In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson clears up the facts on a topic that many are easily confused by.
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!
This is another of our series of videos on the general topic of “What an Illinois Medicaid Applicant Can and Can’t Keep”.
Today I want to talk about jointly held assets, and I want to start with talking about things other than real estate. This is one of the things that people tend to be the most confused about, and actually have, in a lot of cases we’ve known of, gotten bad advice from bankers, and accountants on.
A joint account is considered to be owned 100% by the person applying for Medicaid, unless and to the extent that the other person can prove that they put more money into the account than the person who would be applying for Medicaid. Now, the big application of this here, is that because of that rule, it doesn’t matter when the joint account was set up; if it was set up 15 years ago, it’s still considered as belonging jointly to the applicant. So here’s the big mistake that gets made, is 15 years ago mom added each of her 3 kids to her bank accounts and now she’s getting ready to apply for Medicaid, they go “ok four of us own it, three of us will withdraw our fourth of a piece out of that account”. Sorry, Mom has made transfers of three-fourths of the money in those accounts and that’s going to delay her eligibility for what could be a long time, so that’s a bad mistake.
Real Estate is different, it counts based on the fractional interest, so if there are three owners it counts for a third of the value of the property. That’s all I’m going to say about real estate now because we have separate videos on Homestead and non-Homestead property, but you have to be really aware, this is another thing where we tell people, hey you really do need legal help on doing this or you can make bad mistakes that you didn’t realize you made one until it’s too late.
Also looking for information about Medicaid and Asset Preservation? Visit these articles:
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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.