Planning for long-term care and taxes can be critical to your estate plan. Retirement brings about several risks including longevity, market risk and inflation, paired with two of the most common concerns of later life: the costs of long-term care and how to reduce or avoid taxes during retirement and upon transferring assets to heirs. These concerns are addressed in a recent article from Kiplinger, “Long-Term Care Planning vs. Taxes: Finding a Healthy Balance.”
Self-settled wholly discretionary grantor trusts, which are irrevocable, are used to house certain assets Medicaid would expect families to liquidate or spend before approving benefits to cover the bulk of the cost. Certain provisions of irrevocable trusts can be changed depending on the state of residence, such as who the trustee is and who the beneficiaries are.
The trustee should not be one of the grantors of the trust, and there is a five-year look-back on the trust’s funding. For example, if a grantor needs long-term care five years after assets were moved into the trust’s name, other assets will be needed to pay for the care.
Families are encouraged to plan early—ideally, just before or in the early years of retirement. The needs of the family drive which assets are placed in the trust. However, not everything goes. For instance, placing IRAs or other qualified accounts into an irrevocable trust would be unwise because this would be a fully taxable event. Roth IRAs may be placed in a trust. However, then they would lose their Roth status.
Careful planning with an experienced attorney, such as Vick Law, P.C., can establish a balance between maximizing protection and minimizing taxes. Book a call with Thomas A. Vick today to update or create an estate plan that takes long-term care into consideration.
Reference: Kiplinger (March 20, 2023) “Long-Term Care Planning vs. Taxes: Finding a Healthy Balance”