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The estate check is for less than $5,000. My mom has mentioned to me that she wanted to give some to my sister and I. I am worried about it being seen as a gift for Medicaid. It will also put her over the money allowance for VT. My question is if we cash it and distribute it that way would it be a way to get around it? What about inheritance tax?

It will be a gift counted against Medicaid. Basically what mom said...I want to "give" y'all some $$.

It's their money, so apply it to her medical care. If her income and assets are low enough to be on state paid Medicaid, she's not wealthy enough to gift money or assets
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This is very confusing. LaGorda is NOT OP, and I have no idea where she fits in to the discussion. I have NEVER heard of an ‘Australian Cattle Dog’, the breed seems to be based in the USA. Although there are blue heelers in Australia, they are not 'posh' dogs, and it is unusual to work cattle with dogs. Certainly our neighbors don't with their cattle. Guardianship has not been raised as an issue. Perhaps LaGorda posted her comment to the wrong thread? THIS IS BIZARRE!
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Leonnie 1
First of all, I know even less about Australian law regarding guardianship or whatever you call it over there than you and CWillie do. Which is why I asked the question in the first place, I didn’t expect anything more than general advice, not to be berated because I used the wrong terminology. Clearly I’m not as highbrowed as both of you and don’t have the intellect to conduct myself on a forum appropriately.
Yes I chose La Gorda as my username, So what? Yes. I am fat. But who are you Leonnie 1 to judge me. Are you CWillies mouthpiece?
Pull your head in both of you.
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Riverdale Jun 23, 2024
Leonnie and Cwillie know a great deal about this issue. Leonnie worked in a facility. You also have the benefit of a response from Iglooo who is extremely knowledgeable in legal matters regarding elder care and the law.

Try not to take this as a personal affront to your character. Seek advice from an attorney who hopefully will not charge you greatly. Get several bids

I myself lost my mother a little over a year ago. I had her in private pay but had she lasted much longer her money would have been used up and I was facing the Medicaid dilemma.

If you think I had it easy know that the last couple of years my mother suffered greatly from a very unfortunate situation at a previous private pay facility. Thankfully I was able to have her moved the last 6 months of her life. She had developed a very serious bedsore from being dropped by an unexperienced newly hire. Both her femurs were broken and subsequent convalescence involved a serious bedsore which had to be debrided and packed often twice daily in attempts to decrease the size of it. She was on round the clock serious pain medication.

I hope you find the information you need.
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Contact an attorney.
People here will share their personal experiences.
Never totally rely on feedback here, while very well intentioned (as) State laws may differ - and others may get different info than what you get.

You want to be sure of how to proceed.

I believe it has everything to do with how your mom's account is set up.
Is it a joint account?
Does she have her own?
Is it going into a POA official checking or savings account?

From my experience and belief: I don't know if they can track it. It seems to depend on how you process the check ... and checks MUST be deposited (in a Bank) before they will cash them (my experience). I believe it has everything to do with the ssn you use (as I had to provide mine when managing a fiduciary, soc sec payee rep., and bank account(s), and POA responsibilities.

Gena / Touch Matters
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Corwin56: No gifting is allowed as it pertains to Medicaid. Retain an elder law attorney.
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JoAnns question to you is super important….. is your mom currently on MedicAID?… like is mom in a NH/SNF with LTC Medicaid covering her custodial care costs? OR is mom on Community based Medicaid for in home care? or mom goes to a PACE? Because if she is, there is a required reporting on any - ANY - significant change in assets that simply must be done. Even for something as small at 5 K. It’s moms $, not yours.

If she is on LTC Medicaid or Community based, it can be imho dealt with and done as a DIY if you have your wits about you as her POAas it’s a pretty modest sum. But you have to - HAVE TO - have a plan in place as to its spend B4 you deposit her check into her bank account. Till you do, that check in her name has to stay in limbo and undeposited.

Stuff like this will surface as the distribution done by an Executor will have all items recorded in probate court. Depending on how the Executor does their process (I’ve been one x 3) or what the State requires, there could be a 1099 issued to everyone- EVERY SINGLE PERSON- who is getting $ (the distribution of assets) from the Estate if it’s over $600 in value. (I did and there are still folks peeved about this). The IRS 1099 will show up to any X reference a caseworker does. And some States have this set to run automatically during tax season. S**** surfaces and 5K will take one over the asset limit for LTC Medicaid.
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Your question is confusing, so perhaps you are confused. Your Dad’s estate should have been wound up by an Executor appointed in D’s will. However if the whole estate amounted to $5000 or some other small amount, and it was all simple (eg in one bank account), it often gets done without the formalities that apply normally. So, was there a will? If so who was the Executor (and were they still alive to carry out the Executor functions)? Was $5000 the total left in D’s estate, and did it all go to Mum? No real estate?

If there was a will with small bequests to other family members, were corners cut assuming that M would hand it out? If so, there may be a way out of this that don’t involve Medicaid and VT, by distributing directly to the other beneficiaries. If the check was made out to you personally, it may be that you can cash it, give M the max she can get without triggering all these other problems, and distribute the rest. Yes, it’s illegal, but it will probably work.

Alva’s advice is spot on legally. However for so many complications arising out of such a very small bequest, you may decide to risk the chance of some government department official prompting very expensive investigations to prove that it wasn’t done ‘properly’. If you hire a lawyer, and you pay them as POA, it might even reduce the distribution enough to solve the problem!
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I'm a little confused on this. If Mom got a check for an inheritance, and cashes it for cash, why can't she give the cash to whomever she wants, or do with it what she wants? Don't give people checks. Only write a check to pay off a mortgage or bills, But if the law says you can't give a "cjheck to a family member, then give cash. Who is the wiser? That money is your Mom's legally.
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lealonnie1 Jun 16, 2024
If a person wants to apply for Medicaid down the road, there is a 5 year Look back to see what was done with cash OR checks, so the government isn't swindled by people "gifting" all their assets away in order to make it seem like they qualify for free aid. Sure, it's moms money until she applies for government assistance!
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As each individual situation is unique, you as POA for your Mom truly have an obligation to make an appointment with an Elder Law Attorney in your State, one who has experience with both Medicaid and Inheritance Tax. This will be the best way to spend money, that is: hire an attorney who can assist you in negotiating the complex issues regarding Medicaid, lookback, POA legal obligations (this is very important to know) and inheritance taxes. You will get well meaning opinions on this page, but to protect yourself as POA and to protect your Mom's status, you need an Elder Law attorney conversant with these matter to advise you, and as soon as possible. Do not cash or distribute anything, until you have sought expert legal counsel.
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You better 1. see an attorney, 2. give the check to yourself. As a minimum, you give it to mom the facility gets it all. This is the Greatest stage coach robbery in the United States of America.
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Chicagoannie21 Jun 16, 2024
Every answer I've seen from you is opinion, not fact-based. If any inquirer were to follow your advice, they'll risk their LO losing Medicaid benefits.

OP - as a Medicaid recipient, do not have Mom sign that inheritance check over to anyone. There ARE items Mom might need that she can purchase to keep her cash assets under the Medicaid limit in your state. Hearing aids, new dentures if needed, maybe a lift chair or adjustable bed and as other have suggested, a prepaid burial trust. Speak with an Elder Law attorney so Mom can benefit from this inheritance.
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Please check with a local elder care attorney. You’ll get lots opinions here, however to be sure you get an accurate answer, check with someone who knows the law in your state.
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Reply to Donttestme
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Is Mom on Medicaid now? Did Mom inherit this 5k? If on Medicaid, the money cannot be gifted. It has to be used on Mom. Have you set up a prepaid funeral for Mom, if not go to a funeral director to have him set one up.
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You are POA?
And you do not understand that your mother cannot GIFT you and Sister?

You should now go to see an Elder Law Attorney to learn about the rules for being a POA in your State. You should also do online research in how to keep meticulous records, into gifting and what can be done and into "self-enrichment" as a POA.
You should know that your mother's funds stand to pay for this attorney.
This attorney will also give you options about this cash, and how to handle it.

Being POA is a legal fiduciary duty that is held to the very highest standards. You cannot plead ignorance before the law if things go South. So do see an elder law attorney at your earliest convenience.
I served as POA and Trustee of Trust for my brother, was assigned the duties five years ago. Came here deparate for help. Had a great attorney. Was a steep learning curve but am so proud at how well ultimately it all went. GOOD LUCK to you. We all start just where you are.
Get expert help; that's something you CAN spend on as POA. As well as future funeral needs/cremation, etc.
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