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My husband seems to be headed towards an Alzheimer's diagnosis and I want to protect our home and two small IRA's (under $20,000).

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Medicaid looks back five years from the point at which you apply. Sheltering assets is a complicated and tricky endeavor. If you really think you want to do this, you may want to seek the advice of an elder law attorney. The alternative is to keep all assets in your names and keep them available to pay for the care that you will need (via for example a reverse mortgage). If you apply for Medicaid and fail the five-year lookback test, it will not prevent you from securing a Medicaid waiver, but it will delay the time it starts based upon the value of the assets you transferred within the five-year period and the cost of care. If at that time you really need Medicaid benefits to pay for care, you may regret the prior transfer. Just something to think about.
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