Q: We have my mom’s house in a trust. The trustees are her five children (me and my four siblings). Mom has suffered a stroke and can no longer take care of herself. Can the nursing home take her homes assets to pay for her care? We haven’t sold the house yet, although it’s been up for sale for almost a year now. Or is the house exempt?

A: It’s unclear whether the house is at risk. It depends on what kind of trust has been set up, and when the trust was set up. Medicaid has a 5-year lookback provision, so if she set this up within the last 5 years or if Medicaid considers home in the trust to be her asset, the assets of the house may be at risk.

Please talk to an estate attorney or estate planner for more details.

Feb. 27, 2009