22 Mar

Metro®Boston, Publication Date: March 21,  2012
By Attorney George Warshaw

In the last few weeks we used the plight of 98 yr. old Mrs. K, who found herself being evicted by her son from the home she once owned, to review how a parent can protect oneself when transferring a home to one’s children. See

The risks in any such gift or transfer are apparent: what happens to a parent’s home if the child who is supposed to protect the parent gets divorced, sued or becomes bankrupt, or mortgages the house without the parent’s knowledge – or sells the house?

It happens despite the best of intentions. That’s why trusts are good. They can protect a parent through customized content.

But what often what works for one purpose doesn’t work for another. That’s true at times with Medicaid. Medicaid doesn’t like trusts. And trusts don’t like Medicaid.

The premise of Medicaid is simple: with certain exceptions, the government believes that a person should exhaust nearly all his or her personal assets before the government should pay a dime for nursing home care and Medicaid benefits. The government is the 800 lb. gorilla life looming over your life.

The Medicaid regulations are intricate, complex and not well understood. I’m going to explore several rules that affect one’s home in next few columns. Stay tuned. © 2012 George Warshaw.

George Warshaw is a real estate attorney and author. He represents buyers and sellers of homes and condos in Massachusetts, and prepares wills, trusts, and estate plans. George welcomes new clients and questions at


Legal Advice: Laws, and court decisions interpreting them, change frequently and this article is not updated as laws change. The content and information contained in this article is neither intended as legal advice nor shall establish an attorney-client relationship.


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