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In the state of Maryland?

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Sunnygirl1 has this spot-on.

Your state laws on probate, death, property are all the determining factor in just what happens with elderly family assets after death. Along with federal law. Really to be clear on all things, you need to get an experienced elder lawyer to work with you all now. Good luck.
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You'll probably get various answers here about this. I think it depends on the state and what type of benefits she's applying for.

I have a situation involving a life estate in NC. I have consulted with several Elder Law attorneys who specialize in Medicaid issues, asset protection in NC, etc. and they assure me that the look back is 5 years here, even for life estates and even if they did attempt recovery recover from the decedent's estate, it would be after the death of the life estate holder. And since NC does not have Life estates pass through probate, they should be protected if made more than 5 years from when the person applied for Medicaid.

I've read different opinions on this site and understand that no one can predict the outcome 100%, but I do think it's worth consulting with an attorney or two who knows the law in your jurisdiction.
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