Example of a case that went against the person in your position:
Gift of Funds in Joint Account
Mom has just entered the nursing home, and her children have consulted with an elder law attorney, who asks about Mom's "countable assets." These are the assets that Medicaid counts in determining her eligibility for Medicaid nursing home benefits. A person who has more than $2000 in countable assets, such as bank accounts, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, and the like, is not eligible for benefits.
Mom has a $50,000 certificate of deposit, says Daughter, but "my name is XXXXX XXXXX CD too," she says. It's exempt, right? Isn't Mom eligible for Medicaid?
A similar argument was made in a recent Pennsylvania case. On September 5, 1983, Dora Steinberg's husband died, and their jointly held assets became her property. On December 14, 1983, Dora opened a joint account at the bank with her son George and her daughter Marsha. Dora, Marsha, and George signed a joint account agreement with right of survivorship that allowed any of the three signers to the account to withdraw any and all funds from it. The account's opening balance was $120,000.
By December 1994, the account had grown to $240,000. In January 1995, George and Marsha withdrew $199,608 leaving a balance of approximately $41,513.
On July 10, 1995, Dora was admitted to the Saunders House Nursing Home. On January 9, 1997, Dora applied for Medicaid, but her application was denied on the basis that the $199,608 had been transferred from Dora's ownership without fair consideration.
George testified that at the time Dora opened the account and named her two children as joint owners, she made a gift of $40,000 to each of them.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld the Medicaid hearing officer's finding that George's testimony lacked credibility, and that he and Marsha withdrew the money in order to qualify Dora for Medicaid.
Case is Steinberg v. Department of Public Welfare, September 12, 2000.