Land Trust & Conservatorship

My mother’s home is in a land trust with three beneficiaries, herself, my sister and myself. She has Alzheimer’s and her assets are going to be handled by a court-appointed conservator.

Does anyone know if we will be able to sell or rent the home before her death without her transferring her share in the trust? The Public Administrator seemed to think the house would either be locked up or it would be taken to pay for her medical expenses. I can’t find an attorney in her area who can tell me.

Thanks -


What area? Where are you?

it all depends on how the trust is set-up; namely who has power of direction. Normally, in a land trust the benes have the power. In that case, the conversator, you and the sister would have to agree to sell the property (and proceed would be split as such).

Not sure what you are talking about “without transferring her share of the trust”. At this point, the conversator is probably not going to agree to relinguish your mother share of the trust to anyone else. Thus her 1/3 share will pass into her estate and thus mostly likely probate.

What type of land trust is this since it sounds trustee directed? NARS trusts are beneficiary directed and there would be no court appointed conservator. It sounds like this one is not in your best interest but I do not have enough info to make that determination.

IN a NARS land trust your mother, if she fails to be able to vote her rights due to her inability to act as a beneficiary can name you as a co-beneficiary or remainder agent in the trust via a letter of direction to your designated trustee as long as all beneficiraries agree but this is usually done at the inception of the trust. You can get a limited power of attorney to vote her rights in the trusts via proxy.

That way you can execute her estate legally and can through rite of survivorship assume her beneficial interest in the trust if she passes on. You need to really find out if this trust setup is in your best interest in relation to the property.

I am not an attorney, just a land trust junkie…Good luck to you…

It’s been a while since I’ve been in the Long Term Care Insurance/Financial Planning biz, but let me fire up some brain cells here…Is the ultimate goal to qualify for Medicaid? If so, Medicaid has income/asset thresholds that must be met. Most folks have to spend down considerable assets to qualify. Depending on how your particular trust is structured, the home may or may not be exempt. Who is the trustee? How long has the trust been in effect? What type of trust is it? What is the original intent of the trust? Any transfer of assets in the preceding 3 year period prior to assistance will likely incur a 50% penalty. Education is the key to minimizing risk. I hope this might have given you some help. Having been through a similar situation with my father, I empathize with your family. Regards,

Just a note of caution: the feds have recently been investigating individual cases where assests have been deeded over or given to heirs prior to an individuals application for fed med assistance. I believe this was a recent topic on msn Or, I could’ve read it in a trade journal. Nonetheless, if the government thinks that your bucks are theirs, they want it and will get it. As David hints at, plan ahead and do your transfers, etc. years ahead.

An Elder attorney was the one who helped me.

He took Mom’s name off of everything in case she needed to qualify for Medicaid while he protected Dad’s assets.

I am sure there are many Elder experts in your area. Hopefully they can assist you.
Alzheimer’s hits most families sooner or later. It is a tragic sight. I just lost Mom in my arms 2 months ago. I feel for your family.

I believe the patient has to be capable of signing documents with a X at least 3 years prior.
The Feds are watching us. Planning is the only way to go.