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My widowed Mother placed most of her liquid assets in an Ameritrade account 10 years ago under her name. Five years ago she remarried but never changed the account to her new married name or the ownership to include her new husband. To make a long story short, her husband is now very ill and will likely require more care than she can provide. Assuming Medicair assistance will be needed, will the funds in her Ameritrade account be viewed by Medicaid as "Countable"?

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You need an elder care attorney to sort this out. And you need to do it soon and BEFORE her DH goes into a NH. Your mom is considered the community spouse and the regulations on that can get complex.

For couple's, Day 1 of "institutionalization" is the key date for finances, it is often called the "snapshot" day.If your mom & her DH have assets they are expected to do private pay @ the NH or "spend down" assets to get to their state's couples asset ceiling to be Medicaid covered and the amount based on their financial situation at the time of the "snapshot".

For couples, your mom would be a "community spouse" as such the asset ceiling is higher and is limited to ½ of couple's joint assets.This is “spousal protected resource allowance” equal to one-half of the countable resources but not more than $109,560 in 2011. I think it’s this amount for all states. Over that they must “spend down”.

“Spend down” – means get assets (excluding “non-countables”) under the state’s Medicaid asset ceiling. If they have a home, they can prepay for utilities, cable, insurance, repairs. If your mom is planning on staying at the home, spending down by doing big ticket repairs or paying off the mortgage, is often a super good plan and this needs to be done before he goes into the NH.

For community spouse's there's other issues, like how to deal with income if she still works or if she never worked and her only income is his SS &/or retirement and she need's to get a MMMNA - minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance. (Say that 3 times fast!) These are all sticky, you'll likely need someone to work with you in figuring that out like an elder care attorney. The MMMNA is based on your state's AVERAGE and seem to be on the low side and often the community spouse will have to do an appeal to the state for more MMMNA or get a court order for spousal support to get more monthly support.

For couples, getting rid of the extra car is often the glitch that imposes a transfer penalty as they give it to one of the kids for free and then have a Kelly blue-book based transfer penalty for the value of the car hit them. Property ownership is recorded by the state so it's easy for Medicaid to do a cross check for registration. So that 20K car is 4 mo. penalty.

All these issues can be sticky to begin with and with the "community spouse" issue it's super sticky, IMHO your mom needs to hire an eldercare &/or estate planning attorney to do this. Good luck.
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There are many parts to Medicaid that make it complicated for caregivers and their elderly love ones to understand. That's why here at AgingCare.com we have created a special section for Medicaid and Medicare to help answer caregivers question. www.agingcare.com/Medicare-Medicaid

I have included two articles that will help you determine the requirement for and elderly person and what is considered "countable" for Medicaid.
Hope this helps :)

How Can My Elderly Parent Qualify for Medicaid?
www.agingcare.com/articles/How-can-my-elderly-parent-qualify-to-receive-Medicaid-136276.htm

Assets You Can Have to Still Qualify for Medicaid
www.agingcare.com/articles/asset-limits-to-qualify-for-medicaid-141681.htm.
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Based on my experience, I'm afraid that assets owned by either spouse are counted. But the rules are complex and this is not a do-it-yourself project. Mother should consult an attorney who specializes in Elder Law to ensure that the maximum resources can be preserved for her own needs.
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