Elder Law Asset Protection Arizona
Enhanced Estate Planning for Seniors
Elder Law is the area of legal practice serving senior citizens and their immediate families. Elder law at the Citadel Law Firm in Chandler may include estate planning, but an elder law attorney is focused not only on forms-based transactional estate planning but more importantly on planning for and managing both the financial resources as well as the life cycles of our aging population to whom we owe so much. Thus, elder law incorporates both a financial element and a human element in planning for clients. If you are a senior or you are helping a loved one of advanced age with their estate planning consider Elder Law Asset Protection in Arizona as part of your planning.
The financial element of elder law involves securing a person or couple’s financial resources, managing these financial resources using appropriately designed insurance, annuity, and investment products, and protecting these financial resources using trusts, tax planning, and various other legal strategies relying on both federal and state law. Whether clients are multimillionaires or just getting by, we look for every opportunity to incorporate asset protection strategies for seniors into our financial planning and legal planning. Some of these planning strategies are implemented in an enhanced estate plan structured and drafted by a licensed attorney to suit your particular situation in life, while other strategies are implemented in cooperation with insurance and investment professionals with whom our law firm will partner in the appropriate circumstances for you.
The human element of elder law asset protection Arizona involves preparing for and managing incapacity and death. The general term “estate planning” can encompass a great deal, including financial planning and asset protection planning. However, in the elder law context, we must acknowledge that people are living longer and in many cases living with illnesses that require management and expensive medical supervision and treatment. So, in the elder law context, we speak about enhanced estate planning for seniors that is different from planning strategies employed by younger families or middle-aged adults. Seniors have different concerns and goals more intimately linked with financial planning than a couple with a young family or recent empty nesters enjoying their newfound freedom. Therefore, enhanced estate planning for seniors recognizes that the 60+ population has very different expectations for health and mortality over the next 10-20 years and we build in different protections in our enhanced estate planning for them that is interlinked with financial planning and asset protection planning. Elder law asset protection in Arizona is an area of law that our elder law attorneys can help you with.
The particular legal, tax, and financial planning strategies undertaken by the Citadel Law Firm in any given case will ultimately depend on the relative health and financial resources of the client that we have to protect. But broadly speaking, we also assist our clients in both proactive long term care planning and crisis long term care planning (often referred to as Medicaid law or, in Arizona, ALTCS law [pronouned “All-Tecks”]).
Proactive planning addresses the elder law concerns of relatively healthy clients. Specifically, these are typically clients who do not foresee any long term care needs for at least five years or more in the future. Proactive planning employs legal and tax strategies often paired with trust-based planning techniques to preserve and protect blocks of savings, investments, businesses, and real estate from future risks of being used to fund long term care costs in the future. Proactive planning strategies preserve the resources to be available for the family to help a senior if the need arises, but only after all government aid for which the senior would otherwise qualify is first expended. In essence, the Citadel Law Firm’s proactive planning strategies keep assets in reserve for the client and if not needed then they are protected for future generations. That is what elder law asset protection Arizona is about. To get an idea of the costs of long term care in Arizona, please refer to our related article by following this link: Don’t Write Checks to a Nursing Home Before Reading This.
Some clients face a more immediate need for long term care. For these clients, the costs associated with this care may lead to financial ruin. Sometimes in a matter of months a family’s entire life savings can be wiped out. In these cases, we encourage our clients to seek us out immediately – ideally well BEFORE applying to Medicaid, ALTCS, VA Veterans Administration, or any other type of government benefit for which they think they may be eligible. Critically, 4 out of 5 people who apply for ALTCS on their own without the aid of a specialist are denied benefits under the program. But once one has applied, the financial status of that person is fixed on the date of the first application. So even if we get involved to help a client after he or she has already attempted and failed to qualify for ALTCS on their own, the opportunities for us to shift assets around becomes much more restricted. For this reason, we particularly encourage clients facing long term care crisis situations to reach out an elder law attorney at the Citadel Law Firm as soon as possible. The ALTCS eligibility have financial requirements and health-based requirements. Specifically, the financial resource limit for property an individual applicant may own is just $2,000 while a spouse may keep up to $128,640 (2020 limits). Moreover, there is also a monthly gross income limit from all sources of just $2,349. With long term care costs ranging from $2,500 - $10,000+ per month, the math simply doesn’t work for most people. However, with an elder law asset protection lawyer, a needy applicant can often qualify for ALTCS benefits by working with us to use legal and financial strategies to overcome these limits with creative asset protection strategies to reserve financial resources for a spouse or other family.
The Citadel Law Firm is committed to helping our seniors live in safe, secure, and comfortable environments, ideally comforted in the knowledge that the appropriate legal and financial plans are in place so their money will not run out and loved ones are empowered to help with decision making at the right time. The best legal, financial, and asset protection plans allow for legacies of money and property to be passed on to future generations and we are fortunate to be able to provide these services to many of our clients.
Call (480)565-8020 to schedule an Elder Law Attorney free consultation today. We hope our elder law attorneys are the right ones for you.