One of the most central questions we get from married couples during Medicaid planning is also one of the most misunderstood questions: What is the effect of transfers of assets prior to application from one spouse to another?
The common misconception is that married couples believe they can’t transfer assets between each other because of the five-year look-back rule. The reality is that the five-year look-back rule does not apply to transfers of assets from one spouse to another, because in Medicaid terms the assets haven’t gone anywhere.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses transfers of assets from one spouse to another and dispels the misconception on its affects on Medicaid eligibility.
Do Transfers of Assets From One Spouse to the Other Affect Medicaid Eligibility?
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is one of our series of videos on Married Couples and Medicaid. Today I’m going to address one of the most central questions and also one of the most misunderstood questions.
What is the effect of transfers of assets prior to application from one spouse to another?
Now, the common misconception is: Well, we can’t do that because there’s this five-year look-back rule. The reality is that the five-year look-back rule does not apply to transfers of assets from one spouse to another. Why not?
Well, because in Medicaid terms they haven’t gone anywhere. They don’t look at – this spouse has these assets, this spouse has these assets, and they have these assets together. None of that is looked at until the time of application. Before application, transfers of assets from one spouse to another are like me taking my wallet out of this pocket and putting it into this pocket. Okay, it’s still with me, it hasn’t gone anywhere.
It’s really important that you understand that, because that’s a circumstance that is one of the keys to our ability to do just wonderful things to protect the assets of a married couple when one goes into a nursing home. Give us a call, we can help. Thanks.
For more information on transfer of assets, the look-back rule and asset preservation planning, visit these articles:
- What is a Transfer of Assets?
- What is a Look-Back Rule?
- How An Asset Preservation Trust Protects Your Life Savings From Long-Term Care Costs
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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 (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.