An Elder Law Attorney Can Help You Provide for Your Family for Years to Come

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 help you understand 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 draft incapacity and end of life documents for families who have a loved one 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 make your future more secure by protecting your income and assets. We represent seniors and disabled Floridians who need legal help with:

  • Estate Planning

    Nearly 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 Pension

    As 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 can qualify for benefits, they often do not initially meet the income assets tests that determine eligibility. This leaves many former servicemen and servicewomen unable to fully pay for their long term care costs. We can advise you on how to restructure your income and assets to ensure that you qualifiey for veteran’s aid when you need it most.
  • Irrevocable Trusts

    This 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 receive the contents of the trust at the seniors death.
  • Medicaid Benefits

    Many seniors will find themselves in a difficult position when it comes time to pay for long-term care. They require the care of a nursing home, but their income and assets prevent them from receiving government funding to pay for it. We will show you what Florida allows you to do to protect your assets while still maintaining 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.

Practice Areas

Estate Planning Estate Planning

Seniors are often unwilling to start their estate planning until the unthinkable happens—and by that time, many opportunities will have been lost. No matter whether you've just celebrated your fiftieth birthday or need to protect your spouse after a terminal diagnosis, attorney Walt Shurden can help you create an estate plan to minimize losses and retain access to Medicare and other benefits.

Understanding Your Medicaid Eligibility Understanding Your Medicaid Eligibility

Paying for a nursing home can often cause families to lose their savings, assets, and property. At Walt Shurden Elder Law, we help elderly Florida residents maintain their eligibility for Medicaid, allowing them to retain their wealth and assets while the government pays for their long-term medical care. No matter if you are a married couple, elderly single resident, or disabled senior, we can help you restructure your estate to qualify for Medicaid benefits.

Irrevocable Trust Planning Irrevocable Trust Planning

An irrevocable trust can offer many benefits, including reducing the amount of estate tax, providing for minor family members, making sure special needs dependents get the care they deserve, and protecting your assets from creditors. Attorney Walt Shurden explains the basics on these kinds of trusts to help Florida families plan their estates.

Veterans Aid Benefits Veterans Aid Benefits

It can be difficult to move into an assisted living facility, but trying to come up with the money for the costs of care is even harder. With Veterans' Aid and Attendance planning, former service members and their spouses may be able to get hundreds of dollars in extra income every month, greatly easing the financial pressures of paying for long-term care.

Benefits of Having an Elder Law Attorney Serve as Fiduciary Benefits of Having an Elder Law Attorney Serve as Fiduciary

At Walt Shurden Elder Law, we can create and administer your trust using our combined practices of estate planning and elder law. We can also serve as your estate executor, preventing your belongings from becoming the subject of family disputes and repel challenges to your wishes—and unlike family members, we cannot exploit any conflicts of interest for our own financial gain.