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Does a Revocable Living Trust Protect My Assets from the Nursing Home?

Posted by Chad Seiter | May 31, 2024 | 0 Comments

When planning for long-term care, many wonder if a revocable living trust can shield their assets from nursing home expenses. Unfortunately, the answer is no. A revocable living trust is designed to manage your assets and specify their distribution after death, but it does not protect those assets from being used to pay for nursing home care. The reason lies in the nature of the trust itself. Since you retain control over the assets in a revocable living trust, they are considered part of your estate for Medicaid eligibility purposes. This means Medicaid will count these assets as available resources.

Medicaid has strict rules regarding asset limits and eligibility. Because you maintain ownership and control over the assets in a revocable living trust, they are not shielded from these calculations. Therefore, relying solely on a revocable living trust is not an effective strategy for protecting your assets from long-term care nursing home costs.

However, alternative strategies can offer the protection you seek. One such strategy is an irrevocable trust. Unlike its revocable counterpart, an irrevocable trust transfers control of your assets, making them no longer part of your estate for Medicaid purposes. It's essential to establish this trust well in advance due to Medicaid's five-year look-back period.

Additionally, long-term care insurance can help cover nursing home expenses, preserving your assets. This insurance can be costly, but it provides a significant safety net. Consulting with an elder law attorney is another crucial step. They can guide you through Medicaid planning, helping you explore various strategies to protect your assets while ensuring you receive the necessary care.

Even if no prior planning is done, we can assist you in protecting at least some of the assets after a loved one is placed in a long-term care facility.

Navigating long-term care planning can be complex and overwhelming. If you need assistance, contact us at Darpel Elder Law. We're here to help you secure your financial future and ensure the best possible care. 

About the Author

Chad Seiter

Attorney at Law


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