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Can I Transfer a House with a Medicaid Claim on It into a Trust?
I am 58 and retired. If Medicaid has a claim on my property now, is it too late to place my property in an irrevocable trust so that any medical bills after the five-year look-back period cannot be charged to the property? If the property is in an irrevocable trust, it can be sold and the money stays in the trust. Can I direct the trustee to use that money to buy another house?
You can put your house into an irrevocable trust for Medicaid planning purposes, but it will still be subject to the medical claim. Once the house is in the trust, it can be sold and the proceeds used to purchase another residence. However, you should probably not have the right to direct the trustee to do this. While each state has its own rules and practices regarding irrevocable trusts, retaining the power to direct trustee actions could mean that the Medicaid agency considers the property in the trust to continue to belong to you. You’ll have to consult with a local elder law attorney to be sure. To find an attorney near you, go here: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/elder-law-attorneys.
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