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After determining that there was no way for us to buy Mom's car (which she can't drive anymore) from her without making her disqualified for Medicaid, I read around a bit and got this idea. It seems almost tortuously complex, but here goes:
Mom creates an irrevocable trust in her state of Idaho. She transfers the title of the car to the trust. She names my husband and the trustee and me as the beneficiary. Once the title is transfered to the trust, my husband the trustee registers the car here in Utah to look after and maintain it and to insure it under our auto insurance policy. When Mom passes away (which should not be any time soon :) ) the car legally becomes mine. In the meantime, we can use the car.
Since the car is in an irrevocable trust, Medicaid should not come after Mom for the value of the vehicle since she is not benefitting from it, as I understand it.
Any thoughts on whether this is do-able?

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This may sound crazy...or not. Why don't you use one of those "Ask an attorney" sites?
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If it was 18 years old we could buy it outright :) But it's only 8. I didn't know about MERP until JessieBelle replied. After looking into it, it appears that if Mom did transfer the car into a trust at this point she would be subject to a transfer penalty which is what we are trying to avoid. Even an 8 year old car is not worth that.
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Is it actually worth all the trouble for an 18 year old car? I don't know how is expensive to set up such a trust. But I have heard that Medicaid is clamping down on them so it looks like a lose lose situation.
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It wouldn't be look-back. She's been on Medicaid for several years. I should have said there's no way for Mom to sell the car without a penalty. Sorry about that.
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I wouldn't be surprised if MERP didn't seek recovery on it. I personally wouldn't go through the headache of putting it in a trust that might disqualify your mother for Medicaid. Irrevocable trusts during look-back are frowned upon.
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Thanks, JesseBelle! It's a 2009 Saturn Aura, about 63,000 miles. Very good exterior and interior. Been in a couple of minor accidents but that doesn't seem to have affected the running condition.
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It depends on the value of the car if MERP would put a claim on it. Medicaid does have a problem with irrevocable trusts that are set up during the look-back period, so I would tread cautiously here. They can be seen as keeping money away from paying for care, which is what is intended. A car is not a countable asset and you would probably be able to be insured as a driver without having to go through a trust. During recovery, MERP may decide it is an asset of value or not worth pursuing. This depends on the value of the car after your mother passes.

I am not experienced with MERP when it comes to cars. I hope someone more knowledgeable about that will be along soon. Knowing a bit about the age and value of the car would help. If it is a Kia, it's one thing; if it's a Rolls, it's another.
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Sorry I have no advice, I'll comment to bump this up so more people will see it.
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