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Retirement Planning and Asset Protection for your Family

Are you ready to retire? 

At the Estate Planning and Asset Protection Law Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates, we help individuals and families with advanced tax, retirement and estate planning to protect their life savings, reduce estate taxes and avoid probate to ensure a greater legacy for their children and grandchildren. For additional education, watch our interview for “Leading Experts”, a national financial talk show discuss tax, retirement and estate planning.

Estate and Retirement Planning

If you’re concerned that you haven’t done enough to plan for a comfortable retirement, you are in good company.  According to the 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey as reported recently in the San Francisco Chronicle, more than a quarter of all Americans say they have less than $1,000 in retirement savings, and less tha half of us have even tried to calculate how much money we will need to have saved.  But these are issues mosr famlies have at least begun to think about.

There are other serious concerns, however, that many people overlook:

Knowing How You Will Care for Aging Parents.  To many forget that, as we age, our parents age as well.  Their health needs can impact your lifestyle – both in terms of time and budget.  You can learn more about these important elder care issues and how you can help your family reduce the high cost of aging on our website.

Knowing What Happens With Your Estate.  Making plans for your estate is a part of responsible retirement planning.  There also are steps you should take now to ensure your wishes are carried out in the event of your own incapacity. Again, you can visit our website and subscribe to our free monthly newsletter to stay abreast with any changes that could affect your retirement and estate planning.

In addition to planning to avoid probate and costly court proceedings for your loved ones after you are gone, you can take steps now to know that your home and your family will be protected from nursing home poverty.

If you’ve been following our blog, you may already know that the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 included provisions that Federal officials say discourages certain “Medicaid Planning” strategies.  Most states, including Massachusetts, have already implemented the law, which makes it increasingly difficult to protect yourself, your family and your legacy.  Learn how to avoid nursing home poverty by watching videos from Dennis’ appearance on a national talk show.

The key provision of the law, designed to save the Medicaid system $3.9 billion from 2006 through 2015, changes the “look back” period from three years to five years in calculating Medicaid eligibility.  If a Medicaid applicant gives away property or money during the “look back” period, the amount is figured into a formula that dictates how long the applicant will be ineligible for Medicaid coverage.  the law also stipulates that the penalty period does not begin until a person is already a nursing home resident and has spent almost all of their assets.

Massachusetts is already enforcing the five-year look-back period and it can be triggered by more transfers than you think!  If you, or a loved one, are concerned about Medicaid Planning and the possible look-back penalty, please do not just “guess” about your situation.  This is a complex area of elder law, and we encourage you to consult with qualified legal counsel.  If you have questions and would like to have them answered in person, you are welcome to attend an upcoming Trust, Estate and Asset Protection Workshop.  You can register online, or by calling 800-964-4295.