A common practice that nearly every Medicaid Planning Lawyer Lakewood Ranch Florida has to offer often sees is seniors giving away valuable property through gifts to family and friends. Liquidating your assets can be beneficial for lowering the tax burden on your family when it comes time to settle your estate; however, if you plan to apply for Medicaid, gift-giving can limit your access.
Federal Medicaid Law and Asset Transferring
Gift-giving, also referred to as asset transferring, within five years of applying for Medicaid, can render you ineligible for long-term care under Federal Medicaid law. When seniors or those with disabilities transfer their property to someone else, they incur a transfer penalty. The length of the penalty is determined by the value of the property that was given away or transferred.
A Medicaid Planning Lawyer in Lakewood Ranch Florida will advise you: An individual is allowed to gift property worth up to $15,000 in one year and avoid the gift tax; however, the $15,000 is still considered part of your net worth when applying for Medicaid. Unfortunately, even large donations to charity are not considered exceptions under the transfer penalty rule. Medicaid also doesn’t care whether your gift-giving was for a birthday, graduation, wedding, or anniversary. In fact, even paying a bill for someone can be held against Medicaid eligibility.
Exceptions to Medicaid Eligibility and Asset Transfers
According to the Medicaid planning lawyer Lakewood Ranch, Florida residents can transfer assets to their spouse, or place the property in a trust that will benefit a blind or disabled child or a trust that will benefit any individual who is permanently disabled and under 65 years old. These transfers do not result in a transfer penalty and keep ownership of the property close to the person planning their estate.
One way you can be smart about planning your estate and end of life is by hiring one of the Medicaid planning lawyer Lakewood Ranch Florida has to offer. It is never too early to start planning, especially if you are worried about Medicaid eligibility.
Call the Law Office of Kimberly K. Muenter, P.A. at 941-254-2842 to begin your Medicaid Planning today