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Asset Protection In Ohio

There’s a myth that asset protection is only for the rich and famous. Both the wealthy and middle class can benefit from asset protection strategies. These strategies help people protect the assets they will need in retirement, as well as 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 is 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 protect and preserve 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 Central, Eastern Southeastern Ohio asset protection lawyer from Jarvis Law Office. We can review your situation and develop a plan for you.

Asset Protection Strategies

Our Ohio asset protection lawyer utilizes 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 smooth 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 Ohio

In 2022, we have seen a dramatic rise in the cost of long term care services in Ohio and throughout the nation. The 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 level of care.

Most of our clients prefer to receive any assistance that they might need in their own homes. And we are very lucky in Ohio to have a program under the Medicaid umbrella of services that can assist families with the cost of that care. And 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 2 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 they have recently 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 also jumped significantly recently. 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 center in the area have implemented similar increases in their rates. These businesses are having trouble keeping staff and their expenses have risen due to inflation. 

It 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. Ohio seniors can access tools and strategies to make their savings last longer by working with an Ohio elder care attorney who can leverage their assets for them.

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 Ohio residents in the last few decades. An experienced elder law or elder care attorney can use this hybrid type of irrevocable trust to protect your 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 assets. You can also name your children and grandchildren as beneficiaries and include protections for them from uncertainties in their life 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 Ohio residents who want to protect their assets.

There are some caveats to keep in mind, though, we still have to keep our 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, they more they will be likely to be able to protect. 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 Southeast Ohio asset protection lawyer 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 protection you need before making a purchase.

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 Ohio asset protection lawyer will review your jointly held accounts and assets. Then, your lawyer can recommend legal strategies to protect those assets.

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