If you’re considering creating an asset protection trust, you should know that the trust itself is only the first step in protecting your future Medicaid benefits. If you don’t transfer your assets into the trust correctly, your ability to pass the cost of nursing home care onto Medicaid could be significantly delayed.
Benefits of Transferring Assets Into Your Irrevocable Trust Sooner Rather Than Later
An irrevocable trust is a great method to “spend down” your assets, preserving your home and heirlooms for future generations. However, there will be a five-year look-back period on each item transferred into the trust. It doesn’t matter when the trust was created, the date of transfer is when the “clock” will start ticking. For example, if you transfer high-value artwork into a trust on January 1, 2025, the artwork will no longer be counted towards your assets after January 1, 2030.
The longer you wait to put the assets in the trust, the longer you’ll have to wait to receive your benefits. Our Medicaid planning attorneys can ensure that everything is transferred as quickly and seamlessly as possible, including your:
- Bank accounts. Cash from a savings account may be transferred into the trust with the help of the successor trustee. The trustee may have to open a new account in the name of the trust, after which you can withdraw the savings from your personal account and deposit it into the trust account.
- Real property. Our attorneys can prepare a deed transferring ownership of your residence or other real estate from yourself to your trust.
- High-value personal effects. Any valuable assets that do not have a legal title (such as jewelry, antiques, etc) should be listed in the trust inventory, transferring ownership rights for each one from the trustmaker's individual name into the name of the trust.
- Insurance policies. If you have a life insurance policy of significant value, you may need to request a change of ownership or change of beneficiary forms from the insurance company in order to list the trust as the owner or beneficiary.
The attorneys at Landskind & Ricaforte Law Group, P.C. can help you get the benefits you need while preserving your valuables for your heirs. Contact us today through our online form to get started.