Practice Areas

Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Elder Law and Medicaid

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ESTATE PLANNING

Because Laribee & Hertrick, LLP was founded upon our estate practice, we understand that estate planning is definitely not "one size fits all."  We appreciate the importance of working with individuals to create the proper estate planning documents necessary for their unique family and financial situations.  Whether it be a simple will-based plan or a sophisticated trust, our firm is well-versed in the various estate planning devices that take into consideration tax liabilties and our clients wishes, needs or concerns. We consider not only the passing of assets of upon one's death, but also protecting one's assets during his or her lifetime in the event of a disability or the need for nursing home care.   To that end, we counsel clients on how to plan for nursing home care and how to establish successful Medicaid planning strategies.  Ultimately, our goal is to provide our clients with the necessary devices to maximize the value of the estate, a strategy in the event one must enter into nursing home care, and eliminate uncertainties over the administration of an estate.

ASSET PROTECTION AND ELDER LAW

Laribee & Hertrick, LLP counsels many individuals on asset protection, which can be achieved through the formation of trusts, limited liability companies and closely-held corporations. A great fear among many individuals is that they will eventually find themselves in a nursing home. Because nursing homes can be extremely expensive, ranging from $5,000 to $12,000 per month, one of the biggest concerns people have is losing all of the assets that they have accumulated during their lifetime to pay for nursing home care. Thus, we often receive calls from clients or other people in our community expressing the fear of losing everything they have earned during their lifetime to a nursing home facility or Medicaid taking their loved one’s inheritance. The two most common questions that we are asked are: (1) do I have to spend or give away everything I own so that a nursing home or Medicaid will not eventually get it; or (2) do I have to give up complete control of my assets to prevent such an outcome?

The short and easy answer is “no.” With proper planning, a person will not end up paying for nursing home care out of their lifesavings until they run out of money. It is a common misconception that a person must “spend down” all of their assets so as to prevent a nursing home from taking those assets. It is equally a misconception that a person must “spend down” to qualify for Medicaid. While this approach may be wise in certain circumstances, it is not necessary if a person plans early enough. Although a will or living revocable trust will not protect a person from such a dreaded result, a proactive planned approach using the appropriate estate planning tools can allow a person to prevent a nursing home, creditors or Medicaid from eventually ending up with your assets during your lifetime or thereafter. In addition to asset protection from creditors during your lifetime, proper planning allows you to pass assets on to your children or loved ones in a manner that protects them from lawsuits, divorce and nursing home expenses. If necessary, it can also protect them from their own indiscretions. With the proper estate planning, whether simple or complex, you can be certain that your assets are protected and passed along as you determine.


MEDICAID APPLICATIONS

In addition to counseling our clients on how to plan for nursing home care and how to establish successful Medicaid planning strategies, Laribee & Hertrick, LLP also assists individuals during the Medicaid application process.  When necessary, we counsel individuals on "spend down" strategies prior to applying for Medicaid.  Additionally, we gather all the necessary information and documentation required by Medicaid and prepare the application.  If required, we further attend Medicaid application meetings or hearings.  Thus, we counsel and assist our clients from start to finish in the Medicaid application process, thereby helping our clients by significantly reducing their involvement in the often daunting and time-consuming Medicaid application process.

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