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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55610
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My elderly parents are downsizing to a one bedroom apartment

Customer Question

My elderly parents are downsizing to a one bedroom apartment and have asked their children to consider taking some of their personal property. They are on a fixed income with debts and will likely will die with debts and no assets other than their last month pension check and whatever old furniture is left in apartment. If we take property now, is that considered a gift for gift tax purposes if the value is under $14,000 total? Does the distribution of personal impact the 5 year look back period for getting Medicaid?
JA: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?
Customer: California
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: I do not have any documents. There is no will or anything like that.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no Sorry I did not know there was a fee. Let me check back later.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 8 months ago.

Hi! My name is Richard & I will be helping you today! It will take me a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  Richard replied 8 months ago.

You really need not worry about the Medicaid issue with furniture. Furniture basically is valued at "garage sale" prices and there is no electronic trail of the transfer of such personal assets. So, not only is the value going to be far below the $14,000 annual exclusion amount, there is going to be no record of any transfer of such furniture. So, there are no reporting requirements. Medicaid is worried about liquid assets or assets with an ascertainable fair market value that can be turned into liquid assets. Furniture and personal belongings simply do not fall within these categories and do not interest Medicaid.

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