My Husband Did Not Have a Revocable Living Trust.

Share this post

He only had a will and there were no big problems when he passed away, so why do I need a revocable living trust?

This specific situation would need to be reviewed by your professional advisors, of course, but one reason you may have experienced no problems is because you and your husband owned everything jointly (like your house, bank accounts, investments, etc); or it passed to you by way of a beneficiary designation (like insurance and IRAs). If the assets were held in these ways, there would have been no probate at your husband’s death, and all would have been fairly simple.

Now, however, all those assets are now in your name individually, and things won’t be so simple upon your death. And when things pass from you to your children and other beneficiaries, you may now want to take advantage of all the benefits of trust planning mentioned earlier in this chapter.

I Heard That I Could Put Assets into a Revocable Trust, Retain Control, and Then Apply for Medicaid Benefits, and the Assets in the Trust Would be Protected from Medicaid?

No. The assets in a revocable trust are not protected from Medicaid. If the transfer had been to an irrevocable trust or gifted away, the technique may allow the assets to be excluded from Medicaid, subject to the applicable rules regarding the time of the transfer.