Over the course of the past four years, esteemed elder law attorney Shawn Weera has educated hundreds of Americans about Medicaid Estate Recovery through free workshops and seminars. Michigan law, however, has just changed with regards to how long-term care costs are going to be recoverable by the state government. Weera recently discussed the details of the new legislation and the profound impact it will have on families currently relying on Living Trusts or other planning tools that do not have asset protection features in them.
Shawn Weera began by explaining that with major losses in state tax revenue from individuals who are facing unemployment and foreclosure, the State of Michigan is seeking additional ways to fill that void. Several new bills, introduced by Senator Kahn of Saginaw, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, are dramatically changing the nature of estate recovery. The laws would convert Michigan to a lien state, subjecting the property of Medicaid beneficiaries to liens, remove most or all of the exclusions that were created by the 2007 estate recovery law, and eliminate the viability of ladybird deeds or any other planning tool. In laymen’s terms, Weera clarified that this means that the state government would have the power to possess the property of individuals in order to compensate long-term care expenses, even those who had been previously protected.
Another way Medicaid Estate Recovery is affecting Michigan residents is through the government acting as a remainder beneficiary of certain annuities, or special financial products that retirees use to create an additional stream of income or as an investment tool. For all of these established after February 8, 2006, the State of Michigan requires that it be named a remainder beneficiary before it will pay for any long-term care. As a result, the State’s remainder interest could be enforced to an amount equal to the Medicaid benefits provided. However, if the annuity has a community spouse, minor or disabled child named as its remainder beneficiary, then the State’s interest may be secondary.
Shawn Weera, JD, MFP is a nationally recognized asset protection expert and the President of the Law Offices of Shawn Weera. As a licensed elder law attorney in private practice for over a decade, he has been helping retirees preserve their estates through efficient and wise planning for over 15 years. Weera received his Bachelors Degree in Accounting from California State University, Los Angeles, and his Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Grand Rapids Bar Association, and the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys. Each month, Weera holds frequent free seminars in the greater Grand Rapids area, wherein he educates retirees about a wide range of elder law, Medicaid, Medicare, and estate planning issues affecting Michigan citizens.
On Why Medicaid Planning is Critical for Second Marriages: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/shawn-weera-explains-why-medicaid-121500912.html
On IRA Beneficiary Trusts: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/shawn-weera-discusses-ira-beneficiary-005200612.html