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 30, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

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 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 review 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 lessons from 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?


Manz, Angela
Angela N. Manz

The Law Office of Angela N. Manz

Ms. Manz practices in the areas of estate planning and elder law. She is a member of National Academy of Elder Law...  |  Read More

Williamson, Jeffrey
Jeffrey L. Williamson, Esq.

J. L. Williamson Law Group

Mr. Williamson’s practice specializes in taxation and estate planning. He has particular expertise in estate and...  |  Read More

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