Welcome. Here you will learn from Florida board-certified elder law attorney Walt Shurden smart actions to take to protect your loved one and his or her investments from the costs of long-term care. So please, BEFORE you file your own application for Medicaid or accept a referral from a facility to speak with a planner about your case, read this free information.
We will open your eyes to the Florida Medicaid and VA pension qualification industry. We will teach you how to become eligible for these benefits without being misled into buying a completely unnecessary commissioned annuity with a Medicaid lien attached. We’ll explain why it’s a bad idea to enter into a sham contract that has no basis in reality and leaves you exposed to the IRS for taxes on compensation.
Attorney Walt Shurden has worked through many hundreds of long-term care situations. The financial problems of aging can easily become too much for people to bear—and if you are suffering from a disability, those problems increase dramatically. At the Law Office of Walter B. Shurden, we help seniors and their families restructure their income, property, and assets, allowing them to get the care they need without losing their homes or life savings.
We Help Our Clients Years Ahead of Time—and In Their Hour of Need
While our practice is focused on elder law, we have worked with clients of all age groups who have questions about their future security. We advise healthy and able seniors on their estate planning options, address the needs of clients who have recently been struck with a devastating medical diagnosis, and help establish a living will and power of attorney to families whose parent is suffering the early stages of dementia.
Whether you are starting to plan your retirement early or you have a specific need that must be addressed quickly, we can help you plan for your future and make sure your income and assets are protected. We advocate for seniors and disabled Floridians who need legal help with:
Estate PlanningNearly every aspect of building a sound financial plan for the future falls under the heading of estate planning. We can help you draft a will, amend an existing will, set up revocable trusts for your income and assets, designate a responsible health care proxy, create a living will, or even serve as a fiduciary to oversee and administer a special-needs trust.
Veteran’s Aid and Attendance PensionAs more and more veterans and their spouse’s reach retirement age, the VA disability system is becoming overwhelmed with benefit requests. Even though many veterans and their spouses will qualify for benefits, they will often exceed that maximum allowed income and assets to receive them. This leaves many former servicemen and servicewomen to pay for their disability costs, rehabilitation, and long-term care out of their own pockets. We can restructure your income and assets to ensure that you remain qualified for your disability benefits, allowing you to rely on your veteran’s aid when you need it most.
Irrevocable TrustsThis type of Trust is created to hold money, stocks, property, and other assets until they are transferred to children, grandchildren, and other beneficiaries. Unlike a revocable trust, transfers to an irrevocable trust are designed to be completed gifts. After the senior transfers his assets into the trust, he has no legal ownership over them. Transferring property this way allows the senior to maintain his eligibility for government aid during his lifetime, as well as providing tax benefits to the seniors descendants when they receives the contents of the trust at the seniors death.
Medicaid BenefitsMany seniors will find themselves in a difficult position when it comes time to pay for long-term care. They require the benefits of a nursing home, but their income and assets prevent them from receiving government funding to pay for it. We can show you transactions that you can make that protect your assets while not allowing them to count against you in your eligibility for Medicaid.
Be Careful When Choosing Your Elder Law Representative
Sometimes elder planners encourage clients to adopt asset protection strategies that facilitate the planners desire to sell a commissioned annuity. This can lead the planner to minimize to the client the need to fully comply with IRS requirements about reporting income. For example, compensation paid under a contract between a senior and caregiver is taxable income, but this strategy looks much less attractive when the tax "bite" is fully explained. Some will even attempt to sell annuities or other commissioned products to their customers, claiming that the annuitization of payments under such an agreement reduces the tax by spreading the payments over several years. Other planners might falsely represent that the annuitization of funds under a caregiver agreement is a medicaid requirement.
At Walt Shurden Elder Law, we explain all of your options to you completely and clearly, and never attempt to sell you additional products. We advocate solely for our clients’ best interests to help them make the best decisions for themselves and their families. We use a break-even analysis so you can judge the effectiveness of a particular strategy applied to your case. To find out what you can do today to protect your financial future, call our office in Clearwater, Florida, at 877-241-1230 or email us to have our staff contact you.