My brother-in-law wants to add my husbands name to a new car that was just bought before their parents went into assisted living. Medicaid application is going to start in the next two months. According to my brother-in-law, states the lawyer recommends about a month after application to add someone’s name to the title. I have all kinds of red flags for this.

Am I wrong? I know there’s all kinds of loopholes, but many have been closed. Opinions please. And yes I told my husband no, and he got very angry. He believes his brother walks on water.

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Only the person who owns the car can add another name to the title of the car. A car is considered a part of the estate of the elder. As is the home. While it can be retained until death, after death, when Medicaid comes to recover funds it will be expected that the executor of the estate sell the car for fair market value. This varies a bit state by state but this must NOT BE DONE without the advice of an elder law attorney in your area.
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So 1 parent is going into LTC & applying for LTC Medicaid but the other is staying in AL and as such is the community spouse, right? Medicaid allows for them as an individual or as a couple to have 1 car as an asset. Even if the 2nd car is a real beater, it’s still 1 car too many. HOWEVER Medicaid places an upper limit on the value of the car even if it’s being driven by the community spouse.

That is what I’d try to find out about.

Medicaid won’t be happy if they went & used their assets for 85k luxury car. All real property is recorded in states database, it’s just easy keystrokes for caseworker to find out what cars they sold, their value and what they paid for new car.
Medicaid has asset value limits for both homes and cars. It also has monthly income and overall asset maximums. For homes it’s 500/550k for most states but upper east coast ones it’s more 750/800k range. If home or car is over the max based on tax assessor info - again it’s all in the states database- they won’t be eligible for LTC Medicaid. You can go and spend your $ however you want to…. buy a $$$$ car, pay for your kids wedding, take the entire family on vacation, but Medicaid will look to see if spends were gifting of assets or asset manipulation and then review the LTC application accordingly.

Medicaid for couples looks at things based on a “snapshot day”, has anyone mentioned this to you all?
Also LTC Medicaid is not 1 & done. Every year there will be a renewal questionnaire that the state will send to whomever is POA. In it you must report if any assets have been sold or changed along with a resubmission on other items, like last tax assessor statement on the home. So if that car gets sold or title changed, it has to be reported and 50% of the sale is income for the NH spouse which might affect their Medicaid monthly income maximum. Ditto for house. Again all is in states database and easily found. I had no idea renewals were done & had packed all of my moms paperwork and put into storage, nothing but FUn! I was organized for year 2 renewal.

if Bro is so wanting to do this, have him add his name onto the car title.
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babsjvd May 2021
Thank you very much for Medicaid not being one and done info. I don’t understand why the attorney would recommend adding the name. And I wasn’t aware that Medicaid will claw back monies from a car sale when my in laws pass...

they are both in long term care now for about 2 weeks.....
Babs, if your in laws got an elder law atty who is familiar with Medicaids LTC asset transfer rules and after death estate recovery (MERP) then he’s making suggestions that should work for the inlaws. But what seems to happen over & over again based on posts on this site it that the atty is really more an estate law atty and geared to do things that are all about probate and tax avoidance, not deal w Medicaid & MERP. So what’s suggested in the past ends up not being the best thing to do now that Medicaid will be needed. Medicaid revolves around them being “at need” both financially and medically. For financial it is that they are impoverished. Folks that are at the point of being impoverished don’t have assets, they don’t need estate work as there’s no $. Maybe the only asset they would have would be their home and a 1/ one car if they continued to own it after going into LTC and they have family happily willing to pay all house / car expenses without guarantee of reinbursement or acquisition after death. House & car & term life insurance are it for assets for an individual on Medicaid is my take. Medicaid has a required compliance of almost all their mo income to be paid to the facility from day 1 of Medicaid application.

but your inlaws situation is way different as they are a married couple and only one going on Medicaid. If that is what is happening, its way way more complicated…. Like they still can have the house & car as joint assets but the non Medicaid spouse can have their own segregated assets. The amt is unique to each state but most have it abt 128k for a CS. and if the CS can document that they need some of the Nh spouse mo income to cover their costs of living as a CS, they can ask for a waiver to get some the the NH copay to be waived to the CS.

BUT if they too eventually need Medicaid, they too will have to do their own spend down to become impoverished. And for more fun in this, they (as a couple) on Medicaid both on LTC can have a max of 3k in combined assets. Not 2k each but 3k together.
So all that Planning & $ moves for the CS now is moot. There was a post earlier this month from a CS family who did extensive $ planning to seperate dads $ from NH Medicaid applying mom end of last year and then the dad died this year. A real clusterF as the dad had made his kids beneficiaries, etc. all of which has to be unthreaded as it would cause penalties by Medicaid for the NH spouse. They & atty did things assuming CS would outlive the Nh spouse, then CS died.

Medicaid doesn’t do a clawback per se. What Medicaid does is make the person ineligible and places a penalty by # of days that has to be over before Medicaid will find them eligible. The person will have to private pay to continue to live in the NH… but they have no $ so either family pays, or family moves them into their home or if it gets contentious they can become a ward of the state.

The extra sticky in this is that they are living in the facility in order to apply and they are getting a daily bill for room&board. So if Medicaid application review takes 4 mos & caseworker finds an problem, thats 4 mos of NH bill that the NH is fully expecting for someone to pay or they will place it for collections. Plus the new daily bill.

Medicaid is actually very good on checks and balances. They get 3-5 years of banking and financials, they get the annual awards letters so know to the penny what SSA will be paying for the incoming year; have their life insurance info so know who will be beneficiaries; plus full access to any state database & taxes. If bro in law is doing things for asset avoidance that is hinky, it will surface eventually.

If he insists on adding a name to the title, let him add his or his wife’s.
Id also be concerned that if hubs name is added, & should both of his parents go onto Medicaid, that BIL will browbeat hubs that all car costs - insurance, maintenance, registration- are his to pay as his name is on the title.
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Yes, Brother-in-law would take mom and have her add a name. After the Medicaid process starts. This frightens me as I believe it’s really happening is to avoid probate at the end.
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