Families throughout Louisiana use Living Trusts to preserve their wealth. Many aim to protect assets from long-term care spend-down with specially designed Medicaid Living Trusts. By shifting your assets into a Medicaid Living Trust at least five years before you or your spouse need long-term care services, you can ensure qualification for Medicaid. When Medicaid covers the bulk of your long-term care, you don’t spend down your own resources on high care costs. With proper planning, you can preserve the assets in your Medicaid Living Trust for your heirs.
One common misconception about these Medicaid trusts pervades the thinking of the Louisiana legal community and long-term care providers. Many mistakenly believe those individuals attempting qualification for Medicaid using a Medicaid Living Trust cannot control their own Trust. As a result, many discount the attractiveness of Medicaid Trusts arguing you lose control over the assets in the trust. This is simply not accurate. Medicaid only requires that you cannot transfer assets directly from the trust and back into you or your spouse’s name. No restriction exists in our Louisiana Medicaid Eligibility Manual regarding who may serve as trustee of a Medicaid Trust.
If someone tells you that you cannot manage your own Medicaid Trust, disregard this information, because it is not true. When establishing a Medicaid Living Trust, you may name yourself and/or your spouse as Trustee(s). When you are the Trustee, you may buy new assets in the name of the trust, sell trust assets, lease trust assets, invest trust assets, and donate trust assets to your heirs without restriction. The only action you cannot take with a Medicaid Trust is transferring assets from the trust directly back into you or your spouse’s name. If you are interested in learning more about Medicaid Planning options for your family, call Legacy Law Center at (504) 274-1980 in Metairie, New Orleans, and surrounding areas or call (985) 246-3020 in Mandeville, Covington, Slidel, Houma , and Thibodaux.