In order for a trust to protect your assets from Medicaid, that trust must be irrevocable. Once the trust is funded, you no longer own or have control over the assets that are in the trust. As part of setting up your trust, you will need to appoint a trustee to manage the trust and make decisions regarding how the assets are invested and distributed. The trustee should be someone of integrity and good judgment, who will keep your best interests in mind.
Many people designate a family member or close friend as their trustee. Sometimes though, we encounter clients who either don’t have family or close friends available to help, don’t feel they can trust them with their money, or, their loved ones are not comfortable with the responsibility of being a trustee. In such cases, a good option might be to hire a professional as trustee or co-trustee to manage your trust. A professional trustee will charge a fee, of course, but this is appropriate for a professional with legal and fiduciary duties, whose responsibility it will be to oversee the management of the money and assets you will be putting into the trust. If a family member or a close friend can be involved as co-trustee, that is often the best solution.
It can be difficult to give up control of your money and property. Unfortunately, those who need or will need long-term care such as in-homeor nursing care are at a crossroads. They can continue to maintain control, but then the cost of long-term care will likely result in the rapid depletion of their money and assets.
Being confident in your trustee goes a long way toward making you feel more comfortable with the decision to create a trust. When deciding how to protect your money and who to designate as your trustee, it is best to work with an Elder Law attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can guide your decisions, and make sure your trust is property structured and funded.
Lamson & Cutner has a great depth of experience in establishing and funding trusts, and can help ensure you are doing everything you can to protect your assets and achieve other goals as well.
Give our office a call today at: (212) 447-8690, or visit Our Services page to learn more about what we can do to help you.