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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41003
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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My Mother is getting older with signs of dementia. Her home

Customer Question

My Mother is getting older with signs of dementia. Her home has already been put into a life estate with myself and three siblings. I do have a power of attorney and her stock accounts have one or more of us listed with her on the accounts. Question should we have her not mentioned on the accounts or should we keep her on the accounts with the POD added? What should we begin doing to protect her and ourselves for the day we will need homecare or she may need to move to assisted living.? Just want to know a starting point to move forward.
Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.
Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you today.
The life estate should keep medicaid from claiming the house.They will look at her finances for the last five year prior to application and any large scale transactions.It might be a good idea here to go on and start selling the stock and putting it into the bank.
Once that is done you need to meet with a NAELA lawyer.They specialize in shelters here and a medicaid qualifying annuity, prepaid funeral, a new car are possible shelters.
A car is a great shelter here if there are transportation needs for family members.They can use it for doctors visits, visiting her, and their own personal use.Even if she does not drive medicaid allows that as an exemption from resources.
You then want to drive the thing into the ground as state gets it when she deceases. But knowing that you put it to good use and wear it out.It can be a real lifesaver if family members need it for visiting and medical and other outings.
NAELA--National Academy of Elder Lawyers specialize in shelters and they can help you in that ares.
You cannot have her gift away the stock of funds that is a no no for medicaid.The NAELA lawyer can help you shelter it without loss of eligibility.
You can locate one here..
I think the first step here is to sell her stock and liquidate it and get it consolidated into an account and then let NAELA lawyer see if an annuity or other shelters work for you.You can talk to him about a car, people often don't know about this but it can be a real god send for the relatives who have to provide transportation.
She is allowed to pay insurance,maintenance, gas etc for such an exempt vehicle in her name.
Medicaid qualifying annuities are short term annuities that launder money through an annuity legally.The payments over say six months to a year come back to her and are exempt as a resource.The only risk is that the state over the six months or year is the alternate beneficiary and if she deceases they keep the payments.It one worth asking about.
I appreciate the chance to help you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.
If you can leave a positive rating it is always much appreciated.
Good luck here with your parent.Thanks again.
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.
More about the annuities I referenced above as a shelter.
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.
More on exemptions you want to check your state to see if there is a value limit on car..
The following assets generally are exempt from the Medicaid spend-down requirement:
$2,000 in cash, stocks or property owned by the applicant ($3,000 for a married couple)
If the Medicaid recipient is married, but the spouse is not on Medicare and continues to live in the couple's home, a "spousal impoverishment allowance" is exempt. The exact amount of the spousal impoverishment allowance is determined by the state. However, the federal government sets minimum and maximum limits. .
the Medicaid recipient's home (some states limit this to a particular amount, such as $500,000,) but only if
the applicant is likely to return home or
one of the following individuals continues to live in the home:
the applicant's spouse
a child under age 21
a child over age 21 who is disabled
a brother or sister who owns part of the house and has resided there for at least one year
essential household items (furniture, appliances, etc.)
personal effects (clothing, jewelry, etc.)
burial plots
burial funds of up to $1,500 each for a married couple, and up to $1,200 for a single applicant; for an irrevocable burial fund, these amounts are raised to $5,000 each for a married couple, and $2,500 for a single applicant
one motor vehicle. Most states place a limitation on the fair market value, allowing up to $4,500, although some have an unlimited amount and others a lower amount. Some states permit the individual to keep one motor vehicle owned by either spouse, automatically, with no limit on the value; others can keep one motor vehicle, with no limit on value, only if the vehicle is used for any of the following reasons:
transportation to and from employment
transportation for medical treatment
transportation of a handicapped person
cash surrender value of life insurance, only if the face value of all polices is less than $1,500 (an unlikely occurrence); note that term life insurance does not have a cash surrender value and is, therefore, completely exempt
the dollar amount of nursing home costs paid by a long-term-care insurance policy