How Can I Protect Assets From Nursing Home Expenses?

Mar 09

 

How Can I Protect Assets From Nursing Home Expenses?

A common question from clients who anticipate needing long-term care is: can I protect my assets, such as a family farm or business, from being sold to pay for my long-term care expenses?

One possible method of doing just that is a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (“MAPT”), which is a specialized irrevocable trust that can be used in Medicaid planning situations.  The fundamental purpose of creating a MAPT is preventing assets from being considered “countable resources” on the grantor’s Medicaid assistance application.

Once a grantor creates a MAPT, the next step is transferring specific assets to the trust to be protected.  The MAPT – not grantor – will be the owner of those assets, and five years later, the assets would not be countable when determining Medicaid eligibility.  The MAPT also protects the assets against creditors of the grantor and beneficiaries.

During the life of the grantor, the MAPT remains intact.  The income from the MAPT can be distributed either to the grantor or to the eventual beneficiaries.  Upon the death of the grantor, the assets can then be distributed to the grantor’s children or other beneficiaries in the manner desired by the grantor.  The grantor has great flexibility in structuring how the assets are ultimately transferred.

The MAPT is irrevocable meaning that the grantor must give up the power to revoke or amend the MAPT.  Typically, when a grantor gives away property the beneficiaries receive an unfavorable “carryover basis.”  The MAPT is designed, however to allow the assets to receive a “stepped up” income basis upon the death of the grantor, which can greatly reduce the amount of income tax eventually paid by the family.  In establishing the MAPT, the grantor can also decide who will be taxed on the income each year.

Assets can certainly be given outright, not involving a MAPT.  Outright gifts have the advantages of being simple with minimal costs.  So, why complicate things with a trust?  The short answer is that gift transaction costs are only part of what needs to be considered. Many important benefits that can result from gifting in trust are forfeited by outright gifting.  These benefits are why some individuals choose to utilize MAPTs in Medicaid planning.

If you believe that you or your family could be benefited by establishing a MAPT, please contact Clark Mize & Linville’s attorneys who specialize in trusts and estate planning.

Written by:   Joshua C. Howard

Jessica L. Stoppel

Related Practice Area:            Elder Law

Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning

Five Lawyers from Clark, Mize & Linville, Chartered, are Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022.

Oct 08

Clark, Mize & Linville, Chartered, 129 S. 8th Street, Salina, is pleased to announce that it has five attorneys named to the 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© publication.  Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Almost 108,000 industry leading lawyers are eligible to vote (from around the world), and is has received over 13 million evaluations on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, roughly 9.4 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 67,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.  The following attorneys were named:

Peter L. Peterson has been included since the publication’s inception in 1983 and currently is listed in the practice areas of Trusts and Estates, Non-Profit/Charities Law, Tax Law, and Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law.

Greg A. Bengtson has been listed since 2021 in the practice area of Municipal Law.

Eric N. Anderson has been listed since 2013 in the practice areas of Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) and Trusts and Estates.

Dustin J. Denning has been listed since 2018 in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.

Peter S. Johnston has been listed since 2016 in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, and Insurance Law.  In addition, Mr. Johnston has been recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” in the area of Insurance Law in the Wichita area for 2022.  The individual attorney with the highest overall feedback from peers is recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year” for each specific practice area and geographic region.

 

CM&L is Hiring a Legal Assistant or Paralegal

Apr 15

Legal Assistant or Paralegal. We are looking for a team member to work with our attorneys to meet our clients’ objectives.  You will need to be efficient, well organized, and an effective communicator. You must be computer savvy and enjoy a wide variety of assignments in a busy group setting. Prior legal experience is helpful but not required.

This career opportunity offers competitive compensation and benefits, including a group health plan, merit bonuses, and profit-sharing plan upon qualification. The firm is an equal opportunity employer. Please email or mail a letter and resume to Personnel Partner, jlstoppel@cml-law.com or P.O. Box 380, Salina, KS  67402-0380.

CM&L Now Offering Services in Lincoln, Kansas

Dec 31

Clark, Mize & Linville, Chtd. and the Metz Law Firm, Chtd. are joining forces to provide legal services to Lincoln County and the surrounding areas.  This alliance brings together two highly-respected Kansas law firms and is a joining of two extraordinary firms with practice strengths and goals that are highly complementary.  The combination will take effect by January 1, 2021, and will enable Clark, Mize & Linville, Chtd. to bring an exceptional range of legal services to the Lincoln community.

Long-time Lincoln resident and lawyer, Daniel D. Metz, will be retiring early in 2021; however, his legal assistant, Konnie Budreau, will continue to staff the Lincoln office on a full-time basis.  In addition, attorneys from Clark, Mize & Linville, Chtd. will be present at the Lincoln office every Monday and Tuesday.  The firms will work closely with their clients and partners to make the transition process as smooth as possible.

The Metz Law Firm, Chtd. was founded in 1925 by Theodore M. Metz.   Ted also served in the Kansas legislature and as a Lincoln County Commissioner.  Dan joined the firm in 1968 after active Navy duty, law school, and two years in the Kansas AG office in Topeka.  Legal assistant Konnie has been with the firm since 1981.

Five Selected for Inclusion in Best Lawyers in America©

Aug 25

Clark, Mize & Linville, Chartered, 129 S. 8th Street, Salina, is pleased to announce that it has five attorneys named to the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© publication.  Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Almost 108,000 industry leading lawyers are eligible to vote (from around the world), and is has received over 13 million evaluations on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. For the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, 9.4 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 67,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.  The following attorneys were named:

Peter L. Peterson has been included since the publication’s inception in 1983 and currently is listed in the practice areas of Trusts and Estates, Non-Profit/Charities Law, Tax Law, and Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law.

Greg A. Bengtson has been listed in the practice area of Municipal Law.

Eric N. Anderson has been listed since 2013 in the practice areas of Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) and Trusts and Estates.

Dustin J. Denning has been listed since 2018 in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.

Peter S. Johnston has been listed since 2016 in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, and Insurance Law.

Four Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©

Aug 15

Clark, Mize & Linville, Chartered, 129 S. 8th Street, Salina, is pleased to announce that it has four attorneys named to the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© publication.  Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.  Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation.  Lawyers are reviewed on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.  Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.  The following attorneys were named:

Peter L. Peterson has been included since the publication’s inception in 1983 and currently is listed in the practice areas of Trusts and Estates, Non-Profit/Charities Law, Tax Law, and Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law.  Previously, Mr. Peterson was selected as the 2013 Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year in the Wichita/Salina Area for the practice area of Trusts and Estates.

Eric N. Anderson has been listed since 2013 in the practice areas of Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) and Trusts and Estates.

Dustin J. Denning has been listed since 2018 in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.

Peter S. Johnston has been listed since 2016 in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, and Insurance Law.

Defense Verdict Obtained in Surgery Case

Jan 25

Dustin J. Denning successfully defended our client, a general surgeon, in a medical malpractice jury trial in which the plaintiff alleged that the surgeon was negligent when performing a colostomy takedown with primary anastomosis. This procedure is designed to reconnect the rectum to the descending colon so that the patient no longer has a colostomy bag. The plaintiff alleged that the surgeon deviated from the standard of care by stapling the posterior vaginal wall when forming the anastomosis. She alleged that the stapling error caused her to develop rectovaginal fistulas, which is a communication, or opening, between the rectum and vaginal canal, that allowed the passage of stool and gas through the vagina. The plaintiff had to undergo additional surgeries to repair the fistulas. She sought $500,000 at trial.

We defended the case by showing that the patient developed a leak of her anastomosis, which is a known surgical complication that occurs in about 5% of all anastomotic procedures. The leak led to the development of an abscess, which then led to the development of the fistulas, through no fault on the part of the surgeon. We demonstrated to the jury that the surgeon would have had a clear view of the rectal stump that was being stapled to the descending colon using the EEA stapler double-stapling technique. Reinforcing sutures were applied as well, which gave the surgeon a second opportunity to observe the connection and reassure himself that he did not incorporate the posterior vaginal wall when creating the anastomosis.

After a five day jury trial, a Dickinson County, Kansas, jury returned a verdict in favor of our client after deliberating about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Clark, Mize & Linville Named a Tier 1 Law Firm by U.S. News and Best Lawyers®

Nov 01

Clark, Mize & Linville, Chartered, is again pleased to announce that it has been named a Tier 1 law firm, the highest ranking level, for the Salina/Wichita Metropolitan regions in the 2018 Edition of the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.” Firms included in the 2018 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

The firm’s Tier 1 rankings are in the areas of Health Care Law and Trusts & Estates Law. In addition, the firm received a Tier 2 ranking in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, Insurance Law, Non-Profit/Charities Law and Tax Law, and a Tier 3 ranking in Business Organizations (including LLC’s and Partnerships), Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.

Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.  The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

Congratulations to Five CML Attorneys for Selection as Best Lawyers®

Aug 15

Five Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©

Clark, Mize & Linville, Chartered, 129 S. 8th Street, Salina, is pleased to announce that five of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.  Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© is based entirely on peer review and recommendations of lawyers with experience working in the same practice areas as those receiving recognition.

Peter L. Peterson has been included since the publication’s inception in 1983 and currently is listed in the practice areas of Trusts and Estates, Non-Profit/Charities Law, Tax Law, and Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law.  Previously, Mr. Peterson was selected as the 2013 Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year in the Wichita/Salina Area for the practice area of Trusts and Estates.

John W. Mize has been listed since 1995 in the practice area of Health Care Law. Mr. Mize has also been selected as the 2018 Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year in the Wichita/Salina Area for the practice area of Health Care Law.

Eric N. Anderson has been listed since 2013 in the practice areas of Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) and Trusts and Estates.

Dustin J. Denning has been listed in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.

Peter S. Johnston has been listed in the practice areas of Medical Malpractice – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, and Insurance Law.

Defense Verdict Obtained in Stroke Case

Jun 25

Dustin J. Denning successfully defended our client, an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (“APRN”), in a jury trial in which the patient, who was also an employee at the APRN’s clinic, alleged that the APRN was negligent in failing to assess and diagnose the patient, or immediately refer the patient to the Emergency Room, when she was allegedly suffering from acute stroke-like symptoms. The patient and her attorney argued that failing to do so deprived the patient of the opportunity to receive the clot-busting drug, Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA). As a result, she suffered severe and permanent physical impairment to the left side of her body. The patient sought over $650,000.00 at trial.

We successfully established through several medical records and witness testimony that the patient’s stroke symptoms began at least 2 days before the alleged reported onset of symptoms. Because of that, it caused the patient to be beyond the 3 to 4 ½ hour window for the safe administration of TPA. The patient also failed to follow up with the various imaging recommendations offered to her by the APRN. The patient’s prior neurological problems from cervical spine disc disease was also a significant complicating factor in diagnosing the patient. We offered expert testimony from a neurologist, an APRN and a neuroradiologist. Relying on parenchymal enhancement on a subsequent MRI of the brain, our neuroradiology expert opined that the stroke indeed started at least 2 days before the alleged onset date of symptoms.

After a five day jury trial, the Cloud County, Kansas, jury returned a verdict in favor of our client after deliberating about 40 minutes.