Medicaid – What’s Yours Is Mine!

3 Apr

Metro®Boston, Publication Date: April 4, 2012
By Attorney George Warshaw

Third in a Medicaid series

To qualify for Medicaid a person has to meet a limited income test and a limited asset test. The threshold amounts differ for married and unmarried persons. This article focuses on your assets.

Take everything you and your spouse own, throw them into a single pot, and then remove a few approved items. The government then counts or adds up the value of what’s left over. If these countable assets add up to too much, you don’t qualify.

If you don’t qualify, you must sell and spend your “countable assets” in a permissible way.

Think of it as a two-column list. Column A is the government’s list of what you must first sell or spend before you qualify. Column B is your list of what you can keep. It’s your safe harbor.

Your home is usually protected. It’s in your column; but if you put your home into a revocable trust, it usually shifts to the government’s sell and spend Column. If you are unmarried and the equity in your home is $750,000 or more (you should be so lucky!), your home shifts to the government’s sell and spend Column.

Be careful! Always consult an Elder Care Attorney for your Medicaid situation. This article provides general information only, not legal advice.

Next week, Medicaid’s Penalty Box!

© George Warshaw 2012

George Warshaw is a real estate and estate planning attorney in Massachusetts.  He represents buyers and sellers of homes and condos in Massachusetts, and prepares wills, trusts for individuals and families. 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.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: