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Great response Alzcaregiver....

I will add, however, that not knowing your familial situation or the state in which you live or the prognosis for your loved one makes a response pretty difficult.

"Hiding" or "Shielding" assets to qualify for Medicaid benefits can be illegal. What is often not recognized, however, is that there are at times very legitimate reasons for legal, ethical planning (disabled child, spouse at home receiving care, etc.) not the least of which is allowing the Medicaid recipient them self to have access to funds for those things that Medicaid will not provide.

The rules and regs spell out exactly what is permitted and what is not permitted when it comes to disposing of assets.

To answer your question directly, the best legal way is the way that makes the most sense for you family. It may mean simply spending down money on care, creating a personal service contract, transferring money to a trust of some form, planned gifting to family, or the purchase of income producing assets or annuity. Lot's of options.
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Hire me as a consultant. Special price, today only: $50,000 hour.

(really give more info to get better responses from this forum)

Seriously, I guess you are trying to spend down assets before trying to qualify for Medicaid. How about before that happens, to get him/her the best care possible? If already in a nursing home, get the private room, the monthly haircuts, physical therapy and massages, high def tv with great collection of DVDs.

If I had that bundle to spend on Mom, even with her dementia state, I would get her denture problem solved. The distress with her dentures is the center of her life, interferes with her enjoyment of food. Loose dentures sets off delusions occasionally, like her head is falling apart and she's dying. I would get best possible, perhaps with inplants (pins that hold the dentures instead of fixative).

On looking back over 8 years of sole caregiving, I would have put Mom in a boot camp for given-up-on seniors. (Or I would have created my own custom program with various therapists.) Wouldn't it be great if there were a "not-nursing-home" place that got diet straightened out, dentures fixed, glasses replaced, warts zapped, with lots of pampering, testing best Rx's, brain testing and exercise program, weight lifting, socialization, cultural exposure, art therapy, song therapy...and "service" (a way for them to serve, be it feeding squirrels, helping in the kitchen, putting together packages for the troops, etc.)

Of course, you may end up spending all this money, and have a healthy senior, then you'd REALLY have a problem! ;-)

I suppose you could put yourself in the position of Nancy Reagan, who had all the money possible to care for her beloved husband. What did she do to burn through a half million dollars?
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Hi Karen,

If you mean that you have to spend down $500,000.00 to Medicaid please read this article for information on the best way to do this:

If this isn't what you're referring to please give us more details on your situation so we can help you out. Welcome to AgingCare!

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Thanks, yes we wanted to know how to place in a trust or some shelter in FL to protect her money. We pay for her care 24 hours a day now (with her money) One family member already took over $250K and we are trying to recover some of it now. She is in good health and living with us we just want to do all we can to make sure she has what she needs when she needs it without using her money unnessarily. Thanks
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