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Can Medicaid Force the Sale of a Car That Is in My Father's Name Even Though I Make the Payments?

  • January 19th, 2017
Q
My father was placed in a nursing home six weeks ago and he will be applying for Medicaid. He has two cars: a truck that is paid for and the car I drive. The car is in his name, but I make the monthly payments. I have about a year of payments left on this car. Will Medicaid take both of these vehicles, or is the one I drive OK because I'm still paying on it? He owns no other property.
A

This will be a question of local application of the Medicaid rules, so you will have to consult with an elder law attorney in your state. But as an example of how the law may be applied, here’s how the rules work in Massachusetts: A Medicaid recipient may have one vehicle so long as either (a) the value is under $4,500 or (b) the recipient can prove a need for the car. In your father’s case, he has two. So, he would have to get rid of one. He can sell one and spend down the proceeds. He may also be able to transfer the car that you drive to you, but that is a gray area. He’s not allowed to give away assets, but you may be able to successfully argue that he has ownership in name only and the vehicle is really yours. Again, you need to consult with a local elder law attorney on this given the local variation in how vehicles are treated and the specifics of your situation. To find an attorney near you, go here: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/elder-law-attorneys.

Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA

John Laster

Law Offices of John L. Laster
Falls Church, VA

William Fralin

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm PC
Bethesda, MD

Judith Mitnick

Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Falls Church, VA


Last Modified: 01/19/2017

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