Q. Is it ethical to transfer and re-title assets so an individual can qualify for Medicaid?
A. Yes, it is absolutely ethical and moral; in fact, it is the "right" thing to do if a family is concerned about the long-term care of a loved one. From a moral and ethical standpoint, Medicaid planning is no different from income tax planning and estate planning. Income tax planning involves trying to find every legal and proper deduction, credit and other tax saving process that you are entitled to, taking maximum advantage of existing laws. In the same manner, Medicaid planning involves trying to find the best methods to transfer, shelter, and protect your assets in ways that take maximum advantage of existing laws, all in an effort to minimize what you pay and maximize the amount of money and assets that remains in your control.
Q. If someone transfers assets, when does the Medicaid ineligibility period start?
A. Medicaid states you are ineligible to apply for benefits if you have gifted any asset away within 60-months of applying for benefits. In most cases when a person completes the estate planning process which makes an asset an exempt resource, they are gifting assets out of the estate. For the very best estate planning results, create your plan at least 5-years prior to when you believe it is likely you may need care.
Q. If I gave assets away and created a period of ineligibility for Medicaid, can the person to whom I gave the assets return the asset to me and eliminate the period of ineligibility?
A . Yes, a transfer can be reversed by the return of the transferred asset.
Q. Are there any assets that can be transferred without resulting in a period of ineligibility?