I Have Fallen and Need Some Help

How to Protect Assets and Still Use Medicaid Benefits

May 09, 2023 Erin Thompson
I Have Fallen and Need Some Help
How to Protect Assets and Still Use Medicaid Benefits
Show Notes Transcript

I have always wanted to know more about how to protect assets and still be able to qualify for Medicaid benefits, in this episode, I realize it is possible for all of us!

Sayge Grubbs is an Elder Law attorney that is on a mission to improve the lives of our elderly population. Not only does he help protect assets and qualify clients for Medicaid benefits, he has also created Seniorsindex.com for Alabama residents to access necessary information quickly.

I am so honored to be able to interview a lawyer and gain so much knowledge and insight to share with everyone who asks.

Main take-a-ways:

1. Prepare early
2. There is a trust available that will protect assets from Medicaid. Sage Legacy Counsel is a firm that specializes in this type of trust.
3. Not all trusts are created equal. Know what kind of trust you want.
4. The cost for a trust should be $1500+. If you are ever around people who are claiming they can create a trust for you for less than $1000 be very critical about their legitimacy.
5.Having a trust will avoid probate. That means peace for your family after your passing.

The event Sayge Grubbs is hosting is the 3rd Annual Successful Aging Bootcamp in Montgomery, Alabama. The event will be held at Vaughn Forest Church May 19, 2023 and starts at 10am and ends at 3pm.. This event will have CEU's for social workers and nurses. All proceeds will be donated to a local charity delivering meals on wheels.

You can go to seniorsindex.com to register for the event. 

I am a presenter, and I am excited to talk about: How to have "The Talk"  with our Elderly Loved Ones and What to Expect."

You can connect with me at www.aspireformorewitherin.com

You can join my email list here.

You can schedule a call for us to connect about your caregiving journey here.

I'm so excited too. Be able to get this podcast episode out for you to listen to. I, um, interviewed Sayge Grubbs an elder law attorney from Montgomery, Alabama. I met him through this whole digital world, and it's just fascinating to see how networking can grow just by finding people that are connected and making the world a better place for our seniors. For our elderly loved ones. Sayge Grubbs is a university of Alabama law school graduate and is the founder of Sage legacy counsel and estate planning law firm, where he focuses on asset protection and other estate planning needs. His passion for serving his community came from his childhood. Working in the funeral home, his family operated and later working with his father attorney Norman Grubbs while in law school. Through Sage's work at the Sage legacy council. He recognized a need for more factual information, easily accessible to his clients and others in the state of Alabama. And therefore senior's index.com was born. Seniors index.com is a network of vetted and caring senior care providers that share the same belief that families and caregivers need factual information available in one place and easily accessible. Hope you enjoy the episode.

Erin Thompson:

Thank you so much Sayge for being here today. I appreciate your time and I'm honored that I am able to speak at your event coming up and an honor and be a part of your Seniors Index program that you have going on. So I want you to take it away and tell us everything about the event and about Seniors Index as well. Well, thank you

Sayge Grubbs:

and thank you for being one of our key speakers. We are here in the river region in Montgomery, and in this area there is an organization called MACOA. And so this event is going to help donate some funds to their Meals on Wheels program, which takes meals to seniors that are in need. And I mean, they deliver a lot of meals on a weekly basis, like Monday through Friday. So we annually partner. With them to do an event, and it kind of slowed down during Covid. But the event is called The Successful Aging Bootcamp, and it's May 19th. It's from 10 to three at Vaun Forest Church. And the whole goal and objective of the Successful Aging Bootcamp is to allow, I would say, not only family caregivers, but that sandwich generation. They can come get answers. So one of the things that I've noticed just from my law practice being an a, an elder law attorney, is that people can get what I say lost in the rabbit hole when they get on Google or when they start talking to other family members. Or friends about their options for their parents or their loved ones, you know, or their spouse when it comes to home care or going into a facility, whether it's a, even an independent facility or an assisted living, or any of those types of facilities. It can just get confusing because the laws change from state state and, and things are just different. So what might have worked for your aunt in Michigan or Florida is not gonna work in Alabama. And so, you know, at this event we're going to shed light on what does work here in the state of Alabama and we're gonna shed light on how to actually, or I should say not we, but you we're gonna shed light on actually how to have that talk with people. And, you know, their loved ones about how to actually, navigate this aging process. And I'm excited because I think we have a, a good group of people that are going to be on the expert panel at the end, answer a lot of questions. We have a lady that's going to speak in the beginning named Angela Boyd, and she's going to discuss Medicare and all the different options there. Of course, I will do a talk. On asset protection and how to protect your loved ones assets so they don't go broke in the nursing home. And I think, you know, we're gonna raise a lot of money. We're gonna have a lot of fun, and it's gonna be a great event. I mean, seriously, if you have someone who's already receiving home care, or if you have someone that is in a facility already, you know, to me this is a. Not miss type of event, like there's nowhere else can you go and get this group of people and these types of experts all in the same room to answer your

Erin Thompson:

questions. Yeah, it sounds pretty powerful. And, I get to talk about my grandmother's story and how we would go through every phase of the in-home caregiving, to moving into assisted living, even a respite stay. And then also my ability to coach the thousands of family members throughout my career, whether or not they moved in my community or not, but problem solving. Their current situation. So yeah, it's exciting and quite an honor and to be able to learn from the expert panels and of course asset protection being a lot of what we wanna talk about today, because there's so many questions that I have about it that I've also seen in my experience as well. And I have a lot of parents, in that generation where, My parents are divorced and remarried. My husband's parents are divorced and remarried, and I have a lot of parents. And so actually getting the questions about trust and asset protection is important because I want what's best for them. And when you want what's best for your loved one, you can help everybody else, which is really exciting. So, I'm excited about that. Again, it's May 19th and it's at Vaughn Forest Church.

Sayge Grubbs:

in Montgomery, Alabama, and it's sponsored by seniors index.com and I created and founded Seniors Index, mainly because my clients, I was tired of. Talking with them and seeing them go down that rabbit hole on Google and other searches that they do, trying to figure out what's what and, and you know who to talk to, who's reliable, who's this and that. So, you know, I said, how can I help lessen the stress of my clients? Which turned into me saying, how can I help lessen the stress? Of people that are going through this aging process and have family members that they're trying to help. Right? So by lessening the stress, the easiest thing to do is information. Yes. You know, the correct information, the right information, vetted, curated information that state specific. I had a person say, well, you know, that website's going to be full of advertorials. And I said, well, if someone is just putting advertorials on there, then they really won't get any business because no one's going to just read something that just says, use me, use me, use me, use me. Right? So we try to make sure that everything on the site, Has some good information and education that you can use. That's state specific here for the state of Alabama, and it's free. So for the public it's 100% free, you know, to join, to get on there to become part of the community. There's, uh, dashboards on there, so if you just have a question or topic you'd like to discuss in senior care, you can put it on dashboard. People will come in and answer you. And, you know, in order to register for the event, you just have to get on seniors index com. And click on the button. So seniors index.com is helping put this event on because we at Senior Index really believe that it's very important for people to get the right information, to get educated. On these topics and you know, actually hear it from experts, people that are in the industry that are doing this on a daily basis, helping family members solve these problems and these issues, right? So with that being said, you can click on the very top where it says RSVP Bootcamp. So if you go to seniors index.com, you just click on that button, RSVP bootcamp, and then a page will pop up. And it'll say, you know, fill out this form and hit submit. You just fill that out. RSVP. We only have a certain number of spots available and for everyone that's coming, we're just asking that you donate$15 to hear all this good information. You'll get a swag bag from all the people that are there and all the experts, but we're just asking you to donate$15 to help us go ahead and, build some, what I would say, Good vibes for MACOA and all the meals on wheels that they're serving, Monday through Friday, every week here in the, in the river

Erin Thompson:

region. It's nice to partner with people who have a heart to serve. You know, I mean, we all are in a business. We have to make money, but really, ultimately it's a business to serve people, and this is a great way of doing that with seniors index.com, and then also events like this. To just educate, empower, and equip family members and residents or elderly people themselves on how to make the best choices for themselves to really just define success for them at every stage of the caregiving journey or you know, your life's journey. So that is very inspiring. It's nice to see a lawyer do a good thing. You know what I mean? Let it go sa let

Sayge Grubbs:

it go. Thank you. Thank you. Yes. Hey, we're not, we're not all out chasing ambulances.

Erin Thompson:

That's good. That's important. That's important to note. And for me, it's important to be able to focus in on the state of Alabama, which for my entire career I haven't been able to do so. Um, I've worked for larger companies and so it's really nice just to be able to, to speak to people in Alabama, and to, you know, equip them with strategies to help them be successful throughout their journey. So that's exciting. Again, May 19th, and you can go to seniors index.com to register. So I wanna get into the nuts and bolts of Sage Legacy Council and Asset Protection because there's a lot of people that ask questions and of course I can't answer those questions. And like I said, I have parents who are, Looking at protecting their assets for the future. And I have had people question me, how do I protect my loved one's assets? and when we're looking at Medicaid and how they look back five years and all of the, the hoops that people have to go through to even get Medicaid, and I want you to explain to us how you advise people to do that. Number one. We'll start there. And then what are some of the red flags to look for And To me, an average cost of what something they can trust can be. So those are our three questions, but we'll start with number one, how do you protect assets? How do you do that? Well, you gotta use

Sayge Grubbs:

the right type of trust. Okay? I tell people all the time, there's three types of planning you can do. You can do no planning, which is. What majority of Americans have you can do will planning, which is the most popular, or you can do trust planning. Trust planning is the only planning that can actually help you protect your assets as far as the state planning is concerned. Now, when we say trust planning, they're three different types of trust. So, you know, everything comes in threes, right? Mm-hmm. Um, you got three types of plans, three types of trust. You've got a revocable living trust, which helps you skip probate. It allows you to be the owner of the trust. You can be the manager, or what we like to call the trustee of the trust. And you can benefit the trust, which is everybody's favorite position, because the person that benefits is a person that can actually receive the money or the house, home, whatever's. In the trust, right? So in that type of trust or a living trust, you get all the benefits, but asset protection. So then people came along and they said, well, we want asset protection, and they created a irrevocable trust. That'd be the second type of trust. Now, the irrevocable trust, within and of itself allows you to skip probate, allows you to protect your assets, and you own the trust. What we like to say. The problem though, a lot of times is that you aren't the trustee or the manager of the trust, meaning you cannot do anything with the stuff that's actually in it. Once you put it in there, it's there and it's done. Also, you can't benefit from it, so you can't take anything out and give it to yourself. So for a long time, that was the main way that people did asset protection. I happen to have joined an association where we have kind of a hybrid of those two trusts, which is why I say there's three types of trust. It's

a

Sayge Grubbs:

irrevocable trust, and we use it for asset protection planning. But because it's a special type of trust, it allows the person to still be their own manager or trustee, which is huge because that means if you put your house in there, well you're still in charge of your house, right? And the other one, the irrevocable one, where you can't be in charge or the trustee if you put your house in there, well, you're not in charge of your own house anymore. You know what I mean? Your trustee is, so if they wanna sell it or do something, there's nothing you can do about it. Also, in the third type, which is kind of a hybrid, You can actually be a beneficiary. So not only do you get the asset protection from Medicaid or a creditor or credit or lawsuit, but you get to be in charge and you can actually receive money and things like that outta the trust. And the funny thing about using a trust is something that we call Medicaid freeze that I don't think people will understand or take advantage of. So for instance, because Medicaid looks back five years, Let's say you put a hundred thousand dollars in the trust, right? Well, all Medicaid seizes during that five year period is a hundred thousand dollars. Now, if that hundred thousand dollars is one of these, you know, unicorn cryptos or something, and it doubles within five years, and it's now at 200,000, well they can't see that growth. They can't see that hundred thousand dollars growth. Your amount that they can see is frozen at that hundred thousand that you originally put in. So that's another reason why trust is so important when it comes to this type of planning and when we're doing Medicaid planning or long-term care planning for, you know, facilities, whether even if it's assisted living and someone's a veteran. And they're trying to get what's called VA eight in attendance. Mm-hmm. That still has a look back. It's got a three year look back. So we still use trust planning for that same type of trust, same type of deal, different rules than Medicaid. But you know, just as important. And when we're doing that type of planning, you know, you can either do pre-planning or you can do crisis planning. Pre-planning is everybody's healthy, everybody's okay. You know, uh, maybe someone's went to the hospital, but you know, you haven't signed up for a home caregiver to come in. Things of that nature. That is all pre-planning. Crisis planning is when you are sitting in the assisted living or as you know, you're sitting in rehab and they tell you, you got 21 days and it's day 19, and they're like, And they're like, Hey, you are about to go to the skilled nursing facility. Okay? Mm-hmm. That is crisis planning. Now, in both types of planning, you know, that's kind of what we focus on. We focus on the pre-planning and the crisis planning, but in both types of planning, you can save a lot of assets. Like our goal is to make sure that that person had a will. That it's followed and that those people can still receive that stuff through our trust planning, right? And that that stuff doesn't get liquidated and eaten up. Now, sometimes the best thing to do is to liquidate some stuff, but if, as I tell people, if I liquidate something and I get a hundred thousand dollars and I don't have any plan at all, well, until I spend$98,000 of that, I don't qualify for Medicaid, right? Correct. Now, this person wanted to give that, let's say, to their two kids, well now I've got a hundred thousand dollars and I wanted to give it to my two kids. I don't have a plan. I've gotta spend 98,000 before I qualify for Medicaid. So my kids aren't going to get anything if you do pre-planning in that same scenario. You may possibly be able to save a whole hundred thousand and qualify for Medicaid if you do crisis planning. In that scenario, you may still be able to save like 60,000 and still qualify for Medicaid. So the timing of when someone plans is key, yet it's better to plan than to not plan at

Erin Thompson:

all. Yeah, I mean, A, a trust completely. Negate probate altogether, which is worth having a trust, I would say, for the people. Yes. On the other side, it's worth having a trust just to not have to go through probate because there's a lot of things that people don't realize when you have to go through that process, that can really hinder you from forward progress on anything that you wanna do. Number two, I mean, pre-planning is important, especially if there are assets. Involved and if there are, if they are a veteran, because yes, Aiden attendance is available to people who have spent 90 days in active duty with at least one day being wartime for their healthcare needs. But there is that three year lookback that five years ago was not there. So That's right. If, if they earned it. This pre-planning is very important. Because now they can get the pension that they rightfully earned. Um, and it's just if you love your, your, your people, this is just the most peaceful way to set them up. Yeah. At a very, sad and traumatic time for them, you know. So would you suggest like around 65, I mean, of course we never know, right? And this is the perfect case scenario would be. If you're gonna live to 85. Right. Which I know it's all based, I guess, on the amount of assets that you have and the different kinds of things. Yeah. Like I'm asking a real simple question here. Um, that is very complicated. But if you were a person with a$100,000, let's just say all you had was a$100,000 in liquid cash and maybe a house, right? Nothing fancy, no LLCs, nothing like that. I mean, when you're looking at Medicare and all that other kind of stuff, would you say that that's a perfect time to start the process? Yeah,

Sayge Grubbs:

that's, that's the exact time to start it. Cause you're healthy and you can save the most and put the best plan in place because you're healthy. You know, one of the ways to pay is long-term care and people are like, well I don't want long-term care insurance cause it costs too much. Mm-hmm. Yet it's better to pay. I tell people to pay$600 a month now than to pay$6,500 a month later. You know, and I'm just using that as example. I don't know how much, you know, cause it's individual based. A person's long term care may cost, but people believe it to be very expensive on the other hand. If you don't have long-term care and you don't have a plan, then the likelihood of you going broke, or, you know, even if, if your spouse goes in the facility, the likelihood of the family going broke is very, very, very high. Mm-hmm. So the earlier someone plans the better. And then also when you plan, it gives you that peace of mind. Because if you use a firm like ours, which is, you know, this is all we focus on. You'll be able to say, Hey, this just happened. What's my plan when this happens? Mm-hmm. You know, Hey, this person just went here in this type of facility. What's my plan when this person, goes in this type of facility? So, you know, it, it's, it's always better to have a roadmap Yes. And a plan to get your destination than it is to just show up and file paperwork saying, Hey, Medicaid. Here I am. Do with me what you please. Yes.

Erin Thompson:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And most people wanna protect their assets from Medicaid. And I know that sound, I feel like that just feels like, I shouldn't say that out loud, but it is true. Like they want to be able to protect it. And so you have, you specifically have avenues to make that happen that maybe other people in your field do not have, which is very special because. And you can go to other states, you know, yes, you can work with other, lawyers within different states. I mean, that to me is when you're looking at points of differences and what, what you really want. If you can define success, I want to make sure that I get Medicaid, I get my rights, and I also protect my assets in a very safe and legal way. Not every lawyer is set up to do that. Is that what you were saying? If I understand it correctly? Yes.

Sayge Grubbs:

And, and I wanna add to that, and this is a story that I love to tell. Cause this is one my, uh, I have a lot of favorite clients, but this is one of my, cause this, the guy was in California, his parents were here in Alabama. And he has done, I would say, zoom calls with me to explain this program that I started cause of him. And so, you know, he'll be the first to ring the bell. Mm-hmm. I'm still not gonna say his name. He'll, he'll be the first to ring the bell. But the thing is, when he came home, you know, cause people can decline so rapidly, when he came home to visit his parents, one parent was in the assisted living and the other one was going in and outta the hospital. So he was worried about his mom. Not his mom, his dad that was in the assisted living, less worried about his mom because at least she was going in the hospital. But then she'd come home. So he came home for a couple of weeks, and when I say home, he just came back to visit his parents to help get their affairs in order, and he thought everything was fine. He goes back to California, receives a phone call that suddenly dance in the nursing home. And now mom's going into an assisted living and you know, his head and his mind space at that point was like, wait a minute. I was just there like two, three weeks ago. And the only option you know, that the nursing home was giving him to get on Medicaid was to sign over in his words, sign over the house to Medicaid. In other words, let Medicaid put a Medicaid lien on it. Parents didn't have much else, but he knew they paid their house off and it was worth about 110,$120,000. So that just did not sit right with him. Okay. He talked to some attorneys and you know, a lot of times when you're talking about doing Medicaid planning, uh, we use what's called the regional devisor. And we say that's gonna be the minimum amount it's going to cost to do a Medicaid case at a law firm. Right. And depending on what all you're trying to do, we multiply that regional advisor, uh, by two by one, I mean, not by one, by two or two and a half, right? So an attorney was like, that. He talked to, was like, well, your parents don't have the money to do the spend down, so you know, the lien just has to go in the house. Another attorney talked to, same thing. Are you a, they asked him, are you gonna pay for it? Mm-hmm. And he's like, well, why should I have to pay for it? You know? He was like, we're trying to get our parents on. It's my understanding that they have to pay for it. And so basically he's hitting his head on wall. A realtor who I'd done some stuff for, got him to me and I said, it's a shame that they have this house. And they paid it off. And the family's going to lose his house. So I started a program that I call the Medicaid Quick Sale Program. And so what we did, you know, he was out in California, I was here in Alabama. But thankfully, due to the type of law I practice, I've dealt with a lot of asset protection for real estate investors. So I put that house on a list as soon as his, uh, Dad went into the nursing home. You know, he had to be in there for 30 days before we could actually apply him, right? And so we got that house sold within the 30 days. We were able to actually get the family a inheritance and for it to go exactly the way the mom and dad had left it in their wheel. And we also paid for a prepaid. We did two funeral trusts, so we prepaid for two funerals with funeral trusts. And when we did the math, uh, it was amazing that when we signed everything, got everything done. His mom passed away the day after she signed everything. Wow. And we were like, it was almost as if she was holding on to make sure that her house was going to go to her children, you know? Yeah. Cause she had to sign the de, she had to sign the deed and everything. Yeah. That's amazing. For the closing. And the closing attorney was like calling me frantic and she was like, Hey, what time did the lady pass away? Cause we gotta make sure that, uh, This, this clothes is legit. And I was like, yeah, it's legit. Like she passed away, you know, about 36 hours after she signed the, the documents. Cause I had to mail the documents and everything. And I was sitting there and we were doing the math. I was doing the math with him and he said, Sarge, when we do the math, the house sold for about 80 grand. He said, we were able to put about 40 grand in our pocket. Plus we paid for two funerals, so that was eight grand and eight grand. Plus he was able to get reimbursed for stuff. I was able to, uh, work it out for him to get reimbursed for like the washer and dryer and all the stuff he bought for his pants when he came down the first time. So he put all that money back in his pocket or in the family's pocket so they could split it up and. He wasn't out of pocket for coming, going, any of that. Mm-hmm. And he said, you know, we still pay the nursing home about three months or four months before they qualified, but they, they had basically used like 70% of the assets. The way that he said his mom and dad would've wanted it done. Mm-hmm. Even though they didn't have the house, they still got the inheritance from it. Mm-hmm. Which, if you look at what would've happened if we hadn't done the Medicaid quick sale program, house would've went into Medicaid, mom would've passed away. They'd have been$8,000 out of pocket. Uh, for the funeral. So, and he said, and then when dad passes, that'd be another eight grand. Plus he would've been outta pocket for the stuff he'd bought for the house and everything. So he was like, you know, we went from 70% positive, uh, when it was supposed to be like a 20 plus grand negative, you know, and that's amazing. And it was just sad me that a lot of attorneys look at Medicaid planning. That way to where when someone like that walks in and they're like, we just really have a house. Um, you know, they just go, well, you don't have any, any money to, uh, to protect, you know? Um, but yeah, so that's a, I'm, I'm proud of that program we like to do. Mm-hmm. And, you know, it's easy for the people cause we get paid at the closing. So our legal fees are paid at the closing. So it's like I'm putting myself out there and taking a risk by saying, Hey, I'm not a realtor, but I know plenty of them. I know plenty of investors and, and we're gonna help you get this household before we have to actually put it on the Medicaid application and get Medicaid's permission.

Erin Thompson:

Yeah, I mean, that's an amazing story. You can take so much from that story. A pre-planning would've saved a lot of anxiety, period. Yes. Um, B, you can never, ever depend on one parent to be healthy if the other parent is sick, because that doesn't always stay that way. And C, you have to find the right person to help you because there's a lot of people that just judge a book by its cover. And when you find somebody who is willing to get in the trenches with you, that's valuable. And then you have a story to tell. That will get you more people because you do care. I mean, that is a story, that's a point of difference that I will say, if you want somebody in the trenches with you, then Sayge from Sage Legacy Council is, is that a person? Because that is an amazing story. Um, that's why we do what we do. It's not about the money you have to get paid, right? Sure, yeah. Yeah. We have to

Sayge Grubbs:

get paid. Yeah, I got, but I got, look, I'm a girl dad, so I got four weddings to pay for. At some point

Erin Thompson:

y'all, he's got four girls. That's great. That's great, that's great. But you want to give your money to somebody who's willing to. To invest in you. Like I want to give my money to somebody who wants to do the right thing for me. And just because it's the right thing and because you're passionate about it, like that is so critical. I was

Sayge Grubbs:

gonna, yeah, I was gonna say, it's funny you say that because we do a lot of educational events or, or at least I'm asked to come and speak at different educational events, and sometimes we'll talk about a trust and people will come in. And, uh, you know, my wife's a financial advisor and so sometimes they'll come in, they'll be meeting with her, uh, cause maybe she spoke and then all of a sudden they're in my office and then they get mad at me. Cause I say, okay, for, you're trying to, for don't need. And as, as, as, as if she's my manager or my boss. Like it is almost like they're like, well, lemme talk to your supervisor. You know what I mean? So it's like, where's your supervisor? They'll go back to her office and be like, uh, tell your husband to sell me this trust. You know what I mean? And you know, she'll say, well, he's not gonna sell you. Anything he's going to, you know, help you get the best plan, uh, that you want and that you need. And, you know, I'm not, and that's that. I mean, that's about. If you don't need a trust, you know? I mean it just, it

Erin Thompson:

just is what it's. But the reason to get a trust is to avoid probate at all costs. And for the most part, that's worth it. If you have the money that is worth it and you want to provide a peaceful experience for your loved ones, a trust for just that reason is worth it. Um, but if you want to protect more protection, You will have to go to a specific lawyer like Sayge from Sage Legacy Council or find somebody that can do that particular type of trust that he's referring to. So we had

Sayge Grubbs:

talked, this is Asset Protection trust, asset Protect, asset protection trust. And you gotta remember, all asset protection trusts are not created equal. You would look what the type of trust you want to look for. Is a asset protection trust that allows you to actually be the trustee. Meaning that you don't have to pay your CPA or the attorney that drafted it, you know, or your cousin or someone else to actually be the trustee. That's if you were just looking for what I would call. Asset protection that's gonna protect your stuff from Medicaid lawsuits, things of that nature. Now there are other asset protection trusts that are a lot more cumbersome and a lot more advanced. Uh, but for, I would say as we like to say, the 99% the regular asset protection trust, that allows you to be the trustee, which is a special type of asset protection trust. But it will work wonders. Uh, you know, I've got clients that have those that are surgeons. I've got clients that have those that are farmers. Um, retired athletes. So, you know, it works across the board, uh, from the little old lady that just wants protect her, her one house and her$10,000 to, you know, the guy that's got a Rose Royce in the, in the driveway.

Erin Thompson:

So, yeah. Yeah. So it's important. If somebody says that you can't do that, you have to know that you can. Yes. You just have to find the right person. Yes. Um, and so just to end the podcast in a way, you and I were speaking earlier about some red flags, and I think it's important because there are a lot of scammers out there and is specifically, um, who want to target asset planning and also just seniors in general. So the lowest, let's just say you're going to a lawyer who, who specializes in asset. Protection like this, what would be the range that you can feel comfortable? That I could feel comfortable in knowing that my end result is what I want it to be. Whether or not it's the special kind of trust that we're talking about, or if it's just the revocable trust or the irrevocable trust. You know, is the range like 1500 or if you buy something for$299, that is something that we should be thinking about.

Sayge Grubbs:

Yeah, so there's a difference between just having a document and actually having a plan, right? Mm-hmm. So if you just have a document, it may not fit into anything else you have going on, and. Sadly, probably the person that sold it to you hasn't truly explained to you how to use it, how to actually do what we call funding when we're talking about a trust, which that's the process of actually putting stuff in the trust so that the trust owns it, right? Because if you don't fund the trust And there's nothing in it, then it's basically like a pen with no ink, you know? Yes. so you gotta put the ink in the pen now. what I would say anywhere from a, if you're just talking about a standalone trust or, or a complete plan, you can get a simple standalone trust, you know, easily for probably, I would say around$2,000. Well, that's not an asset protection trust, you know, um, a full plan estate plan. That I would trust would probably start around$3,500. Okay. Now, when we talk asset protection, of course the amount goes up because of the benefits. you know, cause you can get asset protection at both levels. So for instance, an asset protection trust, you can pass stuff down to your kids and if they get divorced or something happens to them, you know, they get asset protection at that level. Their inheritance is theirs, you know, they don't have to split it with their, ex-spouse or what have you. So, you know, when you're looking at those types of plans, I would say they're gonna range anywhere from about 4,500, um, all the way up to about 15,000, just depending on how many types of trust and, and entities, uh, you're trying to protect and things that you're trying to do. as far as Medicaid planning is concerned. We use the regional divide. A lot of people do it that way. And if you look at your state, your Medicaid here in Alabama, the regional advisor goes up just a little bit every year. So I like to say I get a raise on Medicaid plan every year. Um, you know, that's gonna start out at around$6,800. And you know, if you have a very complex lot of stuff, type of Medicaid case, you may be looking at. You know, multiplying that by two, which would be looking around 14, 15,000 for Medicaid. But I would say the sweet spot's probably around 10. So you're looking at about 10,000 now? Yeah. People go, oh wow.$10,000. And I say, oh wow, you just saved 60 to 75% of your stuff. Yes. You know? So it's like there's gotta be some willingness to understand that when you're saving, you know, those, when you're, when you're saving those kind of assets, uh, for that kind of price. You know, it's like my guy said, he went. Up 70%, save 70% versus being in the whole, you know,$28,000 in the hole. Yeah. So, you know, that's, to me, that's worth a little$10,000, uh, bump to the attorney for, uh, Medicaid plan.

Erin Thompson:

Yeah. I mean, big picture versus small picture, you know what I mean? Like what's important to you is eventually gonna cost money, you know, and. That, that's just the piece of it. And sometimes what you want the most and how to set your family up for success, if that's important to you, is going to cost money to do that. And we have a right to Medicaid. Yeah, that's one of the

Sayge Grubbs:

red flags we call them, uh, attorneys that do what I do. We call it a trust mill. You'll see them advertise sometimes they notoriously pray on churches. And they come in and they offer these cut rate prices, these special prices. They come, they spend a day, they get a whole bunch of trust done, but nothing is truly customized. Like they don't take the time to actually learn about your family dynamics and your family finances and what's important and things of that nature. You know, there's, it's merely like, Hey, we're coming in and we're gonna do a hundred. Estate plans this weekend. To me, that's a red flag. Yeah. Uh, yes. You know that that's a lot of people. There's no way for them to customize your stuff when they're doing that many estate plans

Erin Thompson:

then that weekend. And if they don't get to know any details, then there is no details that they're protecting. There is no protection.

Sayge Grubbs:

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And that's, you know, and I tell people all the time, that's why. I laugh when I hear that AI or chat GPT or some of these other stuff is just gonna replace everybody. Cause I said, well, the computer has never been a human so. They can't sit, like the people in my office sit and I sit and have conversations with family members and figure out, oh, I just touched a button. That's important. Or, oh, you know, they would rather lose this than that, and the reason may not make. Sense to me, but it, but it's obviously it makes a lot of sense to them, you know? Yeah. So there's a lot of emotions tied to this whole aging process cause everyone wants to make sure that their loved ones are taken care of in the best manner, and the loved ones wanna make sure they're not being headache and that, you know, they're still looking out for that next

Erin Thompson:

generation. Yes, absolutely. And I'm glad you do the work that you do, and I hope to learn a whole lot more from you. But I'm looking forward to seeing you at this Successful Aging Bootcamp, and I'm very proud of the work that you've done with seniors index.com and to be able to be a part of that. So it's nice to know fellow passionate people who want to do good in the world. That's nice. So thank you for your time. I was about

Sayge Grubbs:

thing all started. From LinkedIn when I sent you a message and I was like, Hey, you know a lot. I was

Erin Thompson:

like, yes, yes. And I'm still learning so much about this and all of that. So yes. I mean, it's just so nice to, it's amazing how this digital world is so helpful to, to unite people with, with similar interests. It's, it's pretty inspiring. So yeah, I'm happy to be part. Thanks for having me. Yes, thank you. And, I'll see you soon. Okay. All right. May 19th.

I'm, so very proud of that interview. I learned a lot. I hope you did too. Here are my five takeaways from this interview. The Estate planning or any type of planning is better to start when it is not needed. Then when it is. Because when that time comes. And those plans are needed. It's already laid out for you and there's no stress. Number 2. You can protect your assets and still be eligible for Medicaid benefits. Not a lot of people say that. A lot of people think, and I was one of those that thought that Medicaid would come back and take their portion. And that is true. Not all trusts are created equal. Number 3, not all lawyers can do this. This type of trust. Ask specifically for the asset protection trust. That has the ability to keep you as the trustee. Number 4. Not all lawyers or people claiming to be able to write trust for you can actually do that. So be very aware and cautious of people who claim that they can create a trust for you and then charge you less than a thousand dollars. A, good trust. Irrevocable trust a simple trust is going to cost you at least$1500 to$2,000. Just a red flag for you to think about Number 5. If you live in the state of Alabama, look up seniors, index.com. Give it a shot. It may be able to lead you in the right direction.