My mother is in NH and we are getting ready to sell her home and dispose of her possessions. The furniture and appliances have little, if any, value. We believe if mom were able to make decisions re: these items she would want them to go to someone who could use them.
There are a few specific items that have been listed in mom's will that go to certain people. Is it a problem if they take possession now? And if a recipient does take possession and then decides to sell what they have, is that illegal?
24 years is pretty antique for a car, too! Is it a very special one?
It doesn't sound as if, even if you cleared everything away now, there could be much in the way of gifting penalties. But if it were me I'd want to get some kind of independent appraisal of the total value, if only to have it to hand for when Medicaid asks. You could do worse than call Medicaid and take their advice, too, of course.
I'm sorry, I know this is a rather heart-sinking project at the best of times. And the thought of having to go round the house putting little price labels on things just makes it worse.
I'm all in favour of legacies going to their named beneficiaries in advance. My aunt did this with her jewellery, herself, and it saved so much time and trouble for all concerned. It will only be a Medicaid-related problem if their combined value affects your mother's nominal total assets (bearing in mind that the Medicaid threshold is not what you'd call generous); or I suppose it could be were your mother to change her mind about them. Is she able or likely to?