Written by attorney Evan H Farr

Using the Living Trust Plus for True Asset Protection

The revocable living trust is a very useful and popular estate planning tool, recommended by tens of thousands of attorneys across the U.S. and used as the central estate planning document by millions of Americans. The primary benefit of the revocable living trust is that assets properly funded into such a trust are protected from the expenses and complexities of probate. However, what most Americans don't realize is that assets in a revocable living trust are NOT protected from lawsuits or from the catastrophic expenses associated with nursing home long-term care.

The Living Trust Plus™ Asset Protection Trust protects your assets from lawsuits, auto accidents, creditor attacks, medical expenses, and -- most importantly for the 99% of Americans who are not among the ultra-wealthy -- from the catastrophic expenses often incurred in connection with nursing home care. For most Americans, the Living Trust Plus™ is the preferable form of asset protection trust because, for purposes of Medicaid eligibility, this type of trust is the only type of self-settled asset protection trust that allows a settlor to retain an interest in the trust while also protecting the assets from being counted by state Medicaid agencies.

Even though the Living Trust Plus™ is irrevocable, you retain a high degree of control over your trust assets because:

  • you can be the trustee if desired;
  • you have the right to receive all of the trust income;
  • you have the right to live in and use your real estate;
  • you have the right to change trustees; and
  • you have the right to change beneficiaries.

Additionally, as is the case with all non-charitable irrevocable trusts, the Living Trust Plus™ can be modified, or even terminated, upon the agreement of all "interested parties" -- which are typically the trust creator, the trustee, and all trust beneficiaries.

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