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Why You Need Legal Advice for Elder Law and Estate Planning

Everyone has their niche.

Financial advisors have a certain field of expertise, and most are very good at what they do. However, when it comes to elder law, Medicaid and estate planning, there is no substitute for sound legal advice.

Case study:

A retiree originally made an appointment with a law firm specializing in estate planning and elder law – but, a family friend was a financial advisor. He decided to work with his friend and canceled his appointment with the law firm.

The financial advisor/friend recommended that the client take a certain asset, surrender it and pay the tax. As a result, he surrendered a traditional IRA and paid a tax on the surrender, because it was before he died. The financial advisor then advised him to transfer the traditional IRA to his children.

This turned out to be a huge and costly mistake.

Three or four months later, when he needed nursing home care, he rescheduled the appointment with the law firm. At that point he discovered that he had made a big mistake. He had taken a protected asset (the traditional IRA) and unprotected it. They had placed the money into two separate annuities, which, eventually, will have to be returned to his estate.

They lost approximately $50,000.

It would have worked out much differently had they contacted the law firm first.

Vincent J. Russo & Associates, P.C. helped the family come up with an estate plan. Then they were able to use a portion of the money to pay for their father’s care while protecting the remaining assets.

Everybody has their area of expertise. Ideally, these individuals or groups can work in conjunction with each other. As opposed to saying, “Well, this one is my friend and I trust him.” Instead, go to someone with a solid reputation who is working within their field, like the experienced team of elder law attorneys at Vincent J. Russo & Associates, P.C.

Where will you go for sound legal advice, estate planning and Medicaid issues?

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