she has some money she has been saving for me and my brothers for when she dies, i would hate it if we need help by using medicade that they would take this. can i transfer it all over to an account just in my name. i'm talking about say 30,000.

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My mother put her name and mine on her savings and checking in 2007. She is now in a long term facility Dec of 2015. We have applied for Medicaid so will they take the 50,000 that is in the joint account? Also we have not paid for any funeral arrangements. Should we be doing this now since she has started the 100 day period of paying $157.50 per day and Medicare paying the rest. After the 100 day period we will see if Medicaid will approve her.
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Medicaid is intended for persons who cannot pay their own expenses when they are disabled, chronically ill, demented, etc. I'm afraid in today's world, where people are living longer than ever before many of us will reach a point where we outlive our money, espeically if we develop expensive chronic illnesses.

The way this program is set up, persons in need are expected to use their own resources to pay for their care as long as they can. If they have money or stocks and bonds or second homes or even insurance policies they are expected to use that first, then taxpayer money will step in.

To try to make this fair to everyone, there are rules about giving resources away to family member or friends and then applying for Medicaid. I hope an expert answers this post and gives you the exact rules for your situation. I just wanted to explain the overall reasoning for the rules.

It is very sad, but I think the truth is that fewer and fewer persons will be able to pay for their own care for their entire life, let alone accumulate money that can be left as an inheritance.
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Bunky all great insight from the others.

I'd like to add to the "see an elder care attorney". If any of your mom's $ is going into anothers account, that $ is now commingled. If she should need to go on Medicaid in the future, it will be a very time consuming tangle to establish who's $ is who's and you might still face a costly Medicaid transfer penalty.

30K isn't that much $. Sadly. Sounds like she is moving to your home and she has no other assets than her savings? Is that right, that is pretty straight forward to do:

First, if she does not have her own & only bank account, she needs to have that done where her SS, retirement or any other $ goes into. I'd put the savings in there so you have only 1 account to keep track of. You can be a co-signer on the account but all is used only for her and her needs. Account is ONLY in her SS#. You would be the POD (pay on death) on the account.
If there are other siblings, I'd allow then on-line viewing access to keep it all
kum-ba-ya & transparent on where the $ goes to. You know your family best.

Second, if she does not have a burial and funeral policy paid for & in place, I'd go and get those done. They need to be irrevocable and have no cash value. This will likely use up 5K to 10K of her money. Funeral home know how to make the contract compliant with a possible Medicaid review.
Third, I'd go an see an elder care to do or update all the legal she may need in the future: a DPOA; MPOA; a "Guardianship in Case of Incapacity"; a will or an updated codicil to her will. This should be paid from her $. If she won't be upset about it also do her advance directives.

Depending on her monthly income, the attorney might suggest having her do a "personal services contract" between you and your mom to compensate for your management of her finances and her care while she is living with you. The contract will be based on your community standards payment on care & your level of expertise - the attorney will know what it is and what will likely pass Medicaid review in the future.

If you mom needs new things (clothes, walker, etc.) buy them & just make sure that you keep all receipts and that everything is paid for from her solo account. If she needs dental care, that can be quite costly and basically spotty or zero coverage on Medicare or Medicaid. Dental care and hearing aids easily can run a big dent into her 30K savings. My mom needed implant & gum work done, was about 7K and all private pay, so glad it was done when she was in IL and had the $ to do it as the waiting list for seeing an endo guy for just an evaluation is like 10 months for NH patients, where she is now.

If she does not have any insurance, you could get her a small $ 1,000 - $ 1,500 term life policy, needs to be no cash value and within her states Medicaid guidelines for life insurance policies. Depending on her age, it could cost almost the face value but is a way to reduce her assets for Medicaid review. For many this type of policy is geared to provide for a small amount of $ upon death to use to deal with items that aren't covered by funeral pre-need, like flowers, cards,etc.
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When a parent puts a child on a banking account as a joint owner, it is essentially considered a gift. The funds held in the joint account are the property of the child and parent. However, the account still belongs to the primary holder, the parent.

So I would imagine when a parent puts a child on a banking account and it is considered a gift, it is subject to the five year look back period. As long as your mother does not go into a nursing home paid for by Medicaid, for about 5 years, then the money belongs to the joint holders.

Not only do these assests avoid probate, they override the will. So, google "joint tenants" on bank accounts and read why it is risky for parents to even put their children on their bank accounts. A POA financial should be used but many, many parents would rather put one or many of their children on their bank accounts. Some do not realize they are essentially giving the money to one of their children and it is up to the child to 'share" those funds. Hope that helps :)
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Bunky I'm not sure. I hope an expert will be able to answer that. I think, though, that what will be considered is who put the money into the account. If Mom put the money into an account with only your name on it, that would be considered giving it away. I suspect a joint account is treated similarly because (as you say) you could withdraw all the funds, but I don't know that.

The thing is, if your mother needs Medicaid, she needs Medicaid. If she has to spend down what she hoped would be a legacy in order to get the care she needs, then, unfortunately that is what has to happen. She can spend it on things like a new, more accessible wardrobe, a deluxe wheelchair, a more comfortable bed, many things she might want as long as it isn't given away.

You may want to consult an elder law attorney for the best way to handle her financial situation and apply for Medicaid.
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Just to add to what Jeannegibbs said, there is a 5 year look back period for those applying for medicaid. As a result, if you transferred the money from your mom's account next week and then applied for Medicaid a year from now, Medicaid would require you to pay the money back or suffer a time penalty based on a formula that they use. The penalty would begin at the time you made the application to Medicaid. Jeanne gave you the over view and I've added a bit. There's more to be said, but you would need expert advise. The long and short of it is that any transfer of assets will be carefully scrutinized by Medicaid.
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It is always tricky. If there are two people's names on the account, the money will be seen as an asset of each one individually. So if you mother incurs a debt, the money will be considered her asset alone and the money can be used to cover the debt. Because your name is also on the account, if you should go into debt, the money would be considered as your asset alone and the money can be used to cover your debt.

The sad truth is that fewer people have sizable estates to leave their children now. Longer lives and the rising cost of care means that most assets will have to be used.
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crobbin1: Your mother gave you $200,000 5 years ago, no strings attached? Is that correct? Then I would think that legally it is your money and you can do as you see fit with it. Or were there some strings attached?

This money is not now part of your mother's estate and her will does not apply to it, if it was truly a fgift to you.

I assume you paid gift tax and otherwise have taken responsibility/ownership of this assest?

For legal advice you'd best consult a lawyer. But on the face of it, it is your money to do with as you please.
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carl - unless mom applies for Medicaid, there is no lookback on her finances.

as Jeanne said, if the 200K was transferred / gifted to you 5 years ago, then it is no longer your mother's $ or asset.

I don't know what your siblings are like, but 200K is enough for someone to challenge you on what mom's intent for use of the $$ is/was. If you should ever apply for Medicaid, they could contact the state and tell them about the $$ too. Could be ugly. I'd see an attorney and use some of the 200K to pay for this.
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Carl - if I'm understanding this, you are trying to figure out how to best use the 200K your mom gave you over 5 years ago to help her in the future....correct? Now I think we've established that it's more than 5 years, so no Medicaid review worries. And that it is now your $. I would look into doing a "SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST", this will need to be drawn up by an attorney. SNT can be done so that the $ that funds the trust does not count as your mom's income or asset so that she can qualify for Medicaid. The trust could pay for a daily companion for her in the NH or for paying for the upgrade to a private room at the NH (Medicaid are usually shared rooms). The big ? is who is who owns the trust. Trusts are their own legal person and they live beyond whomever the trust benefits (this would be your mom). Now it could be evenly divided by the siblings or all to you & your spouse or you could name an charity or cause that would make your mom happy.
I was execturix for an aunt who left a very convoluted mess of an estate - lots of people expecting $$ - what I eventually did was to have it so that her estate left the $$ to a university scholar program and a charity. This totally deflated anyone's complaint about where the $$ went too. lmao. You know your family best and whether there would be mendacity and infighting over $$$ or even $. Good luck.
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