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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  Litigation Attorney with education focus on estate planning and tax
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My 91 year old mother lives with me. She recently had a

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My 91 year old mother lives with me. She recently had a stroke and is scheduled to be released from a rehab center in several weeks. She will be returning to my home so I can continue to care for her. She has Medicare with an insurance supplement. We will be hiring a caregiver to stay with her while I work. We also hired a caregiver to stay with her at night while in rehab so she would never be alone. I took FMLA so I could stay with her during the day. The caregiver is being paid out of Mom's $$.
Mom has $90,000 in CDs. Both our names are ***** ***** CDs, however it's actually her $$ but she put my name on them about 15 years ago. I pay for all of the expenses of the home, however she pays the mortgage. How can I protect what $$ my mother has left? The remaining mortgage is about $19,000. Can I take one of the CDs and pay off the mortgage and my vehicle (since I use the vehicle to take her to doctors apps). I'm wondering how I can get Mom on Medicaid with depleting all of her funds. From what I understand, if Mom is on Medicaid, then they will pay for a caregiver to look after Mom in my home while I work.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I meant to type "get her in Medicaid WITHOUT depleting all of her funds
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

What state are you from?

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

In order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits a nursing home resident may have no more than $2,000 in "countable" assets (the figure may be somewhat higher in some states). Note that Medicaid is a state-run program, so the rules are somewhat different in each state, although there are federal guidelines.

All assets are counted against these limits unless the assets fall within the short list of "noncountable" assets. These include the following:

Personal possessions, such as clothing, furniture, and jewelry. One motor vehicle, regardless of value, as long as it is used for transportation of the applicant or a household member. The value of an additional automobile may be excluded if needed for health or self-support reasons (check your state's rules).The applicant's principal residence, provided it is in the same state in which the individual is applying for coverage. Under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), principal residences may be deemed noncountable only to the extent their equity is less than $552,000, with the states having the option of raising this limit to $828,000 (in 2015). In all states and under the DRA, the house may be kept with no equity limit if the Medicaid applicant's spouse or another dependent relative lives there.

So in order for her to be eligible for Medicaid, she will have to deplete her funds although many transactions are subject to the 5 year lookback period that will still count assets that have been moved out of the estate in the last 5 years. With just the basic information you have provided it seems unlikely that she would qualify but it would be a good idea to put as much into the home as possible while depleting the countable assets I have listed.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We live in Virginia. If and when my mother applies for Medicaid, would she be penalized if we cashed in one of the CDs to pay off the mortgage on the house (which is in my name, but is her primary residence).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, what about the vehicle, which is in my name but is used to transport her. Can that be paid off as well?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

In Virginia, individuals applying for Medicaid are permitted up to $2,000 in countable assets, married couples up to $3,000 and, married couples with only one spouse applying, can have up to $119,220. Countable assets do not include their home, provided that at least one spouse lives in it and their portion of home equity is valued at less than $552,000. The primary vehicle and final expense plans are also excluded for their countable assets.

You should be able to pay off the house and car with no penalty since those assets are in your name as well, and since the assets are not in your mother's name they wouldn't be counted (they are noncountable assets anyway). Although you will have problems with the cds being held jointly and will probably be counted against her in ascertaining Medicaid eligibility and subject to the 5 year lookback back period for assets that are distributed. You will most likely have to spend down her assets on her health care and living expenses in order for her to qualify for Medicaid. I believe you will greatly benefit in retaining an elder care attorney who can greatly help you find ways to spend down the money and retain as much as possible. These attorneys have many different ways to move around assets and ascetainiable your mothers particular situation. I would look into lawyers.com or martindale.com and search for elder care attorneys in your area. You can read reviews and choose an attorney based upon that.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Also to be clear the cds if you hold with a right of survivorship would 100% count as assets and paying off the house and car would be gifts subject to the 5 year lookback period and count toward your mothers assets if the assets are held as tenants in common then the gift was completed 15 years ago and only 50% of the value of the assets would be counted towards your mothers assets and you could use the other 50% to pay off the car and house without any consequences to the 5 year lookback period. For Medicaid eligibility it would have been better to have those assets in the name of your mother so any money given is not considered a gift. Just wanted to clear that up.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I see you have reviewed my answer, do you have any further questions? If not, please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is the difference between "tenants in common " and "right of survivorship"? The way the CDs are set up is that only 1 signature is required to cash out a cd, not both signatures
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

A right of survivorship passes everything at the death of one of the owners. Tenants in common means that each owns 50% and can pass the interest at death.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Do you have any further questions?

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I see you have reviewed my answer, did you have any further questions? If not, please positively rate my answer if satisfied.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Are you there? Did you have any further questions?

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