How can we avoid losing our savings?

When I hear this question, my mind immediately goes to the issue of, is this client asking me about financial savings or their larger set of assets? For example, when someone says savings, we typically think of a rainy-day fund or a checking account. But, for the experienced attorneys of the Law Group of Iowa, we hear a question about savings and immediately, an entire world of questions and strategies emerge.

For example, are you just concerned about losing the savings in your bank account because of an imminent medical issue? Are you concerned about paying for long term care? Is your home in jeopardy of foreclosure by the Department of Human Services? There are a lot of reasons you may lose your savings.

Elder law attorneys tend to view the intent of protecting savings as part of a larger strategy to protect your assets and income. What do we mean by that? The government has the ability to tax, remove, and liquidate much of your possessions. Our goal as elder law attorneys is to limit the government’s ability to take your savings, like money and property. We also want to protect it from creditors and others that may try to take what is yours.

How do we do protect savings and assets? We follow complex legal guidelines, statutes, and regulations at both the federal and state levels to create a wall of protection around what you have worked your whole life for these last five or six decades. We start by doing an inventory with you; and dive deeply into your savings, retirement accounts, real estate holdings, insurance coverage, and other things of value. Why do we do so much digging? Because we can only help protect what we are aware of at the time of our estate planning.

When you think of your savings, think broadly. Your savings include your home, your 401k, your IRA, your car, your business, and other things of value. That’s really what clients should be asking themselves—what in my life has value and what do I want to protect? For example, you may have a home, but it is considered an excluded asset under the Medicaid provisions in Iowa. Therefore, do you need to protect it from Iowa’s infamous estate recovery program? You bet! That’s because after you pass away, if you received ANY Medicaid benefits, the state can force a sale of your property and their goes the place where you celebrated every Christmas and Thanksgiving. We will work hard to protect what you worked hard to create. Why do we work so hard? We work hard because we are there with you, working in the community, planting trees, going to church, and participating at local functions. We want you to be proud to work with us—just as much as we are proud to work for you.

To answer the question of how to protect your savings—call the Law Group of Iowa. We work hard to help every client achieve their life planning and long-term goals.