In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses the importance of understanding Medicaid and returned gifts.
As you may already know, especially if you’ve watched any of our videos, Medicaid imposes what’s called a transfer penalty for any gifts or other transfers for less than fair market value of property that have occurred within five years. So what happens if you get to the point where you say, “well, I ca’t undo history. There have already been gifts made. Is it too late to fix that?”
Well, the answer is not necessarily, but it’s not easy. Sometimes it involves having the gifts returned, but if you’ve given $10,000 to your daughter so that she could pay down credit card bills or catch up on her mortgage, she may not be able to give that back. And there are other things that we can do.
We can plan around the fact that there is going to be a transfer penalty, and do other planning that is going to make sure that you have reserve funds to pay the nursing home during the transfer penalty.
I think I kind of have a short answer to this one, and that is that this is one of those areas that needs special attention, and really you need to have a good elder law attorney, somebody like us, helping you with the process, because the consequences otherwise can be pretty dramatic.
If you have somebody that by definition is broke, or they wouldn’t they be qualifying for Medicaid in the first place, and you get a Medicaid decision back saying you still have to pay out of pocket for your nursing home care for the first 6 months, that doesn’t leave you with a lot of very good options.
So, give us a call on that and this is definitely one where we can and really should help
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Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.