ANNUITIES

NOT ALWAYS A GREAT INVESTMENT FOR THE ELDERLY

A woman in her early 80s requires nursing home care due to a decline in her physical and mental condition. Her husband meets with a financial advisor who convinces the husband to use their life savings to purchase two annuities. According to the financial advisor, these annuities will not be counted as assets under the Medicaid laws. The husband meets with Timothy Rice who advises the husband that he has received incorrect advice from his financial advisor regarding the Medicaid laws. In order to obtain Medicaid eligibility to pay for his wife’s nursing care, which costs over $8,000 per month, the husband must liquidate those annuities. However, the insurance companies were unwilling to permit the surrender of those annuities, requiring threatened litigation from Mr. Rice, the husband’s counsel. The insurance companies ultimately agreed to surrender the annuities but the annuity contracts previously signed by the husband subjected the husband to surrender charges and income taxes. Mr. Rice successfully obtained Medicaid benefits to pay for the wife’s nursing home care, but the husband’s purchase of those annuities prior to meeting with Mr. Rice unnecessarily complicated and delayed Medicaid eligibility and incurred thousands of dollars in surrender charges and other costs that could have been avoided had the husband consulted with Mr. Rice at an earlier date.