Trusts are an important protective measure you can put into place to keep your assets safe. They may be used as part of your long-term care plan so that you won't have to exhaust your assets prior to qualifying for Medicaid or other benefits.
Trusts come in two primary forms -- revocable and irrevocable. Revocable trusts can be revoked at any time, whereas irrevocable trusts cannot be revoked once they're in place.
For the purpose of protecting your assets and taking them out of your possession, an irrevocable trust works well. It takes assets and puts them into the care of a trustee, who then, with the help of state and federal laws, shields them from taxes and other situations where you may face losses -- like if you have to apply for Medicaid.
What if you still want to access your assets?
You may be able to with the right kind of trust. You can have it distribute a smaller portion of assets to you each month, or you might opt to transfer assets to a loved one who can use them on your behalf when you need something.
Our website has more information on trusts and what you can do if you want to make sure that your assets are protected against losses due to taxation or Medicaid's requirements. In a good long-term care plan, your assets will be protected, so that you can pass them on to your beneficiaries and be able to benefit from them yourself. Your attorney can tell you more about your options if you want to set up a trust.