What to do when my mother-in-law will not qualify for Medicaid due to their gifting money recently? - AgingCare.com

What to do when my mother-in-law will not qualify for Medicaid due to their gifting money recently?

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Right now my mother in-law is in a rehab center, recovering from a fractured hip. She has advanced Dementia. She has episodes where she believes that there are people out to kill everyone in the family. On another note, she is not co-operative. The center she is in presently is going to send her home. Their insurance won't pay for her to stay there any longer. My father in-law, gifted a few larger sums of money last year and this year. Now, he is afraid they are not going to be financially able to put her in a facility. They are 90 and 96 years old. I'm fairly sure they will not qualify for Medicaid, due to the fact of the gifts my father in-law made. I haven't heard good things about elder care in the state of Florida, so I'm just trying to help father in-law get some answers. Thank you

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Oddly enough a friend was telling me a story she heard at a breakfast today that sounds very similar to this. The lady telling the story said her parents live in Florida. They are in their 90s. They recently let their four kids know that they had given $15,000 to someone for an investment. After the kids looked into it they found there was another $50,000 their mother had given this same person. They control their own finances and think they are alright doing so. The bizarre thing is the scammers are still "friends" of the parents. I guess they are waiting for more. Lady at the breakfast is worried but doesn't know what to do. This appears to be a very common problem.
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And I promise you that even if you didn't put gift in the subject line, that money given to relatives or friends will be reviewed. Medicaid looks at up to five YEARS of bank statements, credit card statements, asset transfers, etc. and since state and federal government databases are open to Medicaid review, transfers of property like cars will pop up, houses will pop up, etc. Many people gift family thinking that the annual "gift exclusion" for IRS purposes is also valid for Medicaid. It's not.
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If you are married and seek Medicaid, they look at gifts made by the couple and the effect on the overall assets of the couple. This is the time to consult an elder law attorney familiar with Medicaid which father in law should pay for out of his assets. If the mother in law is seeking care with Medicaid, an attorney can look at what the gifts were, how much and to whom, what the community spouse allowance in Florida would be allowed to keep, and whether the gifts could be considered to have come out of the community spouse (father in law's) share. This is not a do it yourself project.
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I'm no expert in this, but, if there are large amounts being disbursed, they will likely want to know what it was for. That's why it's good to have written contracts that specify what the senior is paying for if it's for in home care, transportation, housekeeping, personal care, etc. An expert can go over the details and also recommend legal, helpful measures. As I stated above, I'm not sure how the gifting by one spouse, impacts the assets of the the other spouse. Maybe, someone around here may know, but, I would still get the expert advice, because it's a very important matter.
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I may have used the wrong wording, when it came to "gifts". On the check memo, it was never stated as a gift. He just wrote the checks and gave them. I don't know if that matters.
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You may get some answers here. I would consult with an Elder Law attorney who knows Medicaid law in your jurisdiction. The large gifts may be an issue, but, the gifting would concern me. I"m not sure if the fact that her husband did it and not her matters. I'd get the consult ASAP, so you know what you're up against.
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