In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson explains how the Medicaid eligibility rules penalize transfers for less than fair market value and how DCEL can help you navigate this potentially confusing process.
Greetings, I’m Wes Coulson from Dent Coulson Elder Law, and this will be your Elder Law Minute. We’re happy to present these because we think we can help inform you as to the ways in which we can help you and the things that you need to think about relative to the elder care and estate planning journey. Hope you enjoy.
The Medicaid eligibility rules penalize transfers for less than fair market value, so I’ve had people ask me, ‘Well, doesn’t that mean gifts? And if so, why don’t they just make it clear and say gifts?’ It does mean gifts, but it’s broader because they don’t want people to think that they can get around the rules by doing something cutesy that’s not directly a gift. I didn’t give my daughter a new car; I bought a new car for $35,000 and I sold it to her for a thousand dollars. Sorry, that’s a $34,000 transfer. I didn’t give my son $25,000; I loaned him twenty-five thousand dollars when he got laid off work because he was short on money, and I told him, ‘You know what, son? We don’t need any kind of loan agreement. I just know that when you get back on your feet, you’ll pay me back.’ Well, gosh, he’s not really back on his feet too well yet, but he’s still gonna pay me back. Sorry, that’s another transfer.
So, this is an example of one of the fine distinctions that exist in the Medicaid rules that probably illustrate the idea that laypeople have a lot of chances of messing this up if they try to go through the process of Medicaid eligibility without the right kind of professional help. So if you find yourself in that situation, please give us a call. We can definitely 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.