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Your question blends two concepts that are distinctly different: Probate Wills and Medicaid look back.

The 5 year time period you are thinking of is a "look back period" that requires you to list on a Medicaid application any transfers you have made up to 5 years before you apply for Medicaid payments to a skilled nursing facility.

If you transferred an asset 5 years + 1 day before you apply for Medicaid, the transfer doesn't count and you don't have to list it on the application.

A Will is a document that transfers assets upon death. Your question indicates that the person who signed the Will still owns some assets. (They haven't transferred the assets; the assets are still owned by the person.)

If the person needs to apply for Medicaid, and they own "excess assets" (assets worth more the $2,000 for a single person) the Medicaid application will be denied.

It doesn't matter if they signed a Will leaving assets to someone else upon their death if they still own the assets when they apply for Medicaid.

A Will is a probate document. Probate laws for all states are at:
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to John L. Roberts

No. A will only distributes assets after a death and by law all creditors seeking payment must be paid before assets are transferred to the beneficiary(s).
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

No. When a person dies ALL of his assets stand to pay ALL of his debts. Period. After all of the debts are paid, the remaining assets go to the heirs.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

No. A will can't have any effect on anything until after the person who made it has died, no matter who has been told about it or where it is kept.

If you and your mother are thinking about your future financial security, perhaps it would be best to get professional advice.
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Reply to Countrymouse

NH are going to want to be paid regularly. I doubt a NH is going to carry a private pay resident who is non-payment for more than a couple of months before either filing a 30 day notice (to evict the resident) &/or turn it over to debt collection to go after family as financially responsible.

Now if their applying for Medicaid, Medicaid requires them to basically be impoverished in order to be eligible AND have to do a copay of basically almost all of their monthly income to the NH. They are going to have to spend their asssets before eligibility. If they actually own their home, they can keep it as an exempt asset for Medicaid BUT will have zero $ to pay any property costs. So if mom wants to keep her home, family has to pay all of its costs from day 1 of medicaid till beyond death as Executor or heirs will have to deal with MERP (Medicaid estate recovery) in some way after her death. If say, her place costs 30k annually, family is going to have to cover that. And cover it for an undetermined period of time...... like years....

Wills are entered to probate court after the individual has died.
It may have gotten drawn up, signed & notarized & witnessed 5 years ago, 10 years ago.... that doesn’t matter. It only get filed after death.
So the terms of the will can be affect by the passage of time. Like beneficiaries predecease. Assets named in a will get sold before death. Or upon death there are valid properly filed debts against her estate that need to be paid from assets of the Estate. Maybe if there was a Testamentary Trust in the will, the specific Trust asset might be outside of debtors. But that’s probate atty work to figure out.
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Reply to igloo572

As Igloo said, no such thing as "delivered" to the courts. A Will is filed at time of Probate and at that time made public.

When I applied for Medicaid for Mom, I was told Wills were null and void. Like said, you can have no money when u are a recipient of Medicaid. The recipient can have a house and a car but no money for upkeep. If sold while person is living, the proceeds go towards their care. Not sold, a Medicaid lean will be put on it. When sold, the lean must be satisfied. (Lots more to this if spouse or a family member lives in the home at time of death) The will has nothing to do with the five year look back. The house could be put in a trust before five years. Actually, Medicaid can't touch any trusts before five year look back. Within that 5 yrs, they can.

So, it comes down to, if Mom is in a NH for a long time, nothing will be left to Probate. In my situation, Mom had Medicaid for 3 months. The Medicaid lean on her house was 6k. I stopped paying taxes when Medicaid took her SS and pension to offset the cost of her care. She passed 9/17, the house was sold 7/19. I was offered 40k and I accepted it. By the time the taxes were paid and I was reimbursed for utilities, I kept on, lawyer and realtor paid there was about 10k left and that was split 3 ways.

As said, the Executor has to make sure all debts are paid. Then the beneficiaries get what is left.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29

You may want to Google MERP, medical expense recovery plan, for more information on how the liens work in your state.

Any lien placed will be paid and a priority before any assets are distributed to descendents and other beneficiaries.
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Reply to gladimhere

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Reply to Louise210

rolloverhere, remember that Medicaid [which is different from Medicare] is paid by the taxpayers. It wouldn't be fair for the taxpayers to pay for a nursing home when the patient has assets they can use.
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Reply to freqflyer

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