Medicaid planning is the process of preparing your estate so that you can qualify for benefits under the government’s Medicaid program. Part of this process involves reducing the assets you own so that you can meet the financial requirements of the program.

Your home is likely your most valuable asset. It is probably also one you still use. According to the CPA Journal, you have some options to handle your home and prevent it from causing issues with Medicaid qualification.

Medicaid asset protection trust

A trust allows you to change the ownership of an asset while you are still alive. If you put your home into a MAPT, the trust owns the title to it, not you. However, you gain the rights to lifelong use of it.

You can also then prepare for the event that you die, which will dissolve the trust and pass the home onto whoever you choose as the beneficiary of the trust.

You should note this is an irrevocable trust, which means you cannot make changes to it once you create it without going through a legal process. In most cases, though, if you create a MAPT, you will not need to make changes later.

Title change

If you are not in the Medicaid lookback period, which is 60 months prior to your application for the program, you can simply title your home in the name of someone else. Most often this means putting the title in your child’s name or whoever you would leave it to upon your death.

You should make sure you understand the rules of Medicaid for seniors before you do anything with your home. This will help to ensure you protect it effectively and do not impact your eligibility for the program.