With proper planning, you may protect many of your assets from Medicaid. By forming a Medicaid trust, you can place property into it and make sure it does not count against you for Medicaid eligibility. You might wonder if you should put your house in the trust as well.
To understand if assigning ownership of your home to a Medicaid trust is a beneficial decision, you should first know if your residence is exempt from Medicaid rules to begin with.
Your home and Medicaid exemptions
The home you live in for most of the year and use as a permanent address is your primary home. According to Medicaid rules, your primary residence does not count toward the Medicaid asset limit. This means you should not have to worry about transferring your home to a Medicaid trust in the first place.
Currently, you might live somewhere else temporarily, perhaps in a hospital or a nursing home to receive treatment or rehabilitation. In this case, Medicaid still considers your primary home as exempt. Usually, Medicaid also exempts a primary residence if a spouse or particular relatives who depend on you live there.
When a home is not exempt
There are instances when you may seriously consider putting a house into a Medicaid trust. If the home is not your primary residence, Medicaid could count it against you. You might also have to discard ownership of a piece of real estate if you own significant equity in the property.
The individual states implement their own rules for the equity threshold. According to the New York Office for the Aging website, the state of New York has an equity limit of $1,033,000 as of 2023.
To confirm if you have property that could impair your ability to receive Medicaid, make sure any home you have is the one you count as your primary living space. Also consider when you want to receive Medicaid, as the look-back period could add further complications to your asset transfer. These factors should help you make as informed a decision as possible.