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Asset Transfer
Old 07-05-2007, 06:07 AM   #1
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Asset Transfer

I have a relative age 70+, on pension/SS living in a home in which she is paying a mortgage. No LTC insurance. She mentioned transferring her house into my name now in the event she ever needs to go into a nursing home. Do the nursing homes/medicare/medicaid look at real estate holdings only or total assets for spend down. What are the pros/cons for her as well as myself.
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:41 AM   #2
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It's my understanding that one's home is not considered in the financial analysis of need. Also, any transfers made within 36 months of the elder entering the nursing home may be challenged and if overruled, the elder may be required to pay the costs for some penalty period. There are lawyers who specialize in these issues (elder care)...might want to suggest she speaks to one.
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:14 AM   #3
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We transferred 1st MIL home into BILs name before applying for the seniors home. Equivalent cash assets were transferred to DW. Remainder was left in her name. But the advice about seeking legal opinion is good because every jurisdiction is different.
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Rules much more restrictive now
Old 07-05-2007, 09:39 AM   #4
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Rules much more restrictive now

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Originally Posted by Achiever51 View Post
It's my understanding that one's home is not considered in the financial analysis of need. Also, any transfers made within 36 months of the elder entering the nursing home may be challenged and if overruled, the elder may be required to pay the costs for some penalty period. There are lawyers who specialize in these issues (elder care)...might want to suggest she speaks to one.
As I understand it (warning: I haven't had any real experience here ), the rules have gotten much more restrictive with the Feb 2006 federal changes (which the states follow). The lookback period is 5 years, and other changes make it harder to transfer assets "in flight".

Also, homes are usually considered an asset, which the state would want to attach. The only exception that I've heard about is if you are living with the person (e.g. a child assisting the parent by living with them) for a period of n years (maybe 2 or 3 but I can't remember)).

The best advise? Get real advice from a qualified attorney etc.
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:45 AM   #5
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As I understand it (warning: I haven't had any real experience here
The best advise? Get real advice from a qualified attorney etc.
Ditto, also I believe that pensions are protected as well as IRAs (but
they may have max limit), each state is different, so you definitely
need to talk to a lawyer in HER state.
TJ
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Old 07-05-2007, 10:32 AM   #6
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Also, there may be some gifting issues to consider.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:02 AM   #7
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you might wanna check this. i thought the look back period was increased to 5 years.

ps. ooops. just saw copyright already posted the 5 year thang. apologies for the infringement.
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IRAs in Distribution Status
Old 07-08-2007, 12:00 AM   #8
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IRAs in Distribution Status

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Originally Posted by teejayevans View Post
Ditto, also I believe that pensions are protected as well as IRAs (but
they may have max limit), each state is different, so you definitely
need to talk to a lawyer in HER state.
TJ
At least in my state, the key regarding IRA's is that they must be in distribution status, i.e. you are taking periodic distributions from the IRA. (And from what I've heard, the distributions need to be monthly.) Also, while the asset is protected (e.g. the IRA balance), the income is not.
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:18 AM   #9
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Medicaid is a State run program that is partially funded by the Federal Government. Check with her State Medicaid Office. Different States... Slightly different rules.

What I am going to state may vary in her state.

It is my understanding that most states have a 5 year look back period. If asset transfers occur within that period of time, they will refuse to pay until the money involved in the transfer is used to pay for NH services.

The rules are different for a single person versus one that has a living spouse or dependent.

I am assuming that the relative is single. If so, some state Medicaid programs will pay for NH services for 6 months and let them keep the house. If the person has not recuperated in 6 months and exit the NH, the house must be sold and proceeds used to pay for services. Also, all SS and pension income must pay. Most states have a minimum amount of money the NH resident can keep in an account (for example $2000 for misc personal expenses).

My advice... be very careful.

Also on a NH. Be careful selecting an NH and check regularly on the relative (couple times a week).
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