My grandmother needs to be in a nursing home but I just found out she has 120,000 in the bank. How can I legally transfer that money out?


How can I legally transfer that money out to qualify for Medicaid?



That money will lay for a consultation with an elder care attorney, a pre need funeral, dental work, new eyeglasses (several pair) and sturdy outfits that will withstand commercial washers. And maybe a year of private pay. It will get her into a better NH than the one she goes into Medicaid pending. Be grateful it's there!
Helpful Answer (21)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

why don't you think that money should be used to pay for her care?
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Reply to MsMadge

"Legally"? Do you have her POA? If not, you cannot transfer or do anything legally with her money. Her money is for her needs and care.
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Reply to gladimhere

You can't.

BarbBrooklyn has given you some good suggestions for ways to spend that money for her care. She could spend it all on private-pay for a nursing home, of course. But getting things like an electric wheelchair (if appropriate) and a new wardrobe geared to her disabilities (if applicable), definitely pre-paid funeral, and other things she won't be able to afford once she is on Medicaid is a good idea. An attorney specializing in Elder Law can help you work this out.

Be sure the NH you select does accept Medicaid, for when her money runs out. Most do, but definitely ask that when looking at them.
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Reply to jeannegibbs

Campbell12 - if you think about it - you are asking to "hide" $120,000 so that the taxpayer has to pay for your loved one's care. [Medicaid is a program for the poor]. that is unfair to the taxpayers. In order to prevent movement of money - Medicaid has a five year look back period in the application process. All money has to be accounted for and spent on your loved one - no "gifting" otherwise Medicaid will not pay for nursing home costs for a penalty period. Who is going to provide nursing home level care for your loved one if she cannot get into a nursing home because she can't pay for it???

Work with an elder care attorney and what she can spend her money on (funeral expenses, dental work, etc) and try to get her into a good nursing home private pay that takes Medicaid.
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Reply to Kimber166

Sorry, no, that's not why a post like this upsets me. But I will tell you why, since justification seems required here.

Medicaid has been screwed, swindled and abused. People have taken advantage of it, to the point they've cut back services and equipment the REAL poor people need!

Medicaid no longer provides many life saving medical procedures to the needy.,... because of fraud!

AND people think this is free money! My sons, brothers, Mother, husband and myself bust our butts at work to pay for this free money!

When you pay 30 percent of every dollar you worked for, just to watch it go to medical care for someone who has $120K under the mattress, yeah I get peeved!

And I have the right to express my opinion on a post like this.
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Reply to Pepsee

Medicaid has a 5 year look back period, which means they request 5 years of bank statements and look at where her money has gone over the last 5 years. Any moneys "gifted" to another family member during those 5 years is consider by law, her money. It will be considered part of her assets to pay for long term care.
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Reply to ALDLCSW

Campbell, I think you have a legitimate question. Most of us know little to nothing about Medicaid until we start looking into it. Many of our parents and grandparents put money aside hoping to leave it to heirs. The days of middle-class people being able to leave a financial legacy are pretty much over, unless they die fairly young and without chronic health conditions.

So the current situation is that money elders have saved has to be used for their own care. When that runs out, public funds are available.

The implication that you are trying to cheat is unfortunate. You are simply trying to understand your options. You aren't asking for a sneaky way to cheat -- you ask for how to do this "legally."

We shouldn't be scolding you ... just helping you to understand your options.
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Reply to jeannegibbs


I think some of the posts have been a little harsh so I want you to understand why. There are some who would love to place LO in Long Term Care ( LTC) but Medicaid has income limits. Some people are over that limit because of SS or pensions but the income is not enough for LTC or a AL. Some on this forum have left jobs to care for loved ones and/or spent their own money so LOs could get the care they needed. Most of us are Seniors ourselves so this has made our future income a little bleak. So, when someone posts that they want to figure out how to protect 120k from Medicaid those on this forum get a little "upset". There are some that wished their loved ones had this kind of money. If not for a NH but to bring someone in to help with LOs care or some respite time. Caregiving can be a 24/7 thing for a number of us. So sorry if some of us seem a little up tight about this post, Hope though, that you understand what is involved when Medicaid is in the future. Having this info will help you hopefully not make a mistake that will cost u in the end.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Pepsee, SusanA43, I agree with you both. Medicaid is abused and is rife with fraud to the point that people who need services don’t get them. My husband and I were Medicaid providers for psychological services. We both had clients on Medicaid who asked us to evaluate their child for ADHD so that they could get SSI for their child. When asked what kind of problems their child had they had no answer. One woman said her child was acting crazy and she wanted a check every month. We’ve heard it all.

I know there are many reasons that people can’t save for their retirement and end of life care. I want a safety net to be there for them. But I don’t want Medicaid to be given to those who have assets. I do not want the taxes that my family and I pay to go for a bunch of people who want to hide their money via trusts, annuities or any of the other financial vehicles they use. I could be hiding money right now if I chose to do so. I have a stepson who is an estate attorney and another who is a CPA and my daughter-in-law who sells financial products. But I am happy to say that they do not engage in assisting people to plan to get on Medicaid by hiding assets, including me and my husband.
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Reply to anonymous439773

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