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Transfers and Gifts

When developing a comprehensive plan for asset preservation, don’t forget about the federal government and its ability to challenge transfers and gifts when administering Medicaid benefits. Often, transfers of assets within Medicaid planning are used to protect assets from the extreme high expenses of nursing home care. Nursing home care costs can range between $90,000.00 to $140,000.00 a year. Before transferring any assets, you should always seek professional advice. Many families who call Long Term Care Solutions, LLC do not fall within the income and asset guidelines and need the direction and planning of an Elder Law Attorney. Long Term Care Solutions, LLC works closely with several attorneys who specialize in many areas of law to develop a tailor-made plan using trusts, transfers, contracts, etc. specific to the applicant.

I am joint on my mother’s checking and savings accounts. Can I remove half of the value of the account to myself since my name is also on the bank statements?

No. Medicaid views joint accounts and investments to be moms unless you can prove you have contributed to the accounts by providing bank deposit receipts or direct deposit statements.

What is the look back period?

Medicaid requests the information for all assets given away within the past 5 years.

Are there certain transfers that are permissible that will not trigger the look back provision?

Yes. Transfer of assets to the extent value was received in return. Payments by the applicant for goods and services purchased have no effect on eligibility. Example: purchase of a home, car, home repairs, vacations, home health care benefits for the applicant etc.

Am I allowed to give my two children every year the allowable $14,000.00 tax exemption?

No. Medicaid’s guidelines are different than the IRS’guidelines. Medicaid does not allow for this transfer.

Will Medicaid allow me to pay for my grandchildren’s college education without breaking the transfer rule?

No. Any money given as payment of services to anyone outside the marriage is viewed as a transfer of assets.

What exactly does Medicaid do if someone is penalized for recent gifts or transfers?

Medicaid has a calculation that will determine how long the penalty period will be (months) if someone has made any uncompensated transfers before Medicaid benefits begin.

I gave $20,000.00 this past Christmas to my four grand­ children and now I am in need of nursing home care. Will Medicaid require me to ask them to return the money or will Medicaid deny my request for benefits?

All gifts and transfers do need to be disclosed to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). There are legal options available to you, to allow for the gifts and transfers you have already provided without requesting repayment. At Long Term Care Solutions, LLC we work with several Elder Law Attorneys who can explain those options to you.

Will Medicaid require me to provide all our bank state­ ments for the past five years now that my husband has entered a nursing facility?

No.Typically the case worker will request the last three months.

I have been living with my daughter for years and have been contributing toward her household bills. Is the money I have paid her considered a transfer of assets?

No. As long as you have paid a fair and reasonable amount for living with your daughter, the funds will be looked at as normal living expenses.

If I am in the nursing home, is it too late to give away my assets and qualify for Medicaid?

No. It’s never too late. In fact, depending upon a person’s circumstances, it may be legally possible for him or her to give away all assets and qualify for Medicaid the same month.

Remember, there are ways explained by an Elder Law Attorney to protect gifts and transfers and not jeopardize the Medicaid application. Call Long Term Care Solutions, LLC to learn more.