What is the best way to pay for things when you're running errands for your parents to keep Medicaid from saying that they might be gifts?

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What is the best way (or ways) to pay when you run errands for your elderly parents, to keep Medicaid from saying in the future that they might be gifts, if you ever had to apply for Medicaid?


Myself, I have used a combination of payment methods. Whether or not these are the best ways to be paying, you tell me...


LOCAL STORES: I tend to use her cash withdrawn from her bank for her groceries and hardware items, and keep the receipts, as well as keeping good records of such. I used to just put it on my credit card, or pay with my cash, and then have her pay me back by check, but I changed that practice. Maybe I should be writing checks from her account instead of using her cash, or does it really matter? I hate writing checks in stores, but she does have an account where I can sign as POA (my name is on the checks as the POA). I don't use her credit card at local stores, seeing as only she is on the account, but maybe I can use a debit card if I get one for her? She does not have one, and I have never used one before.


UTILITIES AND SOME BILLS: Checkbook.


OTHER BILLS: Credit card.



Answers 1 to 2 of 2
Expert Answer
3930 helpful answers
You are very wise to keep records. I think it's instinctive for most people just to buy things and have the elder pay them back, but that is tougher to prove that the items were for your elder if you have to show records to Medicaid.
I believe that as long as you keep receipts, you are okay, but it may be better to use her checks or credit card - and also keep receipts. it's a pain, but not as bad as backtracking. To be absolutely certain, check with Medicare or an elder law attorney.
Carol
I pay all my mother-in-law's bills online. I also have POA and there are a few checks I write, but otherwise it's online. When she needs food I take her shopping and she gives me her credit/debit card and I use that. But I always try to remember to put the card back in her wallet till she needs it again.

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