It is worth noting at the outset that there are many types of irrevocable trusts. I think it is safe to assume that when you reference an irrevocable trust, you are speaking of the trust that we regularly use to protect your assets if you need to apply for Medicaid in the future. For our purposes, we refer to this trust as the Medicaid Trust.
The primary purpose of creating a revocable trust is to avoid probate. You have complete control over the assets of a revocable trust.
The primary purpose of creating a Medicaid Trust is to protect the assets transferred to the Medicaid Trust. You have limited control over the assets of the Medicaid Trust and there is a 5- year look-back period on transfers to the Medicaid Trust.
Without getting into the details of each trust, you must recognize that a revocable trust DOES NOT protect your assets. Too often I meet with families where they believe their loved one has taken proper steps to protect his assets only to learn that the trust created was a revocable trust rather than a Medicaid Trust. In many cases, it is too late to change.
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