How to Avoid Losing Massive Amounts of Money to a Nursing Home

Evan H. Farr, CELA

When older adults think of estate planning, many actually have asset protection in mind. What they want is the peace of mind of knowing that the nest egg they’ve been saving for that proverbial “rainy day” will actually be available for them when that rainy day comes. The rainy day, for most people, is when they or their spouse enters a nursing home.  But estate planning and asset protection are two very different fields of law. Estate Planning documents do nothing to achieve asset protection, as Estate planning deals with distribution of assets upon death.  If you wind up going broke in a nursing home before your death, your Estate Plan will wind up being a worthless pile of paper.

These days most older adults use the Revocable Living Trust (RLT) as their primary Estate Planning document in order to minimize delays and expenses and avoid the “nightmare of probate.”  A Last Will and Testament is designed to put your estate into probate – an expensive and complex process that most people want to avoid at all costs.  Although the RLT can achieve this important goal of avoiding probate, a major limitation of the RLT is that it cannot accomplish asset protection. The RLT can’t shield your assets from nursing home expenses.  With the average cost of a nursing home room in the DC Metro area at around $9,000 per year, this is an important limitation of the RLT that every older adult needs to understand.

Is there a living trust that actually does protect assets in contemplation of future nursing home expenses?  Yes. You can protect your assets legally and effectively by using the Living Trust PlusTM (LTP).  As opposed to the RLT which only avoids probate, the LTP is designed to protect your assets from the expenses and complexities of probate PLUS lawsuits PLUS nursing home expenses. The LTP functions very similarly to the RLT and maintains much of the flexibility of the RLT, but in addition to serving as your primary estate planning document, the LTP allows you to actually protect your nest egg from having to be “spent down” to pay for the catastrophic expenses often incurred in connection with nursing home long-term care.

If you’re over the age of 65 and you’ve been holding on to a nest egg for a rainy day, the time to get out the umbrella and protect the nest egg is now, while you’re still relatively healthy and living independently. To find out more, you can sign up yourself and your family to attend a free seminar on the Living Trust PlusTM.

If you are an attorney and are interested in learning how you can offer your clients true asset protection, visit and join the dozens of attorneys across the U.S. who have already educated themselves and embraced the LTP!

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

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