What happens when there is a joint bank account and the owner not in the nursing home takes half of the money so it will not be counted as money to be included in the assets? Is there a penalty for a joint owner of an account taking their money out?

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It depends. Is the bank account in the name of the person who went into nursing home - that means their social security number is on the account. Have you co-mingled funds? Made deposits for and Paid bills for both people out of the account? Medicaid looks at a bank account with a person's social security number on it as being all their money. If you can track your deposits in and payments out as your own, NOT just 50% of a joint account is mine, you MIGHT be able to get Medicaid to disregard the withdrawal. It seems kinda odd that exactly half of the assets would be the nursing home person. At this point, especially if it's a community spouse situation, you want to get an attorney experienced in elder planning and Medicaid to see how to handle the application. If the person is already in the nursing home, Medicaid is involved pending, and you start moving assets, you can cause yourself and them a lot of problems. If you just took money out so that it would not be considered part of assets and you can't document that what you took out was yours and not partly theirs, you got a problem. And most likely a transfer penalty. Talk with a lawyer NOW.
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