Ann Arbor, MI asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Michigan

Q: Hi This question is pertaining to my wife's parents and Medicaid


We learned recently that my father-in-law who has dementia was advised by his attorney to place his assets, particularly his vacation home into a irrevocable trust a few years back. He stated to all of his children and grandchildren that this had been done and they wouldn't ever have to worry about losing the cottage if something happened to him. Here's the kicker, we recently found out that he mistakenly put it in a revocable trust and we can only guess that this was likely related to his dementia.

Now he is in full time nursing home care and is dealing with severe dementia. His assets will be running out soon and his vacation home is his last question is does the family have any recourse here in terms of an appeal with Medicaid given his misunderstanding of what he did i.e. placing his asset in the wrong trust?

Thank you

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1 Lawyer Answer
Don L Rosenberg
Don L Rosenberg
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Troy, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Unfortunately a home or cottage in a living trust becomes a countable asset. I am not clear on whether you have already applied for Medicaid and have been denied or asking what can be done. If you applied it sounds like an appeal would be without merit and a waste of time. The proper course is to try and fix the issue and then reapply.

Without know much more it is hard to advise. However, some of the remedies could be the attorney committed malpractice, if married going to court and obtain a support order, transfer to a blind or disabled child or looking at a half-a-loaf strategy. As you can see this is a very complex area of the law and you must consult an expert. An attorney that dabbles in this or has not be doing elder law for long is not your answer.

Here is some info about myself and contact info if you would like to discuss. I do not know where you are located in Michigan but we have clients all over the state.

Here is a little bit about myself: I have been practicing for thirty-seven years (May 8th) and my practice is limited to specializing in issues concerning disability, estate, probate, long term care, nursing home, Veterans, Medicaid and special needs planning. Some my honors, awards and memberships are:

- Recognized by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel as being in the Nation’s Top One Percent of Attorneys in my field,

- Recognized in 2016 by Hour Detroit and Dbusiness Magazines as a 5 Star Wealth Manager in the area of estate planning and received the same award since 2010,

- Recognized as a "Superlawyer" for 2016 and every year since 2009, which designates that I am one of the top lawyers in my field,

-Immediate past President/Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association - Greater Michigan Chapter (after having served for the last 6 years) and member of the Association's executive committee and an Assembly Delegate to Alzheimer’s Association – National Chapter, Chicago, Illinois,

- Member of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and have been listed since 1991 in the Academy's Experience Registry,

- Member of the Masters Section of the State Bar of Michigan,

- Past Chair of the Governing Council of the Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the State Bar of Michigan,

- Accredited attorney with the US Department of Veterans,

- Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners,

- Member of the Financial and Estate Planning Council of Metropolitan Detroit and.

- Rated by AVVO ( as Superb (10 out of 10). Avvo is a company that independently rates attorneys throughout the country

Don L. Rosenberg

Attorney and Counselor |

1301 W. Long Lake Road, Suite 340

Troy, MI 48098

P: 248.641.7070

F: 248.641.7073

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