Anyone can give another $13,000 with no tax consequences. If more than $13,000 is given, a gift tax return must be filed. There still will be no tax unless the person has given away more than the exemption amount, which at the current time is $1,000,000.00.
For Medicaid qualification, any amounts given away within five years before the application will create a penalty period in which Medicaid will not pay unless the amounts are fully paid back. Partial payments are not sufficient. The money would need to be paid back by the person who received the gift, but it is not a problem if someone helps them out to pay it.
Your mother should probably visit an attorney who can give her the necessary information about the specific medicaid rules for Ohio. Be sure that the attorney is well experienced in doing Medicaid planning,
This is general information not intended as legal advice. Geraldine Brown is licensed in Michigan.
If your mother was to go into a nursing home within the next 5 years and needed to qualify for Medicaid then she would be ineligible for approximately 4 months (using today's rates). A family member would need to provide for her care during that time.
Your mother should discuss this idea with an elder law attorney before she makes the gifts.
From a gift tax perspective ther is no problem in what you propose. From a Medicaid standpoint, there is a potential problem. if mom needs assitance in paying for care within 5 years of the date of the gifts there will be a penalty period. YOu need to see a qualified elder law attorney. I recommend that you call
C. Lawrence Huddleston, Esq.
HUDDLESTON LAW GROUP LPA
Suite 210 Commerce National Bank Building
Columbus, Ohio 43214
Phone: (614) 488-7878
If he can not represent you, I am sure his office can suggest a good local elder law attorney who can.