Does a house in a trust (in CA) mean it can't be transferred to one child?

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I wasn't sure how to ask that question briefly, and I know I need to talk to a lawyer, but we have been holding off in case we decide to move. Right now I am with my dad in CA. His house is part of a trust that has 3 beneficiaries named. I am a cotrustee. We were hoping to move my dad back to OR, where I just came from and my husband is employed, but now that we are learning more about insurance, Medi-Cal, etc. we are undecided...

My dad is far enough along with dementia that he can not live alone, so it could easily be established I am here taking care of him to keep him out of a facility. I was reading about how he can transfer the house to me after 2 years and exempt it from being a lookback asset. But I am wondering if he would not be able to do so since the house is part of the trust. If he is incapacitated by then, then what? I am POA, so could I transfer it to my name after 2 years? Just for the record, I would plan to split the money with my brother and sister when I sell it, and I think (hope) they would trust me to do so.

Which brings up another question.... If a house does get transferred to a child after 2 years, is there any obligation to live in it for a set amount of time?

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The house would need to be transferred from your father directly to you, as caregiver, in order for the caregiver exception to apply. That means the house would have to come out of trust and into your dad's sole name. Then he (or someone acting on his behalf under a durable power of attorney [DPOA]) could deed it to you. However, the DPOA would have to include the power to make such a gift.
As for your other question, the child receiving the house under the caregiver exception does not need to continue living in the house. The test is that the child have cared for the parent and resided with the parent in the parent's house for at least the two-year period immediately before the parent enters a nursing home, and that such care allowed the parent to delay needing to enter a nursing home.
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Oops.. sorry the trust is first and foremost for the use of the owner of the trust. Then when they pass, it is distributed.
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Not Legal or tax Advice; none of my posts are:

A trustee or co trustee may also be a beneficiary, the stipulations of the trust must be followed,of course. In a co trustee case, it must be established: if trustee's can act unilaterally or must both act

If one moves in for at least 2 years, and the parent then needs a Medicaid Nursing home, and it can be established that but for the efforts of the 'caregiver', the Medicaid recipient would have been required to move into to the NH to have received at least the kind of care & safety, that the caregiver provided; then upon the recipients passing the house should be exempt from recovery.
A Dr. should be able to confirm, and have been consulted on a regular basis.

It would also be wise to set up a 'or' bank account, & to deposit funds (needed for care) from it , into a second account (from the 'or'), that might say "So & So" care services account, and pay the bills out of that second account, & maintain a journal, of services provided and payments dispersed. for Medicaid gifting protection purposes. It may also serve to protect the caregiver from having to pay taxes on the perceived 'income'
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Yes, short answer is that you absolutely do need to talk to a lawyer. Each state is different. My husband and I have a revocable trust and the house (real estate) does fall into the trust. As I said, what we have is a 'revocable trust', which is the most common. The main reason we did this was to keep everything out of probate. but your trust basically serves as you 'will' (not counting the pour over will, which is for personal items not including real property that you wish to have go to certain people - anything BUT real estate). We designated who got what, which could be the case with a house. It is not necessary that every beneficiary gets equal parts. So it really depends on how this was drawn up by your parent(s). As for 'divesting' your dad of his assets to protect them for an heir and so that Medicaid is not hindered, that is not ok. A home can be exempt when applying for Medicaid 'if the intention' of the person is to someday go back to the home to live. Obviously that isn't hard to make a case for, i.e., possibly a relative would live with that person and care for them in the home rather than a ltc facility. Anything is a possibility. However, that home, after the person's death, may need to be sold to pay for the 'debt' owed because of using Medicaid. Medicaid is for indigent people. Not for people who are 'savvy' with hiding assets or using them up or diverting them in other than straightforward ways. This is not an accusation, but if your dad has a trust, it probably means he has substantial assets (at least as compared to someone who has nothing). And look back is usually a lot longer than two years, so if you do something that seems in any way 'squirrel-ly' he may be denied payment of care and medical bills at a time when he needs them NOW. Believe me, we know how expensive ltc can be; my mil just passed away at 93 after five years in one. She ended up living pretty much the same 'lifestyle' as people in the same facility who didn't have two dimes to rub together and she had two pensions, social security, money in the bank and a few stocks and other assets. She ended up using most of her money to take care of herself (fil died 8 years ago and he was also in ltc for about a year prior to his death). Their home was sold shortly before she moved into the nursing home along with it's contents. My husband and I were in favor of NOT selling it because it is a 'protected asset' as far as going into a nursing home is concerned and also, just in case she would want to ever return to it and could be cared for there. But had she run out of money the home would have needed to go at some point if she 'owed' due to benefits received from Medicaid. Every state is different but the basics are the same.
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Agree - consult lawyer in state you are coming from and going to - all are different.
But as I understand - only the person who established the trust (your father in this case) can change the trust (if it is a revocable trust).
regardless of who the trustees are - they have to abide by the terms of the trust.
(beneficiary status only comes into play when owner of trust is gone.)
If trust owner needs to sell house to pay ltc or other care - then trustee (or co-trustee if there is one) and father (co-trustee) is incompetent then remaining trustee could sell house and deposit money into account to pay trustees expenses in ltc, etc.
If trying to hold onto as protected asset under "caregiver" status - you will need lawyer. I would think Medicaid would try to get repayment when he passes and depending on how long he remains in ltc - 2 years of caregiving somewhere in the past vs how many years he is in ltc?? Don't know how court would decide how much caregiver would be entitled to - doubt if it would be total value of asset (house) - depends on where you live. If he now has dementia don't think any lawyer would convey property to him much less allow you to sell property (acting as trustee) other than to pay for his ltc expenses.
Beneficiaries would only get what's left of proceeds after he passes.
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These are very good questions, I do not know the answers, and am consulting an attorney about the same. You may want to check out the website AVVO to ask thus question to attorneys in your area.
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A trust is set up to insure a party gets what is set up for them to receive without probate. If you are co trustee then there is nothing in the trust that will pass on to you.
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Neo, another thing you need to consider is if dad would be eligible for Medicaid in Oregon. Maybe he has unlimited resources and the cost of some sort of assisted living, later on nursing home is not a concern if he were to self pay. Not many are in the group that do not worry about how to pay for care. How will MediCal eligibility transfer to Oregon when his resources are depleted?
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IN differentstat it is different. Whoever is first on trust gets it and ask them about it. Seem like have god understanding and no wrong. But always get attorney or probate. Remember the first beneficiaries get until something happen.
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thanks for all the replies. i guess i just need to be patient and wait for his test results to come in so we can make an informed decision about moving. his dementia is not bad enough at this point that he would not be able to change the trust. he is very aware of decisions in the moment and can comprehend the big picture if broken down slowly. he just forgets what he talked about by later that day. so i guess he is still in the beginning stages, but you never know how fast it will progress.
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