Thursday, January 13, 2011

Why is it important that your Medicaid Planning & Asset Protection advice come from a licensed attorney?

First, let me say that financial planners provide important services that can help a family be prepared for the future. But Medicaid Planning should not be one of them. Why?

The answer has two parts:

1. Texas State law forbids non-attorneys (such as financial planners) from doing Medicaid Planning for pay.

There is a good reason for this: Medicaid Planning involves legal advice!

If a financial planner skirts this law by forming a loose association with an attorney who does not actually meet with the client to assess their legal needs, problems can arise. Why? An understanding of a host of complicated legal issues of Estate Planning and Asset Protection must inform your Medicaid Planning decisions. Financial planners do not have the legal expertise to advise you on these issues. If you're not working with an attorney, you could end up with flawed advice and strategies, resulting in documents that later cause you or your family more harm than good.

2. Financial planners doing "Medicaid Planning" may sell financial products you don't need.

We do not sell financial products nor benefit in any way from those who do. We call it "having a dog in the fight." If the place you're counting on to give you legal advice is going to make money by by selling you an annuity or other financial product, how unbiased is their advice going to be? In our work with West Texas families, we find that sometimes a financial product is in order when planning for Medicaid, but other times it would be a waste of money.

The bottom line is this: if you call a place for Medicaid Planning, and they ask you to meet with an annuity salesman, not an attorney -- move on!