Do I need a revocable trust? Can I qualify for Medicaid if I put my assets in a trust?

I am Ted Hoyt, a board certified tax law specialist, has been practicing law for over 40 years.

For 40 years national and local firms have been advertising to people to hire them to do a revocable living trust and this will solve all their legal problems and make their arthritis go away as well

Everyone needs some estate planning, but Medicaid planning is very complicated, and there are no quick and easy fixes

Medicaid is a government program to pay for nursing homes for people with very little income and very few assets.

If you have more than $2000 of assets besides your home and car, you generally do not qualify for Medicaid.

If you choose to give away assets there is a 60-month look back. Under the rules that say that that gift disqualifies you from receiving Medicaid for 60 months after the gift. Also, you can never have access later to the money, contrary to what local marketers are trying to tell you. Local marketers provide a free meal to invite you to a seminar to get you to pay twice the services should cost for a product that doesn’t get the results they promise.

Since the average nursing home stay is 36 months and $4500 a month, most clients do not want to dispose of all their assets for this potential exposure considering less than half of the people ever spend a day in the nursing home. Thus people should consider very carefully if a revocable trust, or whether a Medicaid-qualifying trust, is right for them.