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Ronald C. Morton
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Ronald Morton’s Answers

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  • How long in the state of Ms does property need to be transferred to keep a nursing facility from taking it.

    We are getting older and want to tranfer our property to our daughter

    Ronald’s Answer

    The lookback period for Medicaid qualification purposes is 5 years, meaning that if you required skilled medical care and desired to qualify for Medicaid within 60 months of making the transfer of property to your daughter, you would be ineligible for Medicaid for some period of time (1 month for every $5,700 of value transferred). However, if you applied for Medicaid more than 5 years after the transfer, the property transfer would not count against you and Medicaid would not have a lien against it at your death. However, simply giving the property to your daughter is almost always a mistake. First, you are costing your daughter unnecessary income taxes whenever she ultimately sells the property. More importantly, since there could be a penalty associated with the transfer if Medicaid were needed, you would have no control over the property and no means to get it back. A much more prudent approach would be to place the property into a Wealth Preservation Trust, which will allow you to retain much of the control of ownership, would make the property unavailable for Medicaid purposes, would result in immediate protection of much of the value of the property with full protection in 60 months, and will give your daughter the benefits of stepped up basis for income tax purposes when she ultimately sells the property.

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