“If my mother, a widow in her 80s, sets up an irrevocable trust to protect her house, then needs nursing home care, how long after the trust is set up would it be before she is eligible for Medicaid. Also if she is in a nursing home, who pays for the upkeep of the house and the property taxes?”

Answer:  Medicaid will look  back  for 5 years,  but that does not mean she is ineligible for five years.   The ineligibilty or penalty period is determined  by dividing the amount transferred, which would be the assessed  value of the house,  by the average  monthly  rate  of a nursing home in  your region. The trust  is the owner of the home and would be responsible for  the bills, so when the trust  is set up, make sure  it has funds, either  in cash or  in   stocks/bonds, that can be quickly converted to cash.

If you have further questions about Medicaid, I would suggest that you locate an Elder Law Attorney in your state by going to the ElderCare Matters website at www.ElderCareMatters.com/statechapters.htm

Sonya Mittelman, Attorney at Law
Bronx, NY  10461
718-863-4647
Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, New York chapter