One of the most frequently asked questions we get from clients is whether they can just give their assets away to qualify for medicaid to pay for their nursing home care.
Hi, my name is Bill Miller. I am an estate planning and asset protection attorney in Anniston, Alabama. I practice in the areas of estate planning and elder law. One of the most common things we run into is myths and questions about Alabama medicaid qualification when a loved one is going into a nursing home in Alabama. One of the most common myths is that you have to give away all of your assets before you go in to a nursing home in Alabama and then Medicaid will pay for your nursing home care.
That is not true. Medicaid has a 60-month look-back period in place so that if you've given away any assets they will look back 60 months from the time you file your Alabama Medicaid application. If you have given any assets away then they will not pay for a certain period of time. That period of time in known as the penalty period. The penalty period is not necessarily 60 months. The penalty period is based on the amount of assets that you actually give away.
So the idea that you can just give away your assets is not true. Additionally, there are a lot of unintended consequences that occur when people give assets away. What if you give them away to a relative who then spends the money or loses it in bankruptcy or divorce? There will be no money left to pay for your care when you need it.
It is never a good idea to give assets away to qualify for medicaid. However, they are strategies you can use to protect assets and qualify to get Alabama medicaid to pay for your nursing home care. So if you're facing this prospect then I encourage you to visit our website, register for one of our estate planning/asset protection workshops or request one of our books so you can become informed. If you are in a crisis situation, I encourage you to call our office and set up a time to come in so that we can put a plan in place to help protect your assets and still get you qualified for Medicaid.
If you would like more information about medicaid and nursing home care in Alabama, get a free copy of our report “What you Need to Know Alabama Medicaid Planning” by clicking the link. You can also register for a free estate planning/asset protection workshop by calling us at 256 251-2137 or visiting www.AnnistonEstatePlanning.com.