Creating a blueprint for asset protection

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When you’re building a home, you don’t hire a contractor to start slapping bricks together until you have decided on the number and types of rooms and their location in the overall structure.

Likewise, it’s imprudent to draft a will, trust, powers of attorney, irrevocable trust or annuity without having a design in mind to give shape and structure to your efforts. This can be very costly and foolish.

How can you create a plan consisting of various documents that are supposed to protect you without a design in mind? Mindlessly putting together layers of documents yields nothing except large bills.

Before our clients create any legal documents we suggest to them that they do a blueprint, which is in effect a Medicaid asset protection letter. In that letter we outline the following:

1) Planning strategies that can be done in preplanning mode, or crisis mode, depending on where you are in the long term care journey.

2) Planning strategies available for single individuals, or the community spouse when an ill spouse is going into a nursing home.

3) An outline of the current status of the law as it relates to Medicaid eligibility.

4) Planning recommendations that are broken down into things that you must do immediately and things that you may be able to defer until later.

Below are some examples of our final recommendations in our blueprint:

Immediate Action

1) Creation of powers of attorney for healthcare and powers of attorney for property.

2) Creating wills and trusts that have special needs trusts built into them for a surviving spouse or a minor or adult disabled child. This takes advantage of certain relief that Congress intentionally placed into the Medicaid laws.

Deferred Actions

The purchase of a Medicaid compliant annuity or a Medicaid compliant promissory note.

As you can see from the above, there are that result in the savings of a lot of assets for middle class seniors and boomers who are going into long-term care. However, because these measures are complicated, it makes sense to have a blueprint laid out describing them in detail using your asset and income numbers before actually engaging in these actions.

Make sure you look before you leap.

To contact me, call 847-292-1220, e-mail or visit


About Anthony B. Ferraro

Anthony B. Ferraro is the founder and managing member at the Law Offices of Anthony B. Ferraro. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy from DePaul University and his Master of Science in taxation. After receiving his CPA designation in 1978, he enrolled in law school, earning his Juris Doctor in 1983 from De Paul University. An elder law practitioner, his practice areas include Medicaid planning and applications, guardianship, probate & trust administration, long-term care planning, nursing home contracts and admission, senior estate planning, special needs planning, estate planning, and estate taxation.

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