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Nest Egg Trusts: A Good Planning Tool to Protect Property and Savings

  January 08, 2019

Submitted by Edwards Group, LLC

If you need care in your later years, how will you pay for it? Without planning, your family may be forced to spend your life savings. I don’t know of anybody who says, “I sure wish I could leave my hard-earned legacy to the nursing home.”

Many families who want to protect assets like the family home or other real estate, but also plan ahead for future costs of aging and care, decide that an irrevocable trust (what we call a nest egg trust) is the right tool for them.

Some people think of trusts as an exclusive tool for the wealthy, but that’s not the case. A nest egg trust is designed for regular, hard-working folks who have saved a bit for retirement. These trusts protect your hard-earned savings while also helping you qualify for care benefits — either at home, in assisted living, or skilled nursing.

A trust is simply a set of instructions about how you want your assets to be handled in the future. There are many different types of trusts, and the type of trust used depends on a person’s goals and situation. That is part of the reason it is important to consult an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney when creating a trust.

Nest egg trusts work best when you set them up ahead of time. This is because the trust will help you more easily qualify for benefits to help pay for your care. About 2/3 of all nursing home residents in the United States now rely on Medicaid to help pay their nursing home bill. Because Medicaid has asset limitations, this can cause people to be disqualified for the benefit or delayed in getting the benefit they need for expensive nursing care. By placing assets into a nest egg trust ahead of time, those assets might not be considered and would allow you to more easily and quickly qualify for care.

So, what’s the catch? Well, the nest egg trust does involve a trade-off. In order to protect your assets, you must give up some control. This means there will be restrictions on the assets you put into the trust. Many families find that it is well worth the trade-off. They are also surprised that the control they have to give up is much less than they expected.

If you are concerned about planning ahead for care and want to make it easier on your family, then you should consider a nest egg trust (irrevocable trust). Many of our clients consider a nest egg trust in their 70s or 80s. Some families do it earlier. Ideally, you want to set up the trust at least five years before you might need care.

As we mentioned earlier, it is very important when considering this option to talk with an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney who can help guide you through the decision-making process, help anticipate what problems may need to be addressed, and know the right questions to ask so you can be sure your trust works for you and your unique family circumstances.

Started in Springfield by attorney David Edwards, Edwards Group LLC is solely dedicated to effective estate planning and elder care issues, offering expertise in the areas of estate planning, elder law, nursing home and Medicaid planning, veterans’ Aid & Attendance planning, long-term care disability, probate and estate administration, estate and income tax planning, special-needs planning, and charitable giving. Through their unique process, Edwards Group offers clients a systematic method for every stage of the planning process. The result is highly personalized plans that do what they are supposed to do when the time comes. That means peace of mind, as well as better protection for families and the legacy left behind. You can find more information on our website at
EdwardsGroupLLC.com or by calling 217-726-9200.

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January 08, 2019


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