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Lawyer (Elder Law) / Medicaid 5-Year Look Back Question


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Question to the lawyers and / or those with experience regarding estate planning for their parents. Long-story short: my mother, the greatest person I've ever met, was diagnosed with a specific type of dementia that has rapidly progressed over the last two years. We sold her home, as she needed to be in an assisted-living facility, and the entire funds will help offset the cost differential that her kindergarten teacher's pension and social security do not cover. I just started the last year of my residency in a surgical subspecialty and only need the additional funds for one year, two years max to help with funding, as once I am an attending it will be easier to financially support my mother. It is likely, at the unfortunate rate things are progressing, she will require nursing home care within the two years. 

 

My question: is there any way to avoid the 5-year look back period from Medicaid, so that those funds could be used to provide her an additional aid inside the nursing home, instead of Medicaid draining her funds and then paying for the nursing home? From what I've read, Medicaid has done away with pretty much any loop holes in recent years, so that they have access to all assets from anyone filing for Medicaid / Nursing home coverage within a 5 year period (New York state nursing home care is ~$12k / month). The money is not substantial, and while I will be able to assist financially, I would prefer the money she worked for 34+ years to obtain can be used to provide her with extra care, as opposed to simply drained by Medicaid. 

Thanks in advance, much appreciated. 

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Not a lawyer, but having been through this with my mom and them my dad, I can say that there are ways around it but in their cases (1) my dad was still at home when my mom went into the memory unit of a LTC facility, and (2) when my dad needed care his assets were protected to a degree but the things he and his estate lawyer did were set up prior to him needing care. So neither situation is exactly like yours. If you're on LI and want a referral to the guy he used, PM me. He's I. Smithtown. It's worth talking to someone, it's super complex but there are sometimes ways to protect assets. I don't know about protecting assets that she would still have access to though.

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It sounds like you sold her home and are spending those assets yes???

What other assets are you trying to protect?

Many of my clients have set up irrevocable trusts to protect the house and some investments.  Does she have other money in her name? 


 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/18/2021 at 5:24 PM, isired said:

Not a lawyer, but having been through this with my mom and them my dad, I can say that there are ways around it but in their cases (1) my dad was still at home when my mom went into the memory unit of a LTC facility, and (2) when my dad needed care his assets were protected to a degree but the things he and his estate lawyer did were set up prior to him needing care. So neither situation is exactly like yours. If you're on LI and want a referral to the guy he used, PM me. He's I. Smithtown. It's worth talking to someone, it's super complex but there are sometimes ways to protect assets. I don't know about protecting assets that she would still have access to though.

 

On 7/18/2021 at 5:37 PM, southparkcpa said:

It sounds like you sold her home and are spending those assets yes???

What other assets are you trying to protect?

Many of my clients have set up irrevocable trusts to protect the house and some investments.  Does she have other money in her name? 


 

Thanks for the reply guys, appreciate it. After reading as much as I could, I ended up meeting with an attorney in elder law / estate planning lawyer and she explained things pretty much how some law forums did.

Essentially, Medicaid has a 5-year lookback period and can liquidate any assets (houses, cars, bank accounts, savings etc.) to pay the monthly nursing home / long-term care facility cost ($15K/month in NY) and then when you reach ~$15,900, you can apply for Medicaid. What you can do, is something called a "gift and loan" where you get to protect half of someone's assets (by gifting half of someone's assets and then loaning the other half). Just wanted to be able to give her some extra care in the nursing home, until I finally finish residency and can afford to do so on my own. 

 

The best-case scenario is to make plans 5 years before any of this happens, but for those who's loved ones deteriorate quickly and unexpectedly, this is one way to protect half of their assets. 

 

 

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