Gifts, Trusts and Nursing Homes

What do gifts, trusts, and nursing homes have to do with each other?  They were all on the agenda at the April 29, 2014 NY Metropolitan Elder Law Institute, which I had the privilege to attend.  It took place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, at the lower tip of Manhattan.  

The expert panelists explained that with historically low estate taxes and rising income taxes, that now is a good time to consider making lifetime gifts, including giving using trusts rather than giving directly.  Here are some advantages from giving using a trust:  it avoids foolish dissipation of wealth (the “lottery effect”), it avoids a sense of entitlement, and it permits income tax planning.

According to the presenters, a nursing home will be the destination of fifty percent of Americans now living.  Seventy percent of Americans are expected to need long term care.  Presently, there are three ways to pay for this: private pay, long term care insurance, medicaid.  This should be factored into planning. #