Should we quit claim our house into a trust?

Q: My wife and I are in our late 70’s We have 3 sons and wish to avoid probate and estate taxes. Is a living trust with a quit claim deed proviso a safe way to give property to children? If so, is there a waiting period?

A: Do not do this on your own and seek an elder law attorney’s advice. Many more facts need to be known. A revocable trust may be a way to pass both real and property on to your children, but it is not good in every situation. If the waiting period you refer to is the dreaded 5 year Medicaid look-back, a revocable trust will not protect assets from Medicaid. You would have to transfer them into an irrevocable trust which is quit a serious decision to make as you lose total control of the asset. If your sole goal is Medicaid issues, you can just deed your real estate and transfer your personal property to your children, and wait five years, but such transfers could have significant tax consequences on your children.

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.