Overcoming obstacles to transferring a co-op to a trust
As long as your home serves as the principal place of residence of a Medicaid recipient (and/or spouse, if any, and/or certain close relatives), the home is not factored into the Medicaid eligibility determination. However, many of our clients are shareholders in a NYC or Florida co-op, which serves as a secondary residence, and want to implement an asset protection strategy that involves transferring their shares and proprietary lease to a Medicaid Qualifying Trust. In order to do so, the client will need the co-op board’s approval. Their approval is often difficult to obtain without effective advocacy. More often than not, the co-op board will deny a request to transfer the shares to an irrevocable trust – A very good reason to retain our experienced Elder Law firm to provide effective assistance!
Our knowledgeable attorneys are often able to persuade the board to change their decision and allow the client to move ahead with the plan. We have developed several successful ways to handle the co-op boards in these situations. Notably, explaining the Elder Law plan and why it is important to change the title to the apartment and further providing assurance that our clients have the ability to pay the co-op maintenance fees. Certain instances call for entering into an agreement that the trust will be responsible for the co-op’s collection expenses if there is a problem regarding payment. We also offer agreements that the apartment will be sold after the current occupant dies, or transferred only to someone approved by the co-op board. The goal is to convince the co-op board that the transfer does not negatively affect the co-op, and can be accomplished in a way that will not expose the property to any additional risk. While there is never a guarantee the board will approve every transfer, the competent attorneys at Ansanelli Law Group, LLP are successful in a large majority of these cases.