Trusts became the main topic of interest at the April 25th Nieuw Amersfort Community Association (NACA) meeting in the basement of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 3913 Avenue J.
“Trusts and wills are coming up a lot for most of us here,” NACA president Steve Yamin said of his membership consisting of mainly older homeowners in the area. “I call it, ‘getting your ducks in order.’”
Yamin tried to get an expert estate and elder law attorney he knows and uses as guest speaker but that person has been too busy to attend the meetings. Instead, Yamin led a discussion around a newspaper clipping, “Trusts Create Order Out of Chaos,” put out by a law firm, to get the conversation going about what people need to think about in the case of disability, contested wills, lawsuits and other legal complications such as lengthy probate court proceedings that can arise without one.
“It’s very important, if you own a home or any kind of property to get a trust done,” Yamin said of the need to create a five-year setback plan to protect home and life savings in the case of disability and the resulting costs of in-home or nursing home care.
This was referred to in the article as a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (MAPT). It’s a type of irrevocable trust in which you must transfer your assets at least five years before you enter a nursing home to be exempt from government evaluation of your finances for Medicaid.
NACA treasurer Gilbert McLean emphasized the importance of getting an irrevocable and not a revocable trust, explaining the differences between them. Corresponding Secretary Elaine Bhola raised many concerns members might have about legal and monetary complications concerning a trust.
“This is just an overview and you must speak to the attorney one-on-one,” said another homeowner who has one. “It’s like going to your doctor when you have a procedure and asking questions.”
Yamin has arranged for members to get a free consultation valued at $250 with an elder law attorney when they show their NACA membership card.