Victims of Nazi Persecution Restitution Trusts


Victims of Nazi persecution who have received compensation (in the form of restitution, pension or property claims from Germany, Austria or the Netherlands and including claims against banks, insurance companies and manufacturers who profited from slave labor during the 1930s and 40s), may benefit greatly from recent developments in the field of Elder law. These developments have the effect of allowing beneficiaries of these Compensation payments to receive US Governmental assistance for medical benefits, without spending down their assets to proscribed levels, thereby preserving the assets for the individual during his or her lifetime and/or his or her beneficiaries after death.

Creation of a "Victims of Nazi Persecution" Restitution Trusts sm is an important planning technique which can be of significant value to the recipient by exempting and protecting a significant portion of the recipient's assets from Medicaid.

Successful exemption planning usually falls into two parts: first is establishing the exemption of a particular asset or assets; second is keeping such assets immune from estate recovery. Too many examples exist of persons who have secured a Medicaid exemption of a particular asset without ensuring that said asset will pass to their heirs free of the Medicaid estate recovery provisions. As a result, an asset presumed to be protected is later lost.

Generally, the most effective option is the establishment of a trust agreement, funded exclusively with assets identified Restitution payments. The advantage to establishing such a trust is that it allows recipients to diversify their accounts while remaining under the exemption umbrella created by the trust. In addition, such a trust ensures that the recipient's testamentary wishes are fulfilled.

With the creation of "Restitution Trusts", recipients of compensation will be able to receive Medicaid benefits while retaining the use and control of their own assets. This exception to the general Medicaid planning guidelines is only available to recipients of Compensation paid as a result of persecution by the Nazis. Recipients therefore have much to gain through proper planning with respect to said funds.

The measures outlined above are aimed at creating a Medicaid exemption for assets, which, in extreme cases could exceed $500,000.00.The goal is to provide a means of shielding the maximum possible amount of the Compensation funds from the reaches of Medicaid.

Articles about this unique form of asset protection developed by Lissner & Lissner LLP have appeared in The Jewish Week, Aufbau, Nahos and Together.

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