Does a living trust protect money from Medicaid consideration?

A fellow caregiver asked...

We recently found out that my mom would not have enough money to pay for a nursing home and that she owns a little too much to get Medicaid. In this case, would a living trust protect money from Medicaid?

Expert Answer

When Medicaid decides whether your mother is eligible for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, it looks to see whether her income and assets are below her state's Medicaid limits. A living trust would not protect any of your mother's assets from consideration by Medicaid because she would still control how the trust funds are spent. Also, a living trust is revocable, which means your mother could end the trust at any time and use the money in it. For these reasons, Medicaid would count the funds in the trust as still belonging to your mother.