An Alert on VA scams from Dick Sayre, a Spokane Elder Law Attorney (excerpted)
The Attorney General is accepting complaints about VA scams which are spreading over Washington like a small plague. This involves selling insurance products and/or irrevocable trusts to disabled seniors with a purpose of shielding assets from VA so as to gain acceptance for Aid and Attendance benefits. VA does not have a lookback or penalty for gifting assets, making this what appears to be an easy sale for the annuity sellers, who charge for the ‘service’ and get commissions from the trusts and annuities.
As many of you know, clients are being talked into making gifts to children, who then either put the funds into an irrevocable trust or buy an annuity ‘to keep the funds safe’. They then apply for Aid and Attendance benefits but, of course, when they later need Medicaid, they are faced with a huge penalty period and extended ineligibility. DSHS will deny eligibility or deem assets to be in a constructive trust; however, often the client cannot get them back – it’s the worst of all worlds.
The agents pass themselves off as VA experts and have business entities with snappy titles. They make huge profits for advice and healthy commissions from crappy annuities sold to desperate people without any warning of the consequences of this approach. As most of you also know, the VA helps people apply for A&A without cost.
It would be helpful to the AG if people filed a complaint online at