The Listen to Lawrence Letter: What can I do with the money from the sale of a house in an irrevocable trust?

June 23, 2023
June 20, 2023 • Volume 4 Issue 148
After the sale…now what?


I had to ask this question. I’m thinking of selling my condo which is in my irrevocable trust along with my home here on Long Island. The money I get from my condo in Florida will be deposited in the trust bank account and cannot be used for anything else. Is my thinking correct?


All trust assets can be sold by the trustee (unless the trust prohibits it). Upon sale, the trustee will get the cash proceeds and can invest in any other asset, including real estate, stocks, bonds, CDs, mutual funds, etc. You get the point. With a Medicaid trust, the only real limitation is that the trustee cannot buy anything for your direct benefit.

On the other hand, the trustee can sell your principal residence and then buy you another principal residence. This is true because the trust when created, stated that you reserved the right to the use and occupancy of the principal residence (you kept the right to live there, etc.).

Therefore, the condo can be sold and the trustee can invest the money in any way that makes sense, ultimately for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries (usually your children). The money can not be used to buy something for you directly.

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