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Asset Protection In Columbus, Ohio

Contrary to popular belief, asset protection isn’t only for the rich and famous. The wealthy and middle class alike can benefit from effective asset protection strategies. These strategies help people protect the assets they will need in retirement and the property they want to pass on to their loved ones. This is especially true in the second half of life when many of us begin to see some changes in our health. Because health care costs, especially long-term care-related costs, can be devastating to a family’s plans for their retirement years, elder care attorneys help middle-class families with asset protection planning to preserve and protect their nest egg, so they don’t have to worry about a health issue wiping them out financially.

While the tools and strategies are complex, our attorneys make the process a smooth and easy one for our clients. Everyone deserves the peace of mind of knowing their future is secure. This is a complicated legal process, so contact a Columbus, Ohio asset protection attorney from Jarvis Law Office. We can review your situation and develop your ideal asset protection plan.

What is Asset Protection?

Asset protection is a crucial aspect of elder law, helping seniors secure their financial well-being during retirement. It encompasses various strategies aimed at safeguarding assets from creditors, legal judgments, and nursing home expenses. Methods for asset protection include trusts, LLCs, annuities, gifting, and other planning techniques. The team at Jarvis Law acknowledges the challenges seniors encounter in defending their hard-earned assets and is committed to offering the best possible solutions. Through our all-encompassing asset protection services, we work diligently to provide you with top-notch advice and guidance tailored to your needs.

When Should I Contact an Asset Protection Lawyer?

In asset protection, proactivity is essential. An asset protection attorney can help assess risks and develop strategies to safeguard your assets. If you have property, high-value investments, or a business, consulting with an asset protection lawyer promptly is recommended. Your asset protection attorney will offer legal guidance on structuring your investments and assets to shield them from potential creditors and lawsuits. Additionally, they’ll aid in setting up trusts or other entities to secure your wealth for future generations. Understanding the asset protection laws in your state is vital, and a skilled asset protection attorney at Jarvis Law can assist you in navigating these complexities.

Asset Protection Strategies

Our Columbus, Ohio asset protection attorneys utilize various strategies to assist clients. These strategies protect our clients by:

  • Preserving your life savings from the catastrophic cost of long-term care by Preventing or Reducing a Medicaid Spend Down
  • Protecting your home from a Medicaid Lien
  • Making sure you and your spouse have enough income and savings to last the rest of your lives
  • Creating a plan for the future that ensures a seamless transition to your chosen individual(s) that is smooth and easy
  • Making sure you are never a burden on your spouse or children

Important Facts About Long-Term Care Planning In Columbus, Ohio

The cost of long-term care services rose dramatically in Columbus, Ohio, and throughout the nation, in 2022. These cost increases have been so significant that even individuals with long-term care policies may now need to look at additional ways to address the ever-increasing rates for home care, assisted living, and nursing home levels of care.

The majority of our clients prefer to receive any assistance they might need right in their own homes. And we are very lucky in Columbus to have a program under the Medicaid umbrella of services that assists families with the cost of that care. That is a good thing because this area has seen one of the highest cost increases due to the reduction of the labor force over the last few years. Previously the cost of one month of round-the-clock home care was approximately $16,000 per month. Our clients have been reporting to us that, lately, they have received service quotes in the $21,000-$24,000 per month range. With costs this high, most of the families we work with would be unable to sustain this level of care for a significant length of time.

Nursing home and assisted living center rates have increased by a significant amount in the last few years. A local nursing home that was previously charging $9,000 a month for care recently quoted $14,000 for that same care. Several other care centers in the Columbus area have implemented similar increases in their rates. These businesses are having trouble keeping staff and their expenses have risen due to inflation.

This has created an environment where those needing care and assistance have to use a larger amount from their savings than they had ever planned to. All of this is leading to concern that seniors won’t be able to afford the care and support services that they need.

But there is hope. Seniors in Columbus, Ohio can access tools and strategies to make their savings last longer by working with an elder care attorney who can leverage their assets and strategize adequate safeguards for them.

Domestic Asset Protection Trusts

Ohio law allows for the use of powerful asset protection tools and strategies, including asset protection trusts. This little-used and even less understood tool is an important part of an overall strategy to protect assets from a Medicaid spend down, certain creditors, and lawsuits. These trusts became available to Columbus residents in the last few decades. An experienced asset protection attorney or elder care attorney can use this hybrid type of irrevocable trust to protect your personal assets from the all-too-real risks mentioned above. In addition, because this is a hybrid trust, you are still able to maintain control of your trust assets. You can also name your children and grandchildren as beneficiaries and include protections for them from uncertainties in their lives like divorce, bankruptcy, disability, lawsuits, and their own poor judgment. With so much flexibility, it’s easy to understand why this option is so popular with Columbus residents who want to protect their assets.

There are several caveats to keep in mind. We must keep an eye on the five-year lookback with Medicaid if we are hoping to utilize that option to supplement the high cost of care in the years ahead. Sometimes families come to us and they don’t have five years available until their loved one needs care. That’s okay too. These tools can be combined with other strategies to preserve a significant amount of what would otherwise be lost. The more time the elder care attorney has to work with you, the more likely they will be able to protect your assets. Also, creditors have 18 months to bring claims against the assets in the trust. Once that time passes, your assets will be protected.

Protecting Assets With Insurance

Your Columbus, Ohio asset protection attorney can also advise you on purchasing umbrella insurance policies. These policies can shield you against liability, even if you’re involved in a lawsuit. You can often buy the policy you need through your homeowner’s insurance company. However, consult with your attorney to ensure it provides the necessary asset protection you need before purchasing a policy.

Jointly Held Accounts

Did you know that money in jointly held accounts is at risk? For example, if you share an account with a child who gets divorced, the money could be seized. Your Columbus asset protection attorney will review your jointly-held accounts and assets, and recommend legal strategies to protect those assets.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Asset protection services are legal strategies aimed at safeguarding the assets of elderly individuals from potential risks, such as lawsuits, creditors, or excessive taxation. Individuals may face increased vulnerability to financial exploitation, nursing home costs, or legal disputes as they age. Asset protection helps shield their personal property and wealth, ensuring their long-term financial goals are not compromised.

Asset protection law encompasses various legal options and tools tailored to protect the elderly’s assets. One commonly used tool is the domestic asset protection trust (DAPT), which allows individuals to transfer assets into a trust while retaining some control and enjoying protection from creditors. Offshore asset protection trusts are another option, providing additional layers of security. Understanding the nuances of asset protection law is crucial to making informed decisions about protecting assets.

While financial advisors play a valuable role in managing investments and financial planning, consulting an attorney specializing in elder law and estate planning is essential for asset protection services. Attorneys have a deep understanding of asset protection law, ensuring comprehensive asset protection. They can help you navigate legal complexities, develop a personalized asset protection plan, and coordinate with other professionals, such as financial advisors, to align your estate plan with your long-term financial goals.

Transferring assets is one strategy employed in asset protection, but it is not the sole solution. Asset protection services encompass a range of legal tools and techniques that suit different circumstances. Transfers may involve creating trusts, changing ownership structures, or utilizing legal exemptions. The effectiveness of transferring assets depends on various factors, including the timing and purpose of the transfer. Consulting an experienced attorney can help you determine the most suitable asset protection strategies for your specific situation.

Elderly individuals, especially those who possess significant personal property or are considered high-risk due to potential legal issues or creditor claims, should consider asset protection services as part of their overall estate plan. It’s advisable to seek asset protection early, as some legal options may have time limitations or be less effective once legal proceedings or claims have begun. By proactively engaging in asset protection planning, elderly individuals can better safeguard their wealth and achieve peace of mind for themselves and their loved ones.

Please note that the information provided here is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice. It is recommended to consult with an attorney from Jarvis Law Office to obtain personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.

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