I need Elder Law advice on moving mom’s assets.

Q: I am moving all my mom’s assets into Irrevocable Trust for Medicaid nursing home care purposes. I’m aware of 5 yr look back period. NC Medicaid worker informed me my mom’s $1300/month is too much to qualify for in home help but, nursing home help would be possible. Mom is healthy now but, SHE wants to plan for the future and so do us kids. So protect as much of her assets as much as possible should we place all of the following (IRA, paid for House, Life Insurance Policy, a small Savings Account) into a Irrevocable Trust? We could set the trust up to distribute $700/month automatically to my mom every month making her monthly income $2000 and then, when/if need arises, apply for Medicaid to help cover the rest of the nursing home expenses.  Is this a workable plan? Thanks!

A: An irrevocable trust is one tool, among many that people use. If you are planning to move retirement plans into it, they need to be cashed out which often triggers income tax consequences which could make this move not advisable. To advise you thoroughly on this would require an in depth analysis of your mother’s entire situation including her complete assets, health, age, social security income, etc. I suggest that you meet with and Elder Law attorney to work on a blueprint as opposed to just doing this yourself.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.