The DiGiorgio Law Firm, PLLC would like to extend Chamber Members a discount of 10% our regular Estate Planning fees for the month of November.



Volume 2, Issue 3 November 1, 2019

The DiGiorgio Law Firm specializes in providing estate planning and elder law services to our clients, their families and their family owned businesses.  Phil DiGiorgio, the “Founding Member” of the DiGiorgio Law Firm brings over 28 years of experience in the Trusts, Estates and Elder Law practice areas to the firm.

The legal services offered by The DiGiorgio Law Firm, PLLC include: * Wills and Trusts* Estate and Tax Planning *IRS Audits & Appeals*Long Term Care Planning*Medicaid Eligibility Planning & Medicaid Recertification *Probate Administration*Elder Law*Special Needs Planning*Guardianship Applications*Asset Protection Planning*Business Entity Formation*Business Succession Planning*Buy Sell Agreements and *Real Estate Closings.

In this issue of the DiGiorgio Law Firm, PLLC Estate Planning Newsletter we are shining our estate planning spotlight on Medicaid Eligibility Planning.

Benefits of Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts: 

  • Medicaid Eligibility: If funded at least five years prior to entering a nursing home, then once the requirements of Medicaid eligibility are met, the assets of these trusts will not be counted for Medicaid purposes, protecting and preserving their assets for your intended beneficiaries.
  • Retained Income Interest: Medicaid Trusts may allow the “Grantor or Settlor” of the Trust to retain an interest in the income produced by Trust assets without exposing the principal of the Trust to Medicaid spenddown rules, though any income earned by a trust where the grantor retains such an interest would be subject to spenddown.  The grantor may not retain any rights to principal.
  • Retained use of Residence: The grantor may continue to reside in any residence transferred to the Trust as long as desired without being required to pay rent. The grantor may even direct the Trustee to sell a residence held by the Trust and to purchase substitute property in which the grantor may reside without penalty.
  • Right to Change Trustees: The grantor may retain the right to change Trustees.
  • Right to Change Beneficiaries: The grantor may retain a limited testamentary power over trust assets which may be exercised under the grantor’s Will in favor of any person or entity the grantor chooses other than the grantor, the grantor’s creditors, the grantor’s estate or the creditors of the grantor’s estate;
  • Assets of Trust Enjoy Tax Advantages over Outright Transfers: Upon your death your beneficiaries may receive a step up in basis in the Trust’s assets, thereby eliminating any capital gains built up during your lifetime. The Medicaid Trust also offers certain tax and Medicaid advantages over the outright transfer of your residence and deeds with retained life estates.  For more on this contact us directly or request a copy of our “Facts on Life Estate Deeds” client handout.

Medicaid Crisis Planning:  While planning five years in advance is best, we understand that may not always be possible.  If you or a loved one are facing a medical crisis and are in need of immediate long term care we may still be able to help you preserve some assets for your family by employing one or more of the following techniques:

  • Home Care: Transfers to obtain care at home are not subject to the 5 year lookback rule;
  • Exempt Transfers & Assets: Certain Transfers and assets are exempt for Medicaid Purposes. We can help you identify those assets and transfers.
  • Reducing the Transfer Penalty Period: Through the use of a “Gift-Note Plan” we can help you reduce the length of the Medicaid ineligibility period that is incurred when transfers are made within 5 years of applying for Nursing Home or Chronic Care Medicaid.

If you or someone you know is interested in long term care planning call us today to schedule a consultation to learn how we can help.



The DiGiorgio Law Firm offers free client workshops on a variety of topics related to Estate Planning and Elder Law on the first and third Thursdays of each month from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at the firm’s office located at 258 Genesee St. in Utica, NY.

If you know someone who would benefit from these programs, please feel free to invite them to attend!

Registration: Call 315-732-3155, or email (Please indicate the session and number of attendees.)

RSVPs are a must as the dates, times, locations and the topics covered for these seminars are subject to change.  Join us and have your questions answered at our free Workshops!

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