Follow
Share

My father placed property that my cousin left him in his will when he passed back in 2011. The property has been up for sale since 2012 and just sold in the spring of last year. The idea all along by my father was to split the money among the four children. Well, I took $40,000 last spring after the sale and long before my father had a stroke (December) and is looking at long term care. How can this gift be protected from the Medicaid 5 year look back when he spends down and needs to apply? This money was distributed as per the plan when we opted to sell the property back in 2012 and is no way a means of hiding the money. At the time, there was no way to know that this would happen.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Not intent, but actually what happened.

Check this website, they actually have attorneys online that may be able to help you with your question. Better them than those of us that think we understand how the look back works. Maybe they will tell you what you want to hear, or ways to fix it.

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/how-can-i-safely-transfer-my-assets-get-medicaid-pay-long-term-care.html
Helpful Answer (2)
Report
jwlyda Jan 2020
thanks!
(0)
Report
jwlyda - I’ve seen it asked a few times but not answered - where do your siblings stand in all of this? Did they take their intended share of the money that was generated through the land sale?

An interesting side note -
well, I think it’s interesting...

A study recently done by The World
Health Organization ranked 195 countries in the health care that is available to their citizens. America ranked 35th. Pretty pathetic for “The Most Powerful County in the World”. At least, that’s my opinion.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Place the House and property in an irrevocable trust and and it can not be sold to care for him since it belongs to the Trust. Consult an Elder Care Attorney for other possibilities.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
Grandma, any changes now would just cause problems. This poster needs to see an elder law attorney to help her.
(2)
Report
See 2 more replies
Again, "it is not about intent, but about what actually happened."

If Medicaid qualification were loosened as you would like, we would all be paying much higher taxes to allow that many more people to live in NHs with publicly funded support.

What about the shares for your siblings? What's happened to their (total) $120,000?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report
jwlyda Jan 2020
Didn't say I wanted it loosened, just wanted it to make sense. How about before a look back period they exhaust the thousands of dollars paid to them by folks like my dad that paid into the system for 75-80 years? That's a lot of money earned by government investment of his money over that kind of time period.... Just sayin...
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
Jwlyda,

I feel your frustration! But you are correct! After a certain age you can not leave or gift a big amount of money to your kids or grandkids just "in case" you might need long term Medicaid because who knows 'what might happen.'

Now on the other hand, if a person has lots of money and assets. That person can hire a lawyer who knows how to hide his/her money and assets to leave to his/her kids and/or grandkids. However, if you're just working class or God forbid went through a hard time in life and just have a little bit of assets such as a house and need Medicaid well the kids or grandkids won't be getting the family home that has been past down for 3 generations--Medicaid will get it.

There is a post here about how Medicaid is a government program that needs very hard rules to protect it and it does...because people that were well to do would gift all their assets to family and let Medicaid pay the bill! But guess what? Even though these rules are in place that doesn't stop them people from doing it...they just have to pay more legal fees to hide their assets! So you have to ask? Are these hard rules really protecting Medicaid program or are they just hurting the everyday person?

I believe that your dad was not being sneaky or trying to get one-over on the government. He did what he thought was right at the time. But to Medicaid, it doesn't matter...it was within the 5 yr look back.

And you have all rights to be upset! No one thought dad would need LTF, but he does...and now you're in what I call "no man's land." Maybe dad won't need Medicaid...a lot can happen in a few yrs

The truth of the matter is, you pay taxes for a government program "Medicaid" and seems how most people don't save enough for the care they will need because the cost just keeps rising; just so your family can pay the cost; if and when you need Medicaid!


Just my 2 cents!!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report
jwlyda Jan 2020
I understand protecting the Medicaid program and I was making sure I was clear on the rule. I thought they investigated money disbursements that go back 5 years to make sure there was nothing nefarious. I didn't know it made no difference. The rule seemed stupid so I had to make sure I was clear. It seems if they intended to make sure people weren't hiding money, an investigation would ensue. So, they go back 5 years, yet Joe Blow put all 10 million dollars in some kind of trust 5 years and one day ago, and then there's Jane Doe that 4 years prior to needing it she happened to give $20,000 to her son so he could fix the leaking roof in his house... See the difference? That's why I was questioning it to make sure I understood, and I guess I do, the government will do whatever to make sure they get all the money they can... I can see it if it was some illegal here soaking the system for money they didn't contribute. But, what makes me mad is people on here are making like they're paying the taxes and it's wrong for someone to use it if they happened to have had money that they gave children for whatever reason that wasn't attributed to hiding money from Medicaid. Well, that money is his too, and mine and everyone that paid into this BS Ponzi scheme the government has going. How about before a look back period they exhaust the thousands of dollars paid to them by folks like my dad that paid into the system for 75-80 years? That's a lot of money earned by government investment of his money over that kind of time period.... Just sayin...
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
I can understand that it offends you to feel as though you're being lumped in by Medicaid with the category of people who try to sneak elders' assets under the carpet and pretend they don't exist, and clearly that isn't what happened.

Back in the spring last year, your father sold an asset which netted - $40K x 4, then? - $160K. You had no way of knowing that he would be injured in a fall and have a stroke later in the year, and then require long term care. But you say the family has been caring for him for years. Like every other family, you were aware that he did have care needs; making provision for those is only normal; and there is no reason why you should have been less aware than any other family of the possibility that his circumstances would change.

Medicaid isn't going to fine anyone, or prosecute anyone, or even accuse anyone. But they are not going to pay the care fees of someone who has voluntarily given away multiple tens of thousands of dollars in cash within the last twelve months.

What happened to the other three shares? Are those still available to him? If so, perhaps you can come to some sort of long-term arrangement with your siblings about repaying your share to your father's (hypothetical) estate. Essentially what's happened is that you have had a legacy advanced to you but through unforeseen circumstances the legacy (probably) won't materialise after all.

With 20:20 hindsight, of course it's a pity that your father didn't give the property to you four when he inherited it. I expect that was because it seemed simpler to divide cash? Just curious, not that it gets us anywhere, why did it take so long to sell? I don't think you can call an asset that your father has owned for eight years "unexpected." It may have been unexpected in 2011 but there has been plenty of time for decisions about what to do with it.

I can't see any harm in your taking professional advice about what to do next but I'd be very wary of any professional who came up with a clever wheeze to make your $40K vanish off the books. That really could get you into trouble.

ARE you in trouble? What are your siblings saying about your father's care plan and its funding and your $40K?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
jwlyda Jan 2020
I think everyone is misunderstanding my question! It was just acreage and it sat for sell on the market since 2012 before it sold in the spring of last year. Just way it goes around here anyways... Not many people here looking for 40 acres of just land. Anyway, I'm getting off topic... I was just making sure I understood correctly that using this money was protected in anyway. If left unchecked, I'm sure the system would soak everything they can. I needed to find out if that was the case, because it sounds stupid to me. There has to be a way for the government to investigate each case on its merit to make sure it was legit. I can see needing strict rules, just making sure I was interpreting it correctly. And it's called unexpected because it was, I'm not sure how to answer your question... What's the time limit on unexpected acquisition? And the decision as to what to do with it was made right away, hence it was on the market to be sold starting 2012, it just took that long for it to sell, the intentions of what to do with the proceeds were made from the beginning.
(0)
Report
Jwlyda, go to www.nelf.org and find a certified elder law attorney in your area.

If Medicaid is used the house will be effected. They will place a lien on it and I am not completely sure, but I would say that you couldn't change the title until the lien was satisfied. At this point you have time to find out what is going to happen and plan. That is a blessing for sure.

I know that this is a freaky scary time, deep breath and one step at a time.

I want to say that I am sorry that you have lost the dad that you know, it is a huge adjustment and it is very sad. This is all really raw, take some time finding an attorney that you as a family feel is the right fit. We interviewed so many attorneys, only the ones that offered free consultations and we finally found one that fit our needs and had a personality that we could work with. It was a huge hassle but so worth it. You can use dads money for this much needed advice and guidance. I know that if I have any questions I can make a phone call or send an email and I will receive accurate information, that is a priceless feeling.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report
TXGirl82 Jan 2020
Agree! Time and money well spent...
(1)
Report
As another poster put it "it is not about intent, but about what actually happened."  It is fair and reasonable that all his money be used for his care before the taxpayer has to step in with Medicaid.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report
jwlyda Jan 2020
I understand, and yes, you should spend your money before taxpayer has to step in with Medicaid. It would be different if someone tried to give money away to save it AFTER being placed in a facility. But, it makes no sense to be penalized for using your money throughout life for whatever you want while you're healthy. Like I said, this disbursement was made last year before he or anyone even knew he would end up in a facility. This was done when he was healthy and enjoying life. He fell and got hurt over Labor Day weekend and was in rehab and Medicare and his insurance was covering that stay, but he had his debilitating stroke while in rehab and now he has to go to a LTF. Otherwise he woulda come home after the rehab and we would continue to care for him like we have been for years.
(1)
Report
See 2 more replies
As long as he is private pay no problems. Your problem will be if he needs Medicaid within five years, that sale will pop up if it went into one of his accts and and he wrote checks off of the acct.

This is a forum of lay people who care for someone. We can't give u a definite answer concerning Medicaid. States share basic rules and then they have some of their own. You really need to find out what your state rules are. I understand your question but its not when the plans were made but when money was distributed.

I feel that Medicaid should be one of the things discussed when planning retirement. Like you said, you can't know that Dad would have a stroke. Most people do not know how Medicaid works. A lot of mis-information out there. You really need to talk to a lawyer versed in Medicaid.

Is there a chance of improvement for Dad? If so, maybe he could transfer to an Assisted Living eventually. Would cut cost of his care.

Hope u can find the answer u want.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
Joann he apparently needs Medicaid now m
(0)
Report
See 3 more replies
@jwlyda, are there other, less expensive care facilities in his area that would meet your dad's needs? Have y'all shopped around for a place that could help his money last longer?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report
jwlyda Jan 2020
We've looked and $295 per day is the going rate here, and that's for a semi private room, a private room goes for $310-$320 per day. Even if 6 months to a year of intensive speech therapy works and we can get him home, 24/7 skilled nursing in home is only available from one place and they are $300 per day too.
(0)
Report
Jwlyda, it is confusing as can be. I am with you trying to figure out how do you know what tomorrow holds and how do you prepare for the unknown.

Does the 3.5 years of self pay include his house? If not, you can look into selling that to cover self pay until the penalty period ends. Medicaid is going to get paid back as much as they can, they will put a lien on the house and collect when it is sold after his death. They won't make accusations, they will just place a penalty period in place for the money that was gifted to his children. It's really not about intent, it is about actions.

I would honestly not worry at this point, because they are always changing the rules, so who knows what the situation will look like in 3 years.

I dealt with a situation that my dad made 14.00 a month to much to qualify for public assistance. Yet he was thousands of dollars shy of skilled care. I found a board and care home that would let him age in place and he could afford the monthly payment. He didn't plan for his old age or any medical conditions, every penny went to keep his teeny bopper wife happy and when he got sick she left. Ugh!

So your dad is okay for now, worry about later, later.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report
That’s sad, isthisreallyreal. Teeny bopper wife. 😂. Men! Some love the young women, for sure.

I am not saying all romances with large age differences are bad. Some are wonderful marriages. Others are not!
(0)
Report
See 5 more replies
@jwlyda, with regards to gifts you gave your children, some states allow exceptions for for "small" cash gifts ($500 or less). I concur with those who advise a consultation with an elder law attorney to help you understand your father's situation and your own. Planning can make a huge difference, but many people either don't have extra money for legal fees or don't want to spend that money.

I can't imagine a birthday/wedding/graduation gift would count against you if you purchased a "small" item for another person. How would they know that item from the electronics or department store wasn't for you? Giving larger amounts of cash to your kids (or whomever) might be a problem.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report
jwlyda Jan 2020
Well, I've given them a couple of grand apiece a couple of times and I've also bought both a car worth 10 grand. This has been in the past few years, but, who knows when something is going to happen? Do I need to quit doing that? It seems silly to me. The rule should be that Medicaid investigate each occurrence and see if someone is hiding money, or are they just giving gifts throughout life and then one day get caught in the Medicaid scam? It pisses me off at the number of people that get Medicaid assistance whether they are citizens or not, or have earned it or not, and then those that have honestly paid get screwed.
(0)
Report
I guess that is why some people are reluctant to share finances, just to make sure they have enough resources for themselves. Assisted living facilities costs a fortune.

So they leave the funds in their name until they die. Then it is distributed after a will is read. It’s sad because some people don’t want to wait until then. They would rather give things away before they die.

All situations are different. Different circumstances and different state laws too. So it’s best to check with someone in your state about your individual situation. You may have nothing to be concerned about and can put your mind at ease.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I am sorry.   He should have transferred the property to his four kids when he saw it was not selling immediately.  Having a plan is not enough to get it treated as transferred.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Well, I can see I'm regretting looking for some answers here! I wasn't looking to argue rules, I was looking to see if I understood them correctly. I can understand that if you go in a facility and then try to start moving money to hide it, that would not be right. I was trying to find out if I was misinterpreting the rule for money distributed during regular uneventful years and then all of the sudden find yourself going into a LTF. He just went into the facility yesterday and has PLANNED well enough to self pay for about 3 1/2 years. That's 42 months at $9,000 per month. After that, he will need Medicaid, but if they go back 5 years, that goes back into healthy years. The property wasn't part of his long term plan, he only acquired that 8 years ago from my cousin's estate and he said that he wanted to just sell it and divide the money among the 4 children. By the time the property sold and he gave the money it will still fall within the 5 years from when he will be needing Medicaid 3 1/2 years from now. I'm trying to find out if money dispersed is a cut and dried thing or do they investigate to see if someone is actually trying to hide money.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report
Riverdale Jan 2020
As others have suggested you would be well advised to hire a lawyer who deals with elder care. You could try to find out rates beforehand. The wife of good friends of ours did this. Her husband suffered a very serious stroke. They had to sell their fairly large home and downsize. He is now on 24/7 care approved by Medicaid as she works fulltime still. The services she paid for helped her achieve this. They certainly are no longer well to do. I think all your concerns might be answered in a way that would serve interests while still being legal. You will get varying opinions here which may all be valid but may differ state to state. I know my friend could never have managed without the help and services of legal help.
(3)
Report
See 5 more replies
OP, its not as clearcut as some would make you believe. Please don't get so worried over this. No, Medicaid doesn't deny for giving family presents and your father will not be thrown out on the street. That can't happen.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yeah, I understand how you feel but I don’t know how a person can get around the 5 year look back.

Don’t get upset with people on the forum. We didn’t make the rule. Just stating how it works. Just how it is.

Sorry that I can’t give you an answer that pleases you more. We all have the responsibility to plan for our senior years as much as we possibly can. Life can be challenging at times.

I suppose if you want to be absolutely sure, you can research for yourself. There is literature that you can read or you can make an appointment with a financial planner or an elder care attorney. Then your mind will be at rest.

Best wishes for you and your family.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

These situations can be a mess, can’t they? Bottom line is that there are rules in place and if they are broken, you pay for it. Just how it is.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
jwlyda Jan 2020
What rules are broken? Do I need to take the money back that I gave my 2 daughters for Christmas in case I have a stroke tomorrow and need to be put in a facility so Medicaid don't say that I was hiding money? LMAO!! I guess I'm just not understanding what everyone is saying. What I'm getting from this is that you can not do anything with your money just in case something happens to you? I guess I need to find out what gifts my dad gave me the past 5 years so I can give it back... He just went into a facility yesterday and begins self pay on Monday. I guess he has enough money to self pay for about 3 years, so I guess after that he just gets put out on the street...
(0)
Report
See 2 more replies
Well, first off, the money is gone. Secondly, I suppose that no one can spend their money then so that Medicaid can have it. It makes no sense. If you start moving money around after starting care, that would be one thing. But before even entering a care faculty? So, I guess I better not buy anything or give money to my kids for Christmas or birthdays because if I have a debilitating stroke or something and end up in long term care, they'll look back for 5 years to see what I've done with my money? Makes no sense whatsoever! I told my wife we need to get rid of the camper we bought 4 years ago, and the truck, cuz if I have a stroke tomorrow they'll think that I did that to keep money from Medicaid... Seems that there would be some sort of investigation into what someone did with their money once they entered a facility to make sure they weren't hiding money. Not money that was used while they were healthy????????
Helpful Answer (0)
Report
Medicaid is a government program, paid for by tax payers, my money goes toward the support of those on Medicaid and I am 72 and retired. I planned did everything right and I am taxed to death by all these government programs. I have no choice, I have to accept this.

Of coarse we can spend our money, yet it our responsibility to plan for our old age, so that we will never have to depend on a government program.

I suggest that you read up on Medicaid there is tons of information out there on the net.
(6)
Report
See 3 more replies
It may or may not be able to be protected depending on the paperwork involved in the transfer. If it was written somewhere (not just "understood") that you and your siblings would be beneficiaries then it may be exempt but if your father was the sole owner of the property, Medicaid may see it as a gift and deny or delay coverage. My advice would be to get a lawyer to advise you on what you should or shouldn't do. For example you may not want to sign anything at a care facility stating you would be financially liable for him. You also may want to have the state take guardianship of him. If it ultimately comes back to you and someone is demanding payment and you don't have the money you may want to consider bankruptcy. Again, a good attorney for you would know how to advise you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report
jwlyda Jan 2020
He was just put in a LTF yesterday, out of rehab where he was when he had a stroke 3 weeks ago. His 100 days Medicare expires Monday and he will start self paying on Monday. I guess he has enough money in investments and such to last about 3 years. Facility cost here where we live is $295 per day ( about 9 grand per month) After he runs out of money in 3 years he'll have to use Medicaid, but they look back 5 years and he gave this monetary gift last year. This money was given when he was healthy and at home. What I'm trying to figure out is, do I need to quit giving money to my kids at Christmas and birthdays because, who knows, I might have a stroke tomorrow and need a LTF and need to apply for Medicaid.
(0)
Report
You can’t protect a gift From the Medicaid 5 year look back. Even a lawyer can’t help you at this point. Either return the $40k or pay for his LTC costs until the penalty period is up. Medicaid doesn’t care about any plan or what he intended to do with the money. Any money he has is to be used on his care and Medicaid will then pick up the tab when he’s spent down his assets. The time to protect his assets has come & gone if he needs Medicaid now.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report
jwlyda Jan 2020
No worriedincali, he does not need Medicaid now, he just entered the facility. He has enough funds to self pay for about 3 years.
(0)
Report
You and the others can return the money to your father for him to spend down if there is anything left when dies it can be redistributed. Medicaid is possibly the most well run arm of our government, they don't care why the money was distributed.

I would visit your attorney for a better understanding of Medicaid. I believe that this is a fight that you will not win.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Sounds like there is noting that can be done.
The property, owned by your father was sold in 2012.
He gave you $40,000 of that. That was a gift to you.
You can return the $40,000
Or
it will delay the process.
If the property sold for "only" $40,000 that is all that you have to be concerned about. If it sold for more either the rest should be returned as well or the rest is also added to the total to further delay the process.
Might be a time to consult an Elder Care Attorney. It is possible that if the money is placed in an irrevocable trust that might change the delay or the process.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report
Any changes now will look like they are trying to hide the money.
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter