Estate Recovery in CA: Using an irrevocable trust

Hello, Mr. Heiser,

First, I want to thank you so very much for your wonderful book! I ordered and received the 2013 edition a few weeks ago and have been learning so much from it! I can’t thank you enough!

As a result of your information there, my 88 year-old mom (not married) is seriously considering changing the title of her home from her living trust to an irrevocable life estate in order to protect it from any possible future estate recovery by California’s Medicaid program.

We had always thought that her house was well protected by being in title to her Living Trust. But now we have discovered in your outline of the California Medicaid rules (appendix pages 270-272, — so valuable to us!) that California’s estate recovery is an expanded one that does indeed include joint property, living trusts and revocable life estate interests (part 4a, page 272). But then you go on to say in part 4b that irrevocable life estate interests are exempt from estate recovery, at least at the present point in time.

Now, here is our first question, please.

If she were to establish an irrevocable life estate interest soon in her current