A trust is a legal document that transfers title in assets to another with specific requirements governing the administration of the assets. To form a trust, a grantor gives assets to a trustee and executes a legal document specifying how the trustee is to administer the assets. A trust is an useful tool in elder law planning, as it allows seniors to give control of their assets to another. Putting assets into trust has many benefits from avoiding probate to securing long term care benefits. An additional advantage of placing assets into trust is protection from fraud.
Seniors routinely fall prey to scams seeking to take their money. These scams range from convincing the senior to wire money to foreign countries when the senior is told that family members need assistance to the theft of checks in senior living. When money is transferred into a trust, there are options to provide safeguards to protect assets. For example, a trust can be written to require the signature of multiple family members for funds to be withdrawn. This makes it more difficult for thieves to access funds.
This is one more advantage of using trust, along with the qualification for long term care benefits from VA improved pension and nursing home Medicaid. As there are several competing considerations to consider when engaging in trust planning, the services of an experienced elder law attorney are needed for such planning.