. These days there are so many great options for you
Michael B. Walling is an Elder
Law attorney with an advance Master of Laws degree. He manages The
Elder Law Center and the law firm of Michael B. Walling, PLC. Mr. Walling is also a part-time Professor at Western Michigan University. Please send any questions you would like addressed to: The Elder Law Center, 4625 Beckley Road, Building 400, Suite 4003, Battle Creek, Michigan, 49015. You may also call (269) 968-1101 to set up a free ini- tial consultation. This column is intend- ed for general information purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice to any particular person.
  Adult Day Care
(269) 962-1750
Benefits Counseling
(269) 781-0846 - Marshall (800) 803-7174 - Battle Creek (517) 629-3842 - Albion
Community Care Options
(269) 441-0948
Dental Services
(269) 781-0952
Handy Helper Services
(866) 200-8877
Hearing & Vision Services
(269) 969-6377
Home Heating Assistance
(269) 965-7766
Legal Assistance
(800) 688-3951
Meal Delivered / Meal Sites
(866) 200-8877
Minor Home Repair
(877) 422-2726
Money Management
(866) 963-3253
Personal Emergency Response
(269) 441-0918
Prescription Assistance
(269) 781-0952
Ramps for Accessibility
(269) 966-2502
Senior Centers
(517) 629-3842 - Albion (269) 558-6150 - Marshall (269) 441-0948 - Battle Creek
Senior Fitness & Fun
(269) 441-0948
Senior Transportation
(800) 994-9876
                Social Security
By: Vonda Vantil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
Security account at www.socialsecurity. gov/signin, but you must wait five days from the date you originally filed. If you are unable to check your status online, call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7am-7pm.
I applied for Medicare benefits last week. How can I check the status of my application?
You can check the application status online with your personal my Social
                            Calhoun County Senior Services
315 W. Green St. Marshall, MI 49068 • 269-781-0846
223 North Bedford Road, Battle Creek, MI 49037 269-965-5145

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