Qualifying for Medi-Cal is one of the only ways some California residents can pay for their long-term health care needs. Unfortunately, if you apply for assistance while owning certain types of property the state of California has the right to seize these assets to pay for your care.  Sacrificing the property and money you have built a lifetime accumulating in return for medical care or assistance when you are elderly or impaired is something that many people struggle with.  However, there are ways to protect your assets for your heirs while simultaneously receiving the long-term assistance you need. An asset protection trust is one way to secure your legacy, and there are several benefits associated establishing one.

Prevents Medi-Cal Recovery

The primary, and probably most attractive, benefit of establishing an asset protection trust is that it stops the Medi-Cal recovery process from taking place. In California, if you are someone who uses Medi-Cal, the state may come after you or your estate for the reimbursement of medical bills. They will take any asset that you own, including bank accounts and your house. An asset protection trust keeps your home and other property safe by transferring it to your trust.

Lets Your Heirs Inherit

Most people work hard throughout their lives to build a legacy that they can leave to their children, grandchildren, and loved ones. After years of working to accumulate enough property to leave to others, failing to protect your assets could lead to the state benefiting from your hard work at the expense of your heirs. Establishing a trust gives you the ability to leave your property to exactly whom you want and makes it easy to change your beneficiaries. You can also use the trust to keep the inheritance safe from your children’s creditors, keeping the property safe from attachments or other collection practices.

Avoids Probate

While asset protection trusts are primarily designed to protect your assets from Medi-Cal seizure, they can provide protection to your heirs in other ways. One is helping them avoid probate.  Normally if you pass away with property that is still in your name, then probate would be inevitable since the property would need to be transferred into the name of your children. If you establish a trust, then your beneficiary can inherit without having to wait for the usually overwhelmed court system to hear the probate case and make a decision.

Explore Additional Benefits

These three benefits are not the only ways an asset protection trust can help you and your heirs. There are a variety of ways this type of trust can be used to keep your property safe while giving your estate long term protection after you are gone. The attorneys at MMZ Law are here to explain all the different ways you can use this type of trust to your immediate advantage.  Contact us to schedule a consultation so that we can discuss your needs. Our lawyers can answer any questions that you may have and help you work out a strategy that is best for you.




341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.