Drafting Irrevocable Trusts to Preserve Medicaid and VA Benefits

Selecting Trust Type, Protecting Assets, and Optimizing Tax Planning for Long-Term Care

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will provide counsel and advisers serving elder clients with a focused review of crafting irrevocable trusts to meet VA and Medicaid eligibility requirements and achieve asset protection and tax savings for clients.


When integrating estate planning with long-term care planning, elder law practitioners and tax advisers look to irrevocable trusts to both protect assets and qualify clients for VA and/or Medicaid benefits more efficiently. Counsel must know precisely the types of trusts available and particular trust terms that will qualify.

Counsel and advisers must also understand the real meaning of self-settled, which assets can go into the trust, rules on who is allowed to serve as trustee, prohibited trustee powers, how distributions must be made, and a variety of tax considerations—different types of trusts mean different tax impacts.

Our panel will explain the difference between grantor and non-grantor trusts and how to use the grantor trust rules to a client’s advantage. The panelists will also discuss how to avoid specific drafting mistakes, and explain drafting approaches for trusts that include understanding and incorporating income, estate and gift tax consequences.

Listen as our authoritative panel of elder law and estate planning counsel outlines best practices to integrate irrevocable trusts into estate and long-term care planning to ensure that clients meet the VA and/or Medicaid eligibility requirements and receive maximum asset protection and preservation in the most tax efficient manner possible.


  1. Type of trust
    1. Irrevocable trust
    2. Self-settled trust
  2. Assets that can go into the trust
  3. Rules for who can serve as trustee
  4. Common trust challenges and ways to prevent them
  5. Trustee powers that must be prohibited
  6. Distribution rules
  7. Grantor trust status for income and estate tax purposes
  8. Control veteran’s purposes?
  9. Other tax considerations
  10. Asset protection


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the income tax differences between grantor and non-grantor trusts?
  • What are key considerations when determining when to draft grantor and non-grantor trusts?
  • What are the ramifications of In re Estate of Melby (Iowa 2016) for elder law and estate planning counsel?
  • How should counsel draft a trust that is compliant for both Medicaid and VA purposes?
  • What are the estate and gift tax ramifications for these types of trusts, and how can these trusts be drafted so that the assets they own are excluded from your client’s Medicaid estate but included in your client’s federal gross estate?


Angela N. Manz, Atty
The Law Office of Angela N. Manz, Virginia Beach, Va.

Ms. Manz practices in the areas of estate planning and elder law. She is a member of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and Council of the Elder Law Section of the Virginia Bar Association. She is licensed to practice in Virginia and North Carolina, and presents frequently on VA benefits issues.

Jeffrey L. Williamson, Partner
J. L. Williamson Law Group, Statesboro, Ga.

Mr. Williamson’s practice specializes in taxation and estate planning. He has particular expertise in estate and gift taxation, income taxation of partnerships, and taxation issues unique to tax-exempt entities. He is also knowledgeable in the federal and state Medicaid rules and is skilled at drafting trusts and other types of sophisticated agreements.


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*Only available for attorneys admitted for more than two years. For OH CLE credits, only programs recorded within the current calendar year are eligible - contact the CLE department for verification.

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Customer Reviews

I liked that the speakers had great knowledge of the topic and presented it with ease without making it overly complicated or rushing through the material.

Laura S. Brooks

Law Office of Laura S. Brooks

The computer and telephone sign-on was very easy, and the instructions were straightforward.

Bethany Haslam


The program was very informative and the information was precise and straight forward.

Michael Bradford

Speidel Law Firm

The speaker's command of the subject matter and his ability to explain difficult concepts in a way that could be understood by everyone was great.

Craig Cockrell

Mitchell Williams Law Firm

The speakers prepared good outlines and followed them during their presentations.

John Wm Ringer

Ringer Law Office

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Elder Law Advisory Board

David Goldfarb


Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin

David P. Pollan


The Pollan Law Firm

Linda M. Strohschein


Strohschein Law Group

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