Protect Nursing Home Assets: Medicaid Eligibility and Application

Question 1: Medicaid Income Eligibility Requirements: Can I transfer income and assets to my children before I go to a nursing home and still qualify for Medicaid?

This is likely not possible. When applying for Medicaid, you should understand that under the 60-month look-back rule, Medicaid coverage may be denied if assets have been transferred within the 60 months prior to applying for benefits. As described above, if you gift or divest your assets to your children within 5 years of entering a nursing home and apply for Medicaid online or offline, you will be denied coverage until your money is paid back. The real problem arises when the children spend the money and don’t have it to pay back in a situation like this.

Question 2: Applying for Medicaid: Is it too late to give away my assets and qualify for Medicaid if I’m already in a nursing home?

It’s never too late to reallocate your assets. It is possible to give away all assets and then, in 5 years, be eligible for Medicaid.

Question 3: Should I use a trust to protect my assets?

It is much more beneficial to use an irrevocable trust rather than transfer assets to family members. Look to UltraTrust(TM) for superior irrevocable trust asset protection.

Question 4: How to apply for Medicaid: Are there other ways to protect my assets?

There are many ways to protect assets. Medicaid will not penalize anyone if they choose to spend their assets; however, care must be taken to avoid fraudulent transportation. Fraudulent transfer is the act of selling your assets for consideration or payment that is less than fair market value. An expert can guide you through a suitable estate plan that will avoid these potential problems or contact Estate Street Partners.

Question 5: How can I protect my home?

Medicaid allows the applicant to keep a primary residence. Your home is considered exempt property. However, unless there is a surviving spouse, Medicaid will be reimbursed if the home is sold after your death through a bond placed on the home. This is where it is recommended to sell or transfer to an irrevocable trust like UltraTrust(TM)

Question 6: Is it wrong to hide assets to qualify for Medicaid?

When applying for Medicaid, a full financial disclosure is required. It is best to consult with an expert in elder law before making any decision or to contact Estate Street Partners.

Question 7: Is this information reliable?

These are just a few commonly asked questions. When applying for Medicaid, it is always best to do your research. Find out what the current eligibility requirements are in your state and consult with an experienced attorney or contact Estate Street Partners to discuss your assets. States often offer information online and forms that you can download and print; however, no states currently allow you to apply for Medicaid online. For simple information about your state’s Medicaid application eligibility, forms, contact information and address, as well as an overview of your state’s plan, click here.

Question 8: Should I hire an expert?

In short: absolutely. This is the best way to ensure that the laws are followed and that your assets are protected.

Question 9: How do I find an expert?

Any expert who practices senior law can help or contact Estate Street Partners. Make sure the expert is experienced and has a good report. You want to make sure you entrust your assets to the right person.

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