Okay, I'm back. I just needed to check the current laws to see if there's been any changes.
California Department of Health Care Services regulations provide: "Where the decedent made an irrevocable transfer of a remainder interest in property with a retained life estate, the Department's claim shall not apply against the life estate or the remainder interest."
So, the solution is to place substantially all of your assets into your home, by either paying down the mortgage or making improvements, and then grant a retained life estate deed to one or more of your beneficiaries (children, spouse, friends, etc.).
If you need more personal attention than can be provided in this public forum, I can send you a premium services offer, so as to provide my contact information, and we can take the discussion offline into a confidential setting. Please let me know if you're interested.
If not, then I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.
Thanks again for using Justanswer!