The VA Improved Pension was established to assist veterans, their spouses, widows and widowers. It was designed to assure a level of income above the minimum subsistence level, allowing veterans and their survivors to live out their lives in dignity and afford basic necessities.
What We Can Offer that Other Advisors Cannot
There are many advantages to hiring an attorney for VA pension planning. They are qualified in many ways where other advisors are not. A VA planning attorney takes a comprehensive approach, ensuring the client is protected, not just their money. Below are just some ways an attorney is the best advisor for VA pension planning.
A VA Planning Attorney:
- Is legally obligated to act in the best interest of the client
- Must be knowledgeable of the current IRA rules and regulations
- Must be knowledgeable of the current types of trust and trust laws, and knows when and how to move money appropriately
- Must be knowledgeable of the income, estate and gift tax implications for transferring assets
- Can draft the appropriate trust when needed to allow an applicant to meet the asset requirements
- Can prepare real estate documents to allow an applicant to meet the asset qualifications
- Can prepare a Medicaid compliant caregiver agreement to allow an applicant to meet the income requirements
- Is not looking to make a commission; but is looking for long-term clients that they can assist throughout their lives
- Cannot give a finder’s fee to a referral, but can give you peace of mind and confidence that your needs will be covered
Qualified Attorneys Take a Holistic Approach
A qualified, reputable attorney uses a holistic approach. They are not just providing pension planning; they are looking at all aspects of a client’s financial picture, ensuring that the decisions made protect the client’s well-being, estate and family. They take into consideration all of the varied components of a client’s entire financial landscape, including:
- Impact on Medicaid and Medicare qualification
- Income tax issues
- Inheritance tax issues
- Gift tax issues
- Powers of Attorney
- Health care advance directives
- Living wills
- Family dynamics
- Elder abuse
Remember, the decisions that are made in regards to financial planning are some of the most important decisions a person makes in their lifetime. These decisions have a significant impact on the quality of care an individual receives, as well as the financial picture of their family. Some decisions may be based solely on finance, while others may be based more on meeting emotional needs. It is a balance that a good elder law attorney is accustomed to managing. There are many instances when a financial planner or insurance agent is completely appropriate, but when it comes to VA pension planning, estate planning, and elder care planning, an attorney is the most knowledgeable option for managing the complexities associated with qualifying for the VA Improved pension and protecting the client from financial hardships in other areas. A reputable VA pension planning attorney will want to work with an experienced and knowledgeable financial planner to provide comprehensive planning.
At Idaho Estate Planning we understand how to maximize the benefit or avoid a denial. We can also provide guidance for meeting the asset test. We provide the best strategies for reallocating assets through trusts or income conversions to allow for the best possible accommodation of assets for beneficiaries thus avoiding or reducing: taxes; family disputes; and, Medicaid penalties.
We are VA Accredited and we know how to help you get the benefits you earned through your greatly appreciated service to our country. To secure your peace of mind as well as your family's future, get started now. Remember, good planning is no accident.