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Loved what Austin said about "money being their to care for loved ones" and not for "families when they die." Excellent point!
A living trust may be helpdful to you. The funds are placed under the trust and the family member appoints a trustee who will oversee the funds. The trust itself then becomes its own separate entity apart from personal assets. But you do have to mind the 5 year "look back period" where you will have to account for every cent before Medicaid will be satisfied. After the look-back period, it is my understanding, that assets cannot be touched.
If the 5 year period is not possible, then assets can be used for care as long as they last until one qualifies for Medicaid.
But I agree, get some legal advice. I also recommend starting with the social worker at your local hospital. They have all kinds of resources.
good luck
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The first step is to see an elder lawyer in your area who knows the ropes -some offices of the aging have lawyers who give their time freely-mine set a retainer which was fair. To be honest this needs to be started years before it is needed if possible because there is at least a 5 year look back period for any money that is spent so it is not possible to hide assests but nursing homes are necessary and would not be available if people were allowed to hide their assests and really what money a person has now adays is for thier care not for their families when they die, the lawyer will be able to be realistic for yoi-timing is everything but do not let that stop you from looking into it legally because if it is not done right it will come back to bite you.
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