Changes in the law have made it much more difficult for the elderly to transfer wealth to family members in anticipation of entering a nursing home. Federal legislation in 2005 instituted a five-year “lookback” — any gifts or noncompliant transfers to children or grandchildren in the five years prior may delay Medicaid eligibility or incur heavy monetary penalties. Without proper Medicaid and life-care planning, many elderly people are forced to spend down their children’s inheritance and impoverish themselves before Medicaid will pay for nursing home care.
Capehart Scatchard can help clients place assets in trust, make use of annual gifting exclusions and employ other strategies to maintain Medicaid eligibility. If you do not have the luxury of five years, we will help you take advantage of your remaining options and exemptions to get your loved one into a proper care facility while retaining as many family assets as possible and mitigating any Medicaid penalties.
We invite you to arrange a consultation with Capehart Scatchard’s elder law attorneys.