Anyone have knowledge how Medicaid views joint checking accounts?

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Over 20yrs ago my Father placed my name on his checking account (Joint Checking), I deposit his rental money he receives from his rental & occasional pay my utility bills etc.from this acct.(my residence is his mailing address). Do I have to declare this Joint Checking situation to Medicaid for my Spouse's Long Term Care in Nursing Home application?

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Medicaid views 100% of the money in a joint checking account where one of the owners is the Medicaid applicant, as owned by the Medicaid applicant except to the extent you can prove otherwise. So you would have to trace any money you added to the joint account in order for Medicaid to view the joint account as anything other than your father's account.

If it is your wife you are applying for, then Medicaid will count 100% of the account as YOUR money, except to the extent you can prove contribution to the account by your father. That's because when one member of a married couple applies for Medicaid, all the assets of both spouses, regardless of how titled, are considered by Medicaid.
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My Mother and I have a Joint Account in "Name Only', I'm her POA. I assume NO Financial Responsibility upon if anything should happen to her. You need to obtain a FREE consult from your attorney and have this drawn up with your Loved Ones permission, Always!! I sign Momma's checks with my name____ POA for________my mothers name. I hope this helps someone! God Bless!

Becky :-)
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Yes, you do. Medicaid will assume that this checking account is your dad's even though it's a joint account. Whatever money is in there, Medicaid will consider it your dad's money regardless of who put it there or why.
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Yea they just want to take everything you have and leave you in a tent.
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You have been given excellent advice. I have nothing I could add.
From An R.N. active in the field.
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'Yea they just want to take everything you have and leave you in a tent' by a poster with an avatar chiefmac

I'm so sorry, but I really object to this type of reasoning.

First, Medicaid/care comes from not 'they' but 'us', i.e., taxpayers.

Years ago, the responsibility for caring for family fell upon family. Now it seems to fall upon the government.

"They" i.e., 'us', the people of this country who pay taxes, should not have to shoulder the entire burden of paying for all the many 'loved one' existing in this country who will need our tax monies to pay for their care.

Instead of looking at it as 'they' are taking all your money and leaving people in tents, I'd rather look at it as 'they' i.e., us, the people of this country, leave the person whose checking account and assets belong to them, and using them to pay for some of the espensive care they will require.

I'm sorry if the heirs of people are angry about this, but look at it this way...that money was never really yours, it was your parents and/or 'loved ones' money.

If preplanning had occurred, perhaps some could be saved, but not many people preplan.

Excellent expert advice has been given here, and it's the same advice I got when my mother was hospitalized last year and we were looking at the possibility she would be placed in a nursing home. My name was on the checking account, as many of the older generation is wont to do. But it was never 'my' money. It was there because my dad had died and if I needed to pay bills from that account for her at some point in time, that's how it would have gone. Also, I'm going to assume it was a way for her to pass this money to me upon her passing.
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FedUpNow - I believe Medicaid takes 1/2 in that case. The spouse is allowed to remain in the home. Like I said, it's the heirs who 'suffer' most. What is actually happening is the government has shifted some of the cost of caring for family to family. A person who belongs in a nursing home is not going to need money for anything, except personal expenses.

People need to pre plan for these events, but many don't want to talk about end of life issues because nobody believes it will happen to them. My mother always said, "Well, when it happens, we'll deal with it"...um, no, Ma...that's not how it works, so now I'm dealing with it and believe me, it's not easy dealing with legal issues when your one surviving parents has refused their entire life to look at what will happen at the end of the life. Yet, while she was in the hospital waiting for assignment to a nursing home, it was, "Oh, I never thought it would come to this"....whatever. In the end, I came to stay with her from another state and right now I'm about to take her back to my home in that state. It's not a pretty picture and I'm not all that happy about it, but, like they say, it is what it is. And it's awful for the caregiver as well as the person experiencing it.
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If you are going to apply for Medicaid for YOUR spouse and you and your dad have a joint account, what you will need to prove to Medicaid is that the joint account is solely for the paying of your father's bills. If any of YOUR income has gone into the account, then you need to remove it from the account and put it into your own personal account. As long as you can prove that you don't have any of your assets in the joint account with your father than it shouldn't be counted toward YOUR income. They may require that you remove your name from your dad's account, but then who would be responsible for paying his bills.
This is all under the assumption that you are applying for Medicaid for YOUR spouse and not for your father???
Plus, I am not an attorney, you might want to consult one prior to applying for Medicaid.
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Yes. Positive. You can consider being add as a power attorney if you only want to have transaction authority of your father's account. Hope this helps.
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What is unfair regarding Medicaid taking assets is when one spouse goes into a Nursing Home but there is a remaining spouse, Medicaid takes his or her assets, too, leaving the spouse nothing to live in or on.
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