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Trusts can be used to protect real estate, cash, other financial assets, and even valuable tangible assets such as art or jewelry. For example, if you own bank accounts, certificates of deposit and securities, Medicaid will insist you use almost all of these to pay for your care before it provides even a dollar of benefits. By transferring these financial reserves to a trust, they can no longer be regarded as your “resources” for Medicaid purposes. The assets in the trust will be protected. To help you get the security you need in NYC, Westchester County or the NY Metro area, work with an asset protection lawyer from Lamson & Cutner.

An Irrevocable Medicaid Trust, also known as an “asset protection trust” or a “Medicaid asset protection trust” can be structured so that the income generated from the assets in the trust will be paid to you. With an asset protection trust for elderly residents of NYC, Westchester County and the NY Metro Area, the income from the trust can be spent to help maintain the lifestyle you’ve worked hard to create. While you will have no right to access or demand principal from the trust, your trustees can be given the discretion to distribute principal to beneficiaries who can use this money for your benefit.

If the Elder Law asset protection trust holds title to your home in NYC, Westchester, or elsewhere in New York, you will still have the right to live there for the rest of your life, or in another residence that the trust might purchase in the future. If you own a co-op apartment, permission of the co-op Board of Directors must first be obtained before you can transfer your co-op shares and proprietary lease into the trust.

Aside from protecting your assets from Medicaid eligibility requirements, transferring assets to a trust is almost always preferable to transferring money or assets to children directly. Here’s why. Most trusts protect the assets from exposure to future creditors, lawsuits and legal liability. If a child is holding your assets, and gets into an auto accident and is at fault, suffers a business failure or a divorce, or even dies before you, those assets could be exposed to potential loss. Assets placed in most trust structures will be better protected than funds held by individuals.

In addition, assets that pass via an asset protection trust, rather than being gifted during the lifetime of the donor, are treated more favorably from a tax standpoint.

As an Elder Law, Estate Planning, and asset protection firm, Lamson & Cutner can help you evaluate whether a trust makes sense for your situation. To learn more, if you or your loved one lives in NYC, Westchester or the NY Metro area, contact an asset protection attorney at Lamson & Cutner today.

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