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Transfer of assets to qualify for Aid and Attendance

Last post 01-20-2010 12:14 PM by mcrews. 5 replies.
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  • 03-17-2009 1:04 AM

    • jkf
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 03-17-2009
    • Posts 1

    Transfer of assets to qualify for Aid and Attendance

    My mom was advised to convert her assets into an irrevocable trust in order to qualify my father for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. Is this legal? Could I (her daughter) be the trustee? What are the drawbacks? My father is being placed in a dementia care facility at a cost of $5,000 per month, and Mom doesn't want to spend all of their savings. She is looking at assisted living for herself in the not-too-distant future.

  • 03-17-2009 1:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Transfer of assets to qualify for Aid and Attendance

    The VA does not have a "look back" period for the transfer of assets, however Medicaid does have a look back period of typically 3-5 years.  Hopefully your mom is working with a qualified financial planner or an elder care attorney who is  knowledgeable  in your local area about Medicaid laws. 

  • 07-08-2009 11:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Transfer of assets to qualify for Aid and Attendance

     I know this is after the fact, your post was some time ago, but even though Medicaid's "look back" is five years, there are provisions to protect part of the joint assets for the spouse.  The amount protected depends on how much there is.  A rough number is that anything under $20,000, more or less, is protected 100% for the surviving spouse.  There are other percentages after that.  Once assets are spent down to these amounts, then medicaid will pick up the tab.  There is also what is called a "Miller Trust", that will protect some of the patient's assets.  I'm not as well versed on that, but any attorney who specializes in Elder Law can help.  In Arkansas, our DHS actually has some information on how to set up a Miller trust yourself.  These trusts have to be spent on the patient for specific things.  Another misunderstanding as far as medicaid goes, is that you can't spend any money before the person enters the nursing facility.  That is not true, they just can't be "uncompensated transfers" of assets.  So legitimate expenditures are generally acceptable.  You do need to speak to someone in your state well-versed in this.  Each state has to follow the federal guidelines on it, but there are some differences in interpretation and application of the rules.

  • 07-09-2009 12:45 AM In reply to

    • mcrews
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-01-2008
    • California
    • Posts 138

    Re: Transfer of assets to qualify for Aid and Attendance

    Most of the information above is stated incorrectly.

    Miiler Trusts protct income not assets. 1/2 the states don't even use Miller trusts.  THe most important point is: EVERY STATE has its own interpretations.

    Most importantly, though is the fact that Aid & Attendance is available in the home DO NOT WAIT FOR ASSISTED LIVING AND HAVING TO MOVE.

    Also, If you are going to shuffle things around, then by all mean DON'T ingore Medicare Programs that are also designed to reduce premiums and co-pays: QMB & SLMB. And the Part D 'EXTRA HELP PROGRAM"

    Mark John Crews, Strategic C.A.R.E. Planning(c)

  • 01-20-2010 10:58 AM In reply to

    Re: Transfer of assets to qualify for Aid and Attendance

    I am just checking into help for care in the home of my husband who is 65 and was diagnosed with alzheimer 6 years ago.  He has been on social security disability for 6 years.  He is a veteran but there is some question as to the date of his discharge not being during the vietnam era.  I am waiting for an answer back on that question.  But my other question is one of assets.  I have an annuity that I set up a year ago that is in my name and my sons.  I am not drawing off it and I am not retired yet.  Would that be considered his asset also?

    Sharon Ackerman

  • 01-20-2010 12:14 PM In reply to

    • mcrews
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 07-01-2008
    • California
    • Posts 138

    Re: Transfer of assets to qualify for Aid and Attendance

    If you are married then assets and income are combined.

    Are you paying for CARE?

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