When it comes to setting up an estate plan, many people do not feel that they have enough assets to justify setting up a trust. The reality is that it only takes a small amount of assets to justify setting up a trust if you want to protect those assets from probate. Specifically, your home. When it comes to Medicaid and estate planning, it gets very complicated. However, there is one important fact to keep in mind. If you were to go into a nursing home, the State of Michigan will allow you to keep your home and your car. They will not require you to sell or liquidate either one to pay for your care. Here is the catch: if you still own that home at the time of your death and that home and car have to be probated, the State of Michigan can file a lien in the probate court proceeding and seek recovery of any funds that they spent on your nursing home care. This Michigan Medicaid Recovery Act only applies to assets that pass through probate. Therefore, if you take the time to set up a living trust while you are alive and competent and arrange for that home to pass under the trust at the time of your death and not through probate, Medicaid does have any recourse or authority to place a lien on the trust asset or the home. If you are concerned about leaving your home to your family at the time of your death, but are also concerned that you may need Medicaid assistance in the future, a living trust may be something to consider.
Goudy Bookletter 1911