Could the nursing home take my mother's cash money or can I move it before placing my mother there? 21 Answers as of November 10, 2012

If I have been on my mother’s bank accounts for 8 years and I have to put her in a private pay nursing home. Before she is living with me. I have power of attorney. I have been in charge of her money for years. If she had to stay in a nursing home indefinitely and had her land taken by the nursing home, could they also take her cash money or can I move it now before placing her there?

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Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
Regarding land. Are you referring to a residence or vacant land? The bank account is jointly owned. Need to talk to attorney rather than this site.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/10/2012
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
This is a relatively complex question. You are your mother's fiduciary. If you take money that belongs to your mom, you could face civil and criminal penalties. The power of attorney document may offer some insight as to whether you have the opportunity to make gifts. Does your mother owe you any money. There are medicaid planning issues that go beyond the scope of this answer in which you should seek the advice of an elder law attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/9/2012
Asset Protection and Elder Law Center
Asset Protection and Elder Law Center | Shadi Alai-Shaffer
You need to be very careful. Do not do anything until you speak to an attorney. You will want to get a consult first with an attorney that does medical planning. They can direct you on how to protect mom's money and plan properly. If you just transfer the money to yourself it can still be counted against mom in terms of her eligibility. Also, you need a proper plan to protect any future claims against her land/property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2012
Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
If your name is on the bank account, you are the co-owner of the account and you can do what you wish with the money. However if you apply for medicaid to pay for the her nursing home care, there is a time limit that has to be adhered to before medicaid will pay the bill. (I believe its 3 years prior to applying for medicaid that land transfers has to occur or money being gifted to someone, but you can check that). The Federal government wants to make sure you are not trying to hide assets to show that your mom is indigent. If she owns any real property, it is likely she will not qualify for medicaid.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/8/2012
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
This is a complex questions. The short answer is NO. You and your mother, if possible, should consult with an elder law planning attorney to address what options if any are available to your mom. She may be able to prepay certain expenses, replace her car, etc. but this type of planning requires an attorney skilled in this specific area of the law. A misstep here could cause your mother to be denied care!
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/8/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    You can move your mother's cash but it will not assist in her placement or in retaining her assets. You need to discuss this matter with an elder law attorney who can assist you in providing for your mother and preserving what you can of her estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    If you are intending to apply for Medicaid assistance, you will probably experience a disqualification period that will be more expensive than the money you took from the bank account. Generally, a transfer can cause a disqualification if it occurs within 5 years of the date you apply for assistance. You should seek legal counsel right away in such a matter.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston | Edwin Fee
    If your mother might need to apply for Medicaid, then you must be very careful about transferring assets. An elder law attorney can guide you regarding what techniques will work.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    If your Mom needs the care, she has to pay for it we have no national health system. Moving her money or hiding it would constitute fraud. So, yes, she'll have to pay down her cash, sell her house, and continue to pay for care. It is possible that if you lived with your mother in her home and cared with her, you might be able to save the home and still have her qualify for Medicaid. See an elder law attorney about paying for long-term care.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 11/8/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    First, the nursing home, or board and care facility cannot take your mother's land, nor her checking account; however as a matter of caution, move the checking account to your control for payment of her expenses, and keep accurate records with receipts matching the payments; and keep the checking account, separate and apart for your mother, from your personal account, the reason being should you ever be challenged re the receipt and expenditure of your mother's money re her care, you have a tracking/history of use.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    La Office of William H. Von Willer | William H. Von Willer
    Since the money in the account is admittedly that of your mother, and, as a general rule, must be used for her care. There is a look back period where transfers of persons property are scrutinized before being able to have medicaid pay her nursing expenses. It may be possible to shield a part of the funds, but more facts are needed. Consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    If you are trying to qualify for Medicaid the cash must be moved out of her name 60 months prior to going to a nursing home. A lien will be placed on her property by Medicaid not the nursing home.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    That is a much more complex question than it might seem. The devil is in the details, and therefore you should see an attorney who is familiar with this area of the law. Generally, the government can look back to determine what happened to the money. In your case you are talking about a private pay nursing home. Confer with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    No, you cannot move her money. There is a five year look back period. If anything is transferred now, your mother would be ineligible for benefits. The nursing home will not "take the house." Homes are exempt for Medicaid qualification purposes. There are things you can do, but whether or not to do so depends on the amount of money involved, among other things. Many nursing facilities require private pay for a period of time, before they will accept someone as a Medicaid patient. You will want to check with the facility you have in mind to see what their rules are.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    The Mills Law Office LLC
    The Mills Law Office LLC | Darren J Mills
    It is not entirely clear but it sounds like your mother unfortunately does not have long-term care insurance ("LTC") and may not yet potentially be a Medicad candidate. In order to qualify for Medicad one needs to be essential destitute. Your mother's situation is common and a problem too many people face because they don't have LTC. Although Medicad is a federal program it is administered by the states. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 extended the look back period from 36 months to 60 months; therefore, and as a general matter, any transfers that are a gift out of someone's estate (e.g., your mother's checking account) when determining Medicad eligibility could result in a penalty (i.e., reduction of Medicad benefits). You also need to be concerned about something being deemed a fraudulent transfer. In NJ, the State can try to re-coup assets paid to a Medicaid receiptent by, for example, putting a lien on that person's house.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
    You need to be careful about moving your mother's money out of her name, especially if you are considering getting her on Medicaid to pay for the nursing home. Medicaid has a five year look back period for transfers of assets. The nursing home cannot take her money meaning they cannot have access to her bank account unless you give them access. But, they can require you to pay her bill (which is, essentially, taking her money, just not all at once but on a monthly basis). Not all of her money needs to be spent down on her care, and there are ways (that are legal) to save some of that money which can then be used to help pay for things that Medicaid does not pay for. Additionally, if your mother is a veteran, or the widow of a veteran, she could qualify for VA benefits which would help pay for her care (the Veteran only has to have served at least 90 days, one day of which was during a period of war, and then there are financial requirements that also must be met). You may want to seek the help of an elder law attorney in your area to do some long term care planning.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Byers & Goulding, PLC | Andrew Byers
    If your mother?s name is on the account, the Department of Human Services, the agency that processes nursing home Medicaid applications in Michigan, will consider it her money and the money will count towards the $2,000 countable asset limit. The exception to that rule is if you can prove the money is actually your funds, i.e., you deposited your paycheck in this account, etc. That being said, if your mother needs to stay in the nursing home, it may be possible to save at least half of the money or more; you may need the assistance of an elder law attorney who is familiar with Medicaid qualification in order to accomplish this.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    The Center for Elder Law
    The Center for Elder Law | Don Rosenberg
    You need to see an elder law attorney now. There are many ways your mother can obtain the best quality of care at the least cost to her and her family. In fact with planning now she can save anywhere between 50-70% of her assets and accelerate her qualification for Medicaid. I can only imagine how overwhelmed you are right now. It has taken me years to master my expertise and for one to get it in an hour is not possible. I understand the goal is to ensure that your mother receives the greatest quality of car at the least cost to her and her family. The following explanation is a cut and paste of a recent letter that applies to a client's mother. This strategy will work with any amount of assets, large and small. As for the strategies we would use here is a brief explanation. The planning method we use is commonly referred to as ?half a loaf?. The explanation is a cut and paste of a recent letter that applies to a client?s mother. This strategy will work with any amount of assets, large and small. This strategy is commonly known as half-a-loaf planning. I encourage you to share this with your siblings. The money that is saved is meant for your mother?s needs during her lifetime, such as bed holds should she return to a hospital and need to hold the bed, extra care or even supporting the home. Transfers/Gifts Under Medicaid Laws one can protect a portion of their assets from having to be spent down to pay the costs of long term care by transferring them out of their name as outright gifts. This type of transfer will cause one to be ineligible for Medicaid for one month for every $7,032 transferred or be ineligible for one day for every $234 transferred. In other words, if one transferred their assets totaling about $200,000 (the value of the assets minus a person's resource allowance of $2,000.00), one would be ineligible/disqualified for Medicaid for 28.44 months or 28 months and and 13 days ($200,000 $7,032 = 28.44) beginning on the date one becomes eligible for Medicaid, but for the transfer of assets. To clarify, the law penalizes a person from qualifying for Medicaid when they become eligible, but for the transfer of assets. This does not mean one cannot make gifts. We can still utilize a lump sum gift (usually not all of the assets) and convert the amount not gifted into an exempt asset or transaction. This strategy would cause a penalty period as a result of the amount gifted away and the amount not gifted would then be used to pay for the care during the penalty period caused by the lump sum gift. For example, we can utilize a special promissory note or a short term annuity. These strategies are further explained below. Finally, all gifts completed that are older than 5 years are not reportable. Also, a person can spend their money as they see fit as long as it is for fair value. The advantage of making gifts is that the transfer is simple to accomplish. The disadvantage is that one will lose control of her assets. A gift to one's loved ones means that the funds transferred belong to them, no matter what promises anyone may make to hold the funds. The funds are vulnerable in the event of a divorce, lawsuit, bankruptcy or the decision to simply use the funds for themselves. While this may be difficult, we need to know if there have been any gifts over $234.00 made within the last five years. If a person has made such gifts we would like to know when, how much and if possible, receive documentation of said gifts. Please note that the following can be considered gifts under Medicaid regulations: adding someone?s name to a bank account; loaning a loved one money without a formal loan agreement in place; and, gifting under federal income tax laws. Gifting Strategies we can still utilize a lump sum gift (usually not all of the assets) and convert the remaining funds into an exempt asset or transaction. This strategy would cause a penalty period as a result of the amount gifted away and the amount not gifted would then be converted into an exempt asset or transaction, which can then be used to pay for the care during the penalty period caused by the lump sum gift. For example, let?s assume in your mother?s case the at risk assets are $140,000.00, and her income is $2,000.00 and the average cost of care is $7000.00 a month. If $80,000 was given away this would cause about a 11.3 month penalty. The amount of assets in addition to the $2,000.00 a month income required to pay for the care during the 11 month penalty is the other $60,000 at $7,000 a month. The non-gifted funds of $60,000 is then placed in an irrevocable promissory note, a short term An irrevocable promissory note is very similar to the Medicaid qualified annuity explained below. The short term annuity is identical to the Medicaid annuity explained below except the term of the annuity is would be 11 months at approximately $6,000 a month. This strategy is commonly called ?half or 2/3rds a loaf?. In all of these new strategies, we would apply for Medicaid knowing we are not eligible and be denied long term care Medicaid based on the gifts. However, medical and medications would be covered immediately under Medicaid, but not the room and board. This simply means that should your mother fund such an annuity, the annuity would provide a regular monthly income payment. The disadvantage to the immediate annuity is the principal used to purchase the annuity is unavailable and will remain so even if your mother should pass away prior to the expiration of the term of the annuity. Also, the monthly payments, no matter the amount would be added to her income and be paid to the nursing home. Upon her passing, the remaining monthly income payments would continue to the family as beneficiaries. On October 1, 2007, the State issued new regulations requiring an annuity purchased or amended on or after February 8, 2006 must name the State of Michigan as the remainder beneficiary, or as the second remainder beneficiary after the community spouse or minor or disabled child, for an amount at least equal to the amount of the Medicaid benefits provided Hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    I hope your mother is still competent. She should see an attorney to update her estate plan and power of attorney documents.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/7/2012
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    You would have to prove that the money you moved was in fact yours, and not hers
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 11/7/2012
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