How can a Trust Protect your VA Aid and Attendance While Protecting your Assets?

How can a Trust Protect your VA Aid and Attendance While Protecting your Assets?

Statistics1 published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicate that 70 percent of people turning 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives. As people get older, meeting the costs associated with long-term care can be a conundrum, especially if they have not purchased long-term care insurance or have engaged in other planning.

A common issue that arises is that the costs associated with long-term care can significantly deplete a person’s estate, but they cannot qualify for benefits while they retain their assets. In addition, gifting assets to their family can result in disqualification from benefits for a significant period of time, during which they require long-term care. Fortunately, there are ways that an attorney can help people preserve their assets for future generations while also establishing eligibility for certain government benefits.

Aid and Attendance Benefits and Irrevocable Trusts

Many veterans who need long-term care are also eligible for Aid and Attendance Benefits through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. In order to qualify for these benefits, the following must be true:

  • A person must be a wartime veteran or the surviving spouse of a wartime veteran
  • A person must require the aid and attendance of another person for activities associated with daily living
  • The person must have medical expenses that are unreimbursed that exceed their income
  • The person must have limited assets

The fourth requirement above is often the issue that is preventing a person from qualifying from aid and attendance benefits. In these circumstances, the assets may be placed in an irrevocable trust2 in which the person attempting to claim benefits has no access to the principal or income from the trust. As a result, the individual’s assets are protected while establishing aid and attendance benefits eligibility.

We can help you set up a will, trust, or estate for you or your family, however we are not assisting clients with making veterans disability claims at this time.

Although we are not accepting new clients for veterans disability we would be happy to take your call and try to point you in the right direction.

Contact a Tacoma veterans benefits attorney to find out how we can help you

Individuals who are concerned about their eligibility for Aid and Attendance benefits should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. In many cases, an attorney can help preserve assets and establish benefits eligibility through effective estate planning. To schedule a consultation with one of our Tacoma veterans benefits lawyers, call the Dickson Frohlich today at 253-572-1000 or send us an email at reception@dicksonlegal.com.

Sources

1 http://longtermcare.gov/costs-how-to-pay/

2 https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/irrevocable_trust