I have heard that there’s a five-year look-back for Medicaid. Why shouldn’t I just have my parents gift their assets to me without the assistance of an elder law attorney?
The temptation is great to try to go it alone when thinking about a future Medicaid qualification. But that may not be the wisest decision. When a gift is made directly to another individual, that individual determines what happens to that asset in the future; it can be spent, lost in a divorce, or become fair game in the event of a lawsuit. Often elder law attorneys make use of a trust to hold gifted assets. The trust creates a layer of protection around the gifted assets so that they remain available until the person who gifted them is deceased. The trust can also create very positive income tax results. An elder law attorney can also assist with making sure that other Medicaid rules are not being violated. For example, special documentation is required if a family member is providing care to another.