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My 84 year old Mother has recently put her home into a Living Trust in the state of WA., and has moved into an independent living retirement complex 5 minutes away from me. Will her home be protected down the road if she has to be moved into Assisted Living, and needs financial assistance from Medicaid?

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I just saw this so thought I would respond. My grandmother put her property in a living trust and thought that would make her eligible for Medicaid if she needed it. For Medicaid purposes, a living trust isn't worth the paper it's written on. I'm not an attorney, so check with one about the house. It's my understanding that houses up to a specified value might be exempt.

I've been told that the ony way to pass property to heirs instead of having the government take it---if a person needs Medicaid to pay for a nursing home or other care---is to either give the property to the heirs or place the property in an irrevocable trust at least five years before the person applies for Medicaid. Inheritance taxes and gift taxes may be another issue. And be careful: If you apply too early, the govt can penalize the person by making them wait even longer.

The look back period was two years at first (started when Clinton was president?), but George W. Bush made the look back five years. Of course, it could become even longer in the future.

I know some people who read this will have a duck about the government paying for something. When you've paid taxes out the wazoo for decades and never received any govt assistance, it stinks when farmland that has been in your family for over 160 years has to be sold for nursing home bills. That's especially true when people who never worked just go right on to the nursing home, and we taxpayers continue to pay all their bills---just as we have for their whole lives.

We're trying to take care of our relative but don't know how long we can do it. She never had much income. It takes 75% of her social security check each month just to pay for supplemental Medicare insurance, the Medicare drug coverage, and the little pharmacy bill. She still pays more every month for the Medicare drug coverage than Medicare pays for her drugs.
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Call the person that did the living trust and ask about an irrevocable trust in which Medical would not be able to tough it. The problem with Medical is the laws keep changing because these lawyers keep finding loopholes.

My mom was turned down for medical after the social worker told me she'd been OK'd. That was before he realized she had a great big savings account. I wouldn't touch that money because I didn't want anyone thinking I was trying to steal from my mom. But I was concerned about that too because my mom has her house in a trust as well.

Go on line and look for a lawyer who specializes in Medical. They're hard to find but maybe the person who drafted up the trust will be able to help you.

Good luck.
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Braida: I am not an attorney or expert. However, it is my understanding that ALL transferred funds are considered for the "look back period" which I believe is still 5 years.


good luck,
Lilli
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