- "I have to give away my home?"
- "My trustee/children will tell me what to do with my home?"
- "Can I be told to move out?"
- "What if I want to sell my home and move?"
- "What if I need access to the equity in my home?"
- "What if I change my mind on who shall inherit my property?"...
Yes, an irrevocable trust is irrevocable and a grantor must transfer ownership of the asset to the trust for good. For many, the largest asset to be irrevocably transferred is the home and most don't want to "give up" the home. It is just an unsettling notion. A well drafted Trust should include retain powers in the Grantors:
- Power to Remove and Replace Trustees.
An irrevocable trust must include language that retains in the grantor the power to remove and replace trustees. Just think of the power that language provides to the home owner/grantor. Simple and powerful language that provides the grantor power over the trust, but does nothing to degrade the trust purpose as a shield from Medicaid.
- Power to Alter and Amend the Beneficial Interest of the Trust.
An irrevocable trust should include language that retains in the grantor the power to amend the beneficial interest of the trust. That is, to be able to change who is to take the trust property at the grantor’s death. Life changes and needs of love ones shift through the course of a lifetime. Grandchildren, disability, divorce, or winning the lottery can alter a grantor’s desires to whom he wishes to leave his property. A well drafted irrevocable trust will allow the grantor the power to alter the beneficial interest as he/she sees fit and at the same time stand up to Medicaid scrutiny.
- Power to Make lifetime gifts.
Why wait until one passes before making gifts to children or grandchildren. Say A granddaughter has been excepted to a prestigious university and the grantor would love to help pay the way. A well drafted irrevocable trust can allow for the lifetime gifts to or on the behalf of loved ones and or charities.
To provide protection from Medicaid or any other liability a trust must be irrevocable and restraints on the grantors access to principal must be total, but with the correct language an irrevocable trust can be flexible and can afford the grantor great powers over it.