My Mom gifted me a car 2 years ago. How is the car value determined? - AgingCare.com

My Mom gifted me a car 2 years ago. How is the car value determined?

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Do they consider the value of the car when it was gifted or when she applies for medicaid. She will be applying for Medicaid assistance within the next 6 months to go into a nursing home. I assume they will be a gifting penalty on this.

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Chi - you are absolutely spot-on about not being able to get around all this.

NH Medicaid is horrendously expensive to do. I just don't see how the state's program can deal with the oncoming tsunami that we baby boomers are going to place on the system. Most of us who still work and worked in the 1990's and 2000's will never qualify for Medicaid as our SS monthly income will be over the 2K that most states have the limit set for monthly income. And just who has the savings to pay 10-15K a month for a NH?? Not gonna be pretty…..
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There is really no way to get around the medicaid requirements.

My friend's mother had to be in an Alzheimer's ward for many years. Now, that their father is also dead, the farm land is for sale, to pay back the care that her mother received. This was known all along. The headache is the trying to sell the land, when none of them no longer live there.
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If you sold the car, then the $ from the sale will be an asset for mom.

When you sell or transfer the ownership on a car, you have to indicate somewhere on the form what it sold for. The price whether it's $ 1.00 or $ 10K has to be indicated somewhere on the state required paperwork. Vehicle ownership is recorded by the local or county tax assessor and then dovetailed into the state system. It will show up eventually. Medicaid can easily do a match up on real property ownership as all this is in the state's database. So if mom "sold" the car for 5K, then 5K should be in her bank account around that period of time. If not, then Medicaid could do a transfer penalty inquiry on this in which you have to document where the 5K in order to get out from a transfer penalty.

Also if the Kelly Blue book fair market value on the car was 10K, but nephew paid mom only 5K, it would be 10K transfer penalty = $ 5K in $ & 5K in gifting.
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I have a question. If we transfer my mom's car to a family member, saying they bought it for whatever amount, it is no longer a gift. Would it still be considered in the asset look back for medicaid in that situation?
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Dear csimp - I am so glad you're going to see a lawyer. Marital property laws vary significantly from state to state and can even be altered by prenuptial agreements. Your situation is "nested" in that there are so many "IF's", each YES or NO answer branching off to a new question.

My dad had Alz from about 1984 until he died in 1995. From 1993-95, he had to be in a nursing home. At the time, they were only on the horizon of changing some practices regarding anti-impoverishment of the well spouse. At the time, the well spouse, my mom, had to "spend down" too in order for my father to qualify for Medi-Cal (the CA version of MedicAid). This would have left her impoverished, stripping her of any assets if we had just "been good citizens and followed the rules" as one county social worker blindly & arrogantly put it to me!

Now, b/c the "rules" have changed, this is no longer necessary but at the time, savings that were held in certain types of annuities that had a monthly payout were not counted unless they exceeded what would have been an enormous amount of money for my mom (in other words, my mom had a small, reasonable nest egg).

Without advice we never would have known or understood that we could have conserved my mother's savings. That social worker mentioned above was still obnoxiously stubborn about approving my dad's MediCal; even when presented with the real "rules" and proper documentation, she thought it should be the way she thought it was FOR 4 MONTHS. I eventually had to get her supervisor to sign off on my dad's coverage, who was horrified that her subordinate had put my mom and me through such a nightmare of a waiting game.

Thank goodness it IS somewhat different now, but as always you cannot unring a bell. It is so important to do the right thing, from the get go if possible, or at least as soon as you can. Once you have innocently made a "transgression" in their eyes, you don't want to be scrambling to correct it in the wrong way. Proper legal advice is needed.
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Carol. I'm going to set up an appointment with an elder law attorney. what i meant by spend down. Having my father and mothers assets within Ohio community resource allowance so my mother will not be denied Medicaid.My main concern is we don't have to pay 10000 out of pocket the 1st couple months of long term Medicaid care because of this gift.I think one of the better options will be to give the car back to them and let it count on the the allowance.The car value has decreased close to 3000 over the last 2.5 years.I will discuss this when i talk to an attorney .I posted this question to see if anybody has came across this situation.
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This is in Florida..."Medicaid considers one motor vehicle to be an exempt asset, regardless of the vehicle's age or type. Medicaid also considers exempt a second vehicle over 7 years old, except for certain luxury and antique cars or customized vehicles (except for use by person with a physical disability.)" Karplaw
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I have a question regarding cars if anyone can help??? My mother was involved in an accident about 7 years ago. At the time the repairs on the car exceeded the KB value of the car by $200. The insurance company paid my mother the value of the car about $1400 and she paid the $200 and had the car fixed. The insurance company would no longer allow her to have comprehensive coverage because they considered it "totaled". Fast forward to 2012, mom drove the car over to my sister's house and told her she could keep the car that she could no longer drive. My sister used it only to take mom out for her errands and Drs. appt.. The title for the car was just transferred to my sister's name 6 months ago. Does anyone think that this will be caught up in a "look back" situation for Medicaid? The car is a 1994 Chevy Prism. Thank you to anybody who can advise me, I am the POA as of 2012 for my mom who is now been in asst. living for 1 year.
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I am concerned about something I just read in your most recent response that prompts me to ask if you have seen an elder care lawyer:

"My father will be the communities spouse and already has a vehicle. We are in the process of spending him down."

Perhaps I misunderstood or you misstated, you shouldn't be having to spend HIM down. Every state applies Medicaid regulations in its own way and it's possible in Ohio that you may have to spend down her share of the community assets, I'm not sure. It's not that way in California. You maybe thinking that the car you have now was your MOTHER's car, because SHE drove it. And maybe SHE signed the car over to you. But wasn't the car registered in BOTH of their names, so community property?

If you're getting ready to put your mom on Medicaid in a nursing home, you likely are trying to conserve your father's assets. If he doesn't have an overabundance of wealth, perhaps the car could have been counted in their joint wealth and your father could have chosen to give it to you.

There are many well-spouse anti-impoverishment features in the laws that weren't there 20 years ago. There are Medicaid regulations as to the asset limits of the well spouse, but there are other financial instruments that can't even protect asset value above and beyond the regulated limits.

All of to reinforce the need to see an elder care attorney. Check into NAELA, where you can find an attorney certified in elder care.
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CS - you know what you face is pretty common. Medicaid allows for couple to only have 1 car and so often they give the extra car to the kids or grandkids. And then there will be a transfer penalty. For most couples what makes the best sense is to trade in both cars and get one newer and more dependable car. This may not work or be feasible for you & your dad but think about it if you can make 1 car work for you & dad so there is no transfer penalty issue.

So dad is the "community spouse"? please make sure you clearly understand the amount of assets he is allowed to keep. For most states it is about $ 112,000.00 in his assets (excluding their home, 1 car and their funeral & burial policies) allowed for the staying in the community spouse. It is only the Medicaid recipient who needs to be at impoverishment (usually 2K in her assets and under whatever your state has set as their maximum monthly income). Dad does not have to impoverish himself for mom to get on Medicaid. If there are things for the home to be used to get the spend down to 112K in assets, you kinda need to make sure that all this is done and cleared through the bank before the application is done. For couples, Medicaid seems to be done based on the couples financial "snapshot" day which usually is day 1 of the NH stay or the date of the Medicaid application. So if dad is paying off on the mortgage or getting a new roof or whatever else needs to be done & paid for & moved out of their bank account before the snapshot day. It makes for a cleaner & easier Medicaid application review.

Also review their finances to see if Dad may need some of mom's monthly income in order for his to stay living at the house and in the community. The community spouse can be entitled to MMNA - monthly maintenance needs allowance. Usually MMNA happens when the spouse is a younger wife who has debt on the community property (like a mortgage) and needs the now in the NH SS or retirement income to make ends meet. The community spouse can apply for MMNA to have the NH spouse's monthly income go to them rather than become the required co-pay to the NH by the NH spouse. MMNA tends to be set pretty low and if dad needs it to be higher then realistically you need an attorney to get it done so that they can get it to be higher or all all of their monthly income. But it can be done. Think of it kinda like old-school alimony for dad.

Also you want to check their life insurance polices. If, like most couples, they have each other as their beneficiary. You need to have that changed so that the beneficiary is you or your siblings or their grandkids. You don't want it to happen that dad has an accident and now all of a sudden mom get's the insurance $$ pay off and is booted off of Medicaid as she now has assets under Medicaid. Understand? Good luck & keep a sense of humor in being an advocate for them.
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