If you're counting on Medicaid to cover the cost of your long-term nursing care, but are worried that excess assets mean you won't be eligible for the needs-based program, you may be considering transferring or gifting assets to others until you qualify. While this may seem like the perfect solution for getting around Medicaid's asset qualification rules, it can actually have significant consequences.
When you apply for benefits, Medicaid examines any and all financial transactions you (and your spouse, if married) have made during the past five years (60 months), looking for "uncompensated transfers" or "transfers without fair consideration," such as gifted assets or those sold below fair market value. If these kinds of transfers are found, you could face a penalty period that delays your eligibility for Medicaid benefits. Fortunately, Alatsas Law Firm can help you navigate the program's qualification criteria.
We Wrote the Book on Gifts and Asset Transfers
Need help qualifying for Medicaid? Our knowledgeable and highly-experienced New York estate planning attorney can assist you. His book, How to Protect Your Family's Assets From Devastating Nursing Home Costs, offers the invaluable information you need to protect your family's legacy. In the Transferring Assets (Gifts) chapter, you can learn about:
- The five-year Medicaid lookback period
- How penalty periods are determined
- Penalty start dates
- How Medicaid values transferred and gifted assets
- Partial and outright gifts
- Gifts to trusts
- And much, much more
This chapter of our Medicaid planning guide is available for free instant download.