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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55278
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My mother, brother and I live in the state of Massachusetts.

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My mother, brother and I live in the state of Massachusetts. Recently, we have set up a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust, placing a sizable amount of liquid assets in each. Mom's day to day living expenses are taken from the revocable trust, but the irrevocable trust remains untouched.
We know that the look back period for Medicaid purposes is 5 years, so we understand that the revocable trust will be fair game. However, we just recently learned that the irrevocable trust was established with Moms SSN and our accountant has advised that we acquire a TIN to ensure that Medicaid cannot make a claim on that account. Since my brother and I are the only Trustees of the irrevocable account, doesn't that provide us the necessary asset protection from Medicaid since the grantor (Mom) gave up control of the assets. Additionally, if we do acquire the TIN, does that restart the 5 year look back period.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. The trust agreement itself is going to control. If it is an irrevocable trust, then the 5 year period starts when the assets were transferred to the trust. I would recommend that you correct the taxpayer ID number and obtain one for the trust itself as it should have been set up originally, but that will not restart the 5 year look back period. As I mentioned, the key for Medicaid and the start of the 5 year look back period is "when did the gift occur?" It occurs when the assets are transferred to the irrevocable trust.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If additional assets are added to the irrevocable trust from other sources, or from the revocable trust itself, does the look back period start anew for those added assets, or does the date of original gift still hold for the irrevocable trust.

Thanks so much for following up. With regard to those assets, the look back period starts from the date of the transfer to the irrevocable trust; the date of the trust itself is not's just relevant that it's irrevocable. It's the date of the transfer of each asset that starts the 5 year period for that asset.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So, in short, the original allocation of assets is subject to a five year look back and any subsequent asset amounts added are subject to a five year look back from that date for every additional amount placed in the irrevocable trust. ie multiple look back dates corresponding to the the individual dates of asset addition to the fund.

Yes, that is absolutely correct.
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