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My dad has assets that should cover him for 10 years. If he sells me his car below fair market, will I be safe from Medicaid issues if he ends up needing to go on it down the road?

I bought my parents sweet ride for a song,, and like you I was sure they had enough to carry on for over 5 years. But if that had changed I knew I MIGHT have to add back the actual worth of the car. Its a crap shoot,, but its also a USED car... And I have never heard of anyone from Medicaid coming in person to determine the actual condition and value.. Just saying. Since neither of them had a license to drive anymore, but wanted the car for me to drive them in,, it was cheaper to insure in my state in my name and on my plan. I had no problems at all, and did the transfer without issues at AAA. I am still driving that sucker!!
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Reply to pamzimmrrt
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The best thing to do would be to have it appraised and pay the “fair market value”
or
Take it to a car dealership or a place like Carmax and find out what they would give you for the car. Then pay your dad the same price he would get if he were to sell it.
These two options are.a bit different as an appraised value might be higher than what a dealership ot other car lot would pay you because they will mark it up in order to make a profit.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Why not just get a good appraisal and pay that price, even if you set it up as payments over a year or so?

As others noted, costs can change if his level of care goes up, generally there are at least yearly increases in the monthly costs and depending on what his assets are, they could lose value. The safest bet would be to get an appraisal and make payments for the amount determined. Then there would be no worries about Medicaid, if it's ever needed. In the end, if there are funds remaining, you get some (if there are other siblings) or all of it back.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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Medicaid look-back is 5 years so if he maintains private pay for 5 years past the car purchase you're fine. If he needs to move to Medicaid before 5 years after you purchase the care you'd need to make up the difference between the sales price and the fair market value before Medicaid would kick in. Since it's a used car, not a house, I can't imagine that we are talking huge sums of money so you need to determine the trade-off of a cheap car sale now vs the possibility of having to make up the difference 5 years from now.
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Reply to jkm999
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No, you won't be safe, nor will your father. That is considered gifting as the car is a part of his estate. You can be added to the title of his car if you have him accompany you to an insurance office that does titles, or to Triple A, which does it in their office, or to DMV, and then car is yours on his death, and you can use it until then. But he cannot gift the car, and a transfer of title to you will even ask the question on the forms "Is this a gift". Medicaid issues would come up as the car is currently part of his estate and would be in Medicaid recovery as well. They often tell you, in fact, what they expect the car to be sold for, so keep it safe and in good condition. You cannot guess the point at which an elder will need memory care, so costs per month could go way up any day now. While California has lookback of only two and one half years, other states for the most part have a five year, so you cannot gamble on that one.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Countrymouse May 12, 2021
The OP reckons his father has ten years covered. I hope the OP knows how much care costs!
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Good point, Geaton. Look back in most states is five years. But, what if dad had a stroke and needed nursing home care at 12 K or more a month, how long would his assets last?
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Reply to gladimhere
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Geaton777 May 12, 2021
And 24/7 in-home care costs will often exceed that of facility care. Many people don't know this until they're deep into it.
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What are you basing his care costs on? In calculating his future needs, remember that as his health or cognition changes, the price of his care goes up. I just spoke to someone who was paying $14K per month for care who was in LTC.
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Reply to Geaton777
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You have no problem. Medicaid only goes back 5 years.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I don't believe Medicaid looks back a full 10 years so be sure he has enough to last 10 years (or however long the Medicaid lookback is).
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Reply to marydys
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