For those who are unable or unwilling to purchase Traditional long-term care insurance or use annuities or a life insurance policy with long-term care riders, and wish to protect assets from long-term care, legal planning with a Protector Trust may be a viable alternative.
A Protector Trust is designed to allow you to maintain control of your assets, as long as you are alive and able, however, after an asset is in a Protector Trust for five years, the principle of the asset is protected from ever being used to pay for long-term care. The trust is designed to protect “after tax assets,” such as your home, any real estate, non-IRA annuities, non-IRA investments, CD’s, and life insurance policies which have a cash value.
You maintain control of trust assets as trustees. As trustees, you are entitled to any income from the trust assets. Your beneficiary(ies) are entitled to the principle. It is an effective way of giving your assets to your beneficiary(ies) at your passing, but has control and indirect access to the principle during your lifetime. You may buy or sell assets within the name of the Protector trust as trustees.
Plain and simple, after the five-year “look-back,” the assets are “non-countable” and “exempt” from spend down for a nursing home, thus protecting the assets for your spouse’s continuation and to pay your legacy to your heirs. The Protector trust from day one will protect assets from creditors, liens, lawsuits and judgments.
Since this trust cannot be used to protect IRA’s and 401Ks, it cannot protect all of your assets, but it can be used to protect a significant portion of your estate from long-term care and protect your legacy for your spouse and/or for your family.
If protecting your IRA/401(k) is a concern, we have a strategy called the “IRA Rescue” program, which may be appropriate for your situation. Please complete the contact form on this page and schedule a free consultation with Greg Miller.