Pooled trust for elderly person going into assisted living

Is there a way to protect some of my mother’s money when she goes into assisted living? She does not qualify for Medicaid as her assets are approx. 85K. She will run out of money in a year or two after paying the facility. Can we move some of her money into a pooled trust and if so what happens to the money when she dies

Asked on October 20, 2017 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't--or to be more accurate, legally you can't, but you might get away with it if the government doesn't notice. Legally, any transfers of money, securities, real estate  or other assets made without getting equivalent value for it (e.g. moving $85k into a trust without your mother getting real estate or something else from the trust equal to $85k value in exchange for it) which occurred within 5 years of Medicaid starting to pay may be reversed by the government in order to get at the assets; you are not allowed to hide or shelter assets from Medicaid, and they can undo the transfers. There is no legal way to shelter her assets at this point: the government can come after them, since she is supposed to use them up for her own care.


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