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If a child takes over ownership of a whole life insurance policy, how long must you wait before Medicaid would count it against the parent who is applying for Medicaid benefits.

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In most cases, the cash is considered part of the 5 year look back. If there is an irrevocable trust set up, you'd have to check on that with whoever set up the trust or with Medicaid.

Each state has its own rules, so to be very certain contact an attorney who knows your Medicaid laws well. In my own opinion, it's best to be cautious. Your kids don't want any nasty surprises down the road. As a rule, consider the five year look back unless you have other options.
Carol
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I don't understand what u mean by "taking over". Are you changing the policy to you as the owner or just taking over payments?
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This would probably follow the 5-year look-back rule. There are some considerations about the transfer you may want to consider. If the policy is large, there could be a gift tax that your mother will need to pay. I don't know if this tax would be on the face value of the policy or the size of the death benefit. Please check with someone who knows about tax laws of policy transfers.
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It isn't necessarily true with spouses, because the policy would be an asset of the marriage. In community property states, anything earned or bought during the marriage are assets of the marriage. I don't know how transferring ownership would be viewed in other states or if there would be a gift tax.
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It's the cash value inside the policy. But she could always put it in a irrevocable trust. Just confirm with the home office advanced estate planning depRtment or call Medicaid. You don't have to spend money on an attorney unless you need to set up an iit
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Yes I agree with others the 5 yr rule would apply on a straight transfer of assets. Each state has their own rules on medicaid but the 5 year look back is standard. See an attorney to find out how to handle this in your state. Always see an elderlaw attorney as they are the ones who have state specific training to handle matters involving medicare medicaid and other senior issues. Each state has a listing of certified elder law attornies you can chose from.
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Is this true for spouses as well?
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I became owner of my father's life insurance policies (Prudential) in Florida. As soon as I did that, they were no longer considered his property. It helped expedite his transition to Medicaid. Of course, I own them and pay the premiums now, but at least I will have means to pay for his funeral.
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