*Names of clients have been changed to maintain attorney-client confidentiality
(When Mom and/or Dad are in a Nursing Home or are About to Enter a Nursing Home) John and Jane Doe (Father and Mother-in-law), Janet Doe (Daughter)
John and Jane Doe had a home in Arkansas, a home in Illinois, and financial assets totaling $80,000. John Doe had been in the nursing home for around a month, and Jane and Janet Doe came to see The Dudeck Law Firm to try to protect John and Jane Doe’s assets, as their nursing home expenses were around $6,000 per month.
Multiple general practice attorneys in Arkansas, and even a few attorneys who claim to practice elder law in Arkansas, looked at the facts and circumstances of this case and said that it was impossible for John and Jane Doe to qualify for state benefits. The Dudeck Law Firm did strategic planning, set up an Asset Protection Trust to plan for the house and financial assets in Arkansas, and also coordinated strategic planning with an elder law attorney that we know in Illinois (The Dudeck Law Firm knows elder law attorneys in many of the continental United States).
By doing these things, The Dudeck Law Firm qualified John and Jane Doe for state benefits within three months, and they were able to protect the home in Illinois, the home in Arkansas, and most of their savings. Now, John Doe is living at the nursing home on state benefits, Jane Doe is living at home, and if Jane Doe goes in, then she will live at the nursing home on state benefits.
(Mom and Dad are Contemplating the Cost of Long-Term Care and Want to Protect ALL of their Assets) Billy and Betty Brown (Father and Mother)
Billy and Betty Brown had a home in Arkansas, a 160-acre farm in Arkansas, and financial assets totaling $1,200,000. They came in and The Dudeck Law Firm transferred everything into an Asset Protection Trust, they waited five years, and now everything is 100% protected from the costs associated with long-term care. Now, Billy Brown is going into the nursing home with state benefits paying for his stay, and all of the assets are protected from their creditors for both the Browns and their kids.
Veterans’ Aid & Attendance
(Using Veterans’ Benefits to Help Pay for the Expense of Long-Term Care) Joe Smith (Father)
Joe Smith, a widower and veteran in the Vietnam War, came to The Dudeck Law Firm to try to qualify for Veterans’ Aid & Attendance, a tax-free benefit that can help supplement income to cover long-term care costs. With the help of our firm, he transferred his home in Arkansas and his financial assets into an Asset Protection Trust. Four years later, Joe Smith went into an Assisted Living Facility and was able to pay for his stay there entirely with his income and Veterans’ Aid & Attendance Benefit. Furthermore, if Joe Smith goes into a nursing home a year or more from now, all of his assets in the Asset Protection Trust will be protected, with state benefits paying for his stay in the nursing home.
When a Failure to Plan is the Equivalent of Planning to Fail
(Philip Seymour Hoffman)
Philip Seymour Hoffman, the American actor, director, and producer, died at age 46 in 2014 with an estate valued at around $35 million. Hoffman created a Will in 2004 that left all of his estate to Mimi O’Donnell, his partner.
Unfortunately, the Will mentioned Hoffman’s son, but not his two daughters, who were born after 2004. Hoffman never updated his Will before he died, so his daughters have to fight in court to try to get an inheritance.
Furthermore, because Hoffman created a Will, rather than a trust with proper estate planning, he did not account for probate or the estate and gift tax, which cost his family over $12 million after he passed away.
Pablo Picasso, the famous artist, died at age 91 in 1973 with 45,000 works of art and an estate that would be valued today at $173 million. Picasso created many famous works of art in his lifetime but neglected to ever execute a Will.
Because he owed a great amount of taxes to France, Picasso’s estate handed over many of his paintings to the French government, which now form the bulk of the collection of the Musee Picasso in Paris. This made for the creation of a fine museum, as well as the creation of unhappy heirs who became entangled in lawsuits over who is the proper owner of the remaining works of art.
Joe Robbie, the first owner of the Miami Dolphins football team and an attorney, died in 1990 at the age of 73 with an estate valued at $100 million. Robbie had a pour-over Will and a Revocable Trust, but he made the mistake of not considering the estate and gift tax because most of his assets were illiquid. As a result, Robbie’s estate was forced to sell the Miami Dolphins football team at a fire sale to pay the taxes owed.