Planning for Life

Beware the Missing Schedule of Beneficiaries for your Nominee Realty Trust

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 14, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis


If you have a nominee realty trust, make sure you also have a copy of the schedule of beneficiaries. We can't tell you how many times we've found these schedules missing, meaning it's not clear who owns the property.

What is a Nominee Realty Trust?

To understand what this is all about, you need to know something about nominee realty trusts. These are devices used almost exclusively in Massachusetts to hold title to real estate through which the trustees act as agents for the beneficial owners whose names are not listed on the deed. They are also not listed in the trust document; instead, they are listed on a separate schedule of beneficiaries which is not recorded at the registry of deeds (which is why they often go missing).

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Topics: nominee realty trust, schedule of beneficiaries

SJC Rules House in Nominee Trust Not a Countable Asset for MassHealth

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on February 9, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis


In the latest of a long line of cases debunking MassHealth legal theories, in Guilfoil vs. Sec. of the Exec. Office of Health and Human Services (SJC-12922, February 9, 2021), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) finds that an applicant's life interest in a home held by a nominee trust is not a countable asset for purposes of her eligibility for MassHealth coverage of her nursing home care. We also note that this is the latest in a long line of MassHealth trust cases litigated by Lisa N. Neeley of Mirick O'Connell in Worcester.

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Topics: MassHealth, nominee realty trust

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