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Conference at DeskWhen it comes to getting care for the elderly or protecting their interests, many families confront similar issues. Below we have collected questions received over the years from site visitors, along with our answers. Select the subject areas of greatest interest to you and see what others have asked. Chances are you'll find questions or situations that closely parallel your own.

 

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Q:

Will Money from Lawsuit Prevent Me from Qualifying for Medicaid?

I received money from a lawsuit and have not transferred it to anyone else. I haven't saved receipts for what I have spent it on. Now I have to go into a nursing home. Will Medicaid penalize me through the five-year look back?

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tags: Medicaid Rules
Q:

Can Medicaid Recover Assets Transferred Before the Medicaid Recipient's Death?

Husband was placed in a nursing home and received Medicaid benefits five years ago. When he went into the nursing home, the husband and wife jointly owned a home. Two years ago, while the husband was still alive, they deeded the house into the wife's name only. The husband died six months ago in the nursing home. The wife now wants to sell the house because she is 89, in poor health, and can no longer maintain it. She has no assets other than the house equity. When she sells the house, will Medicaid recoup half of the sales price? She is very concerned about having enough money to live on. 

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tags: Medicaid Rules
Q:

Is a Power of Attorney Still Valid After the Principal Passes Away?

My father-in-law passed away unexpectedly, and my mother-in-law has dementia and is in a nursing home. My husband has a durable power of attorney for his father. Does my father-in-law's power of attorney allow my husband to access his mother and father's joint checking account so we can pay the nursing home bill? 

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tags: Power of Attorney
Q:

Can I Transfer Assets Using Medicaid's Disability Transfer Exception?

I know that transfers made to a trust for the sole benefit of anyone under age 65 who is permanently disabled are exempt from the Medicaid penalty period. What is considered a "disability" in regard to gift transfers? 

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tags: Medicaid Planning
Q:

Does a Wife's Separate Property Count Toward a Medicaid Applicant's Assets?

In spending down assets to qualify for Medicaid, are investments that are the “separate property” of a wife from a previous marriage exempt from inclusion of the assets of the nursing home resident husband? (This is in Colorado, a non-community property state.) Secondly, if the wife transfers money from joint accounts to her own separate accounts, how is that treated? My stepmother transferred $100,000 from her and my dad's joint accounts to her separate account. 

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tags: Medicaid Rules
Q:

Can I Collect Social Security and Medicare Benefits in the U.S. Territories?

If I'm currently drawing Social Security disability benefits and have both Medicare and Medicaid, can I still get all these benefits if I move to Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or the Mariana Islands? 

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tags: Social Security
Q:

Does Medicaid Count a 529 Plan As an Available Asset?

My mother established a qualified 529 College Savings program for her two grandchildren. She has terminal brain cancer but lives in assisted living for now. The expectation is that she will eventually require nursing home care. The account owner is my mother, the beneficiaries are her grandchildren, and I, her son, am the successor owner upon her death. If I leave everything the way things are, would Medicaid consider these funds to be countable assets that would put my mother over the $2,000 asset limit? My financial adviser believes I should transfer ownership to me, leaving my kids the beneficiaries. Is the 529 plan a protected asset and exempt from the spend-down and or the look-back period?

 

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tags: Medicaid Rules
Q:

How Can We Publicly Complain About a Care Manager and Still Get a Refund?

We hired a geriatric care manager (GCM) to give us recommendations about caring for our mother. We were very unhappy with the product and service and filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) asking for a refund of the fee (the GCM is a BBB member). The GCM's response to the BBB included information that we believe violated our privacy. A personal injury lawyer told us that because the GCM was responding to our complaint, what he/she said would likely be “protected” and thus not a violation of privacy law (we are in California).  The GCM wants us to sign away our right to say anything to anyone about this before giving the refund, and says that if we don't sign, he/she might consider suing us for defamation.  

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tags: Senior Living

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