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How to protect elderly parents assets?

 
 
nospam
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      08-10-2003, 03:30 PM
My parents are now elderly, and their health is deteriorating.
They want to leave my brother and myself their home (which
is paid for), and the sum of $30,000 in a savings their saving
account. I know I should see a lawyer, but in the meantime,
can someone suggest the basic steps in protecting what my
parents call our inheritance? Should we put the house in
my brother's or my name? My name is already on their savings
account (i.e., joint account) so will that protect the savings?

What we want to avoid is in the event either of my parents
require long term medical care, the government takes all
of their hard earned assets first. Any suggestions would
be greatly appreciated.


 
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Michael T Wing CPA
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      08-10-2003, 06:20 PM
Nospam <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> What we want to avoid is in the event either of my parents
> require long term medical care, the government takes all
> of their hard earned assets first.


So, in other words, you think it would be OK if the government
takes MY hard earned assets (in the form of taxes) to pay for
YOUR parents care?

MTW


 
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TTRoberts
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      08-11-2003, 09:15 AM
"nospam" (E-Mail Removed) , you asked:

<< <I>My parents are now elderly, and their health is deteriorating. They want
to leave my brother and myself their home (which is paid for), and the sum of
$30,000 in a savings their saving account. I know I should see a lawyer, but
in the meantime, can someone suggest the basic steps in protecting what my
parents call our inheritance? </i> >>

REALY, the "best" step is of find a good Elder Law Attorney if your parents are
very interested in preserving as much as possible. Yes, it costs some money .
.. .but not as much as what might be considered lost if it isn't done properly.

<< <I>Should we put the house in my brother's or my name? </i> >>

If it's going to be considered a gift, there count be gift tax issues. A good
experienced Elder Law Attorney can make suggestions that could work better.

<< <i>My name is already on their savings account (i.e., joint account) so will
that protect the savings?</i> >>

Just having a joint account won't really offer much, if any, protection.

<< <i>What we want to avoid is in the event either of my parents require long
term medical care, the government takes all of their hard earned assets first.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.</i> >>

For you're parent to go onto Medicaid, the government DOES NOT take anything.
It's an issue of qualifying or not. The government simply does not want to
give this kind of welfare benefit to people who can afford to pay on their own.
The government only wants to give this welfare benefit to people who are
financially destitute. In order to qualify for Medicaid benefits, one must
spend all the assets, which include one's house, or give it away long before
hand in order to become destitute. So you see, it's really not a case of the
government taking anything.

 
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HW \Skip\ Weldon
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      08-11-2003, 12:15 PM
On 10 Aug 2003 15:30:08 GMT, "nospam" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>What we want to avoid is in the event either of my parents
>require long term medical care, the government takes all
>of their hard earned assets first. Any suggestions would
>be greatly appreciated.


To clarify, your parents must pay for their care to the extent they
are able. Once their funds/assets are exhausted and assuming they
qualify for Medicaid, the government may provide benefits.

Medicaid rules vary by State, but usually there are some exceptions to
what must be exhausted before Medicaid starts. It's fairly common to
see such things as a residence, some cash, a car, etc. excepted. But
it's a TEMPORARY exception - Medicaid places a lien on those assets
and will collect at the patients death. But only to the extent that
they expended money on that person's behalf.

In other words, the notion that the "government takes all of their
hard earned assets" is incorrect. Medicaid only recovers what they
spent on that person's behalf. So in the end we are still expected to
pay for our own care. To the extent that's not possible, Medicaid is
a possibility.



-HW "Skip" Weldon
Columbia, SC

 
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Winter QQ
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      08-11-2003, 12:58 PM
>The government only wants to give this welfare benefit to people who are
>financially destitute.


Avergage nursing come costs are about $70,000 per year depending on the state.
Most people become destitute in fairly short order at that rate. The welfare
types that will need government assistance are your parents and us.

Dennis

 
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Michael T Wing CPA
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      08-11-2003, 02:00 PM
Nospam <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> No, after paying a lifetime of taxes in this
> country, they should be able to receive care without loosing everything.


But the people who will ultimately benefit from the asset preservation
strategy are not your parents. Rather, it is YOU and your brother. The
purpose of Medicaid is to provide medical care for those who can't afford
it; its purpose is NOT to preserve inheritances for future generations.

If you want to preserve inheritances, your parents should consider buying
long term care insurance (if they are not too old to do so).

MTW


 
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Nathaniel Hummel
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      08-24-2003, 11:45 AM
NoSpam, it sounds like you're getting a lot of good advice, and Mr. Wing hit
it on the head when he pointed out the true purpose of Medicaid, i.e. to
help the indigent, not to preserve inheritances for progeny. However good
the advice, however, it sounds like you just don't like the sound of it.
Elizabeth provided a possible solution... though it may or may not be
available depending on the health of your folks. And, no, even after paying
a lot of past taxes... they're in the same position as everyone else who has
paid a lot of taxes in the past... they're expected to utilize their assets
to pay for their own long term care before they can expect to have everyone
else pay for their care through their taxes. If you want to have the
government pay for these types of social services, then take a look at some
of the Scandanavian countries with really high taxes. There's no magic money
tree that pays for social programs. It's all a matter of choices and in this
country we, at the present time, have decided to not pay for long term care
for the elderly. Look at how much stink and delay is brought about by the
simple proposal of paying for drugs for the elderly! Imagine what it would
be like if long term care was being proposed.

Just a couple of things to think about instead of getting ticked because the
money you were spending in your head may go to help those who earned it.

Nat


"nospam" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news(E-Mail Removed)...
...snip..
>
>
> The idea of people providing for themselves went out the window with
> the tax burden in this country. My parents have paid hundreds of
> thousands of dollars over the course of decades, so others could
> receive health care, and numerous other programs. Now they may
> be the ones in need, and you're telling me after paying all of those taxes
> for decades, they need to lose everything to qualify for long term health
> care? Too bad they weren't drug addicts or alcholoics, I'm sure they
> would qualify for help then. No, after paying a lifetime of taxes in this
> country, they should be able to receive care without loosing everything.
>
>
>
>



 
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cal-lester
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      08-24-2003, 07:35 PM
Hy "NoSpam", I would like to put my three cents in here. I do not know how old your parents are, but if they are looking at LTC, then they have probably been collecting S.S. checks for a number of years. Have you bothered to add up those checks, and balance them against what they are alleged to have paid in over the years. Please keep in mind, that if they are in the 70 / 75 age bracket, then a major portion of the S.S. tax that they paid in was a a MINIMUM of there annual income. I (age 74) remember paying S.S. tax on only the first $3,000 of GROSS income. As a matter of fact, we used to look forward to "S.S. day", which was somewher in May or June, when your employer "no longer deducted S.S. from your pay".

Again to use myself as an example, my parents received more in S.S. checks than ALL of the money Dad paid in, PLUS BOTh Me & MY Wife TOTAL........... That does not take into consideration the money that I have received for the past 12 years.................

Cal Lester CLU


When things just can't get any worse, they will !

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Written by (E-Mail Removed)



Nathaniel Hummel wrote:
> NoSpam, it sounds like you're getting a lot of good advice, and Mr.
> Wing hit it on the head when he pointed out the true purpose of
> Medicaid, i.e. to help the indigent, not to preserve inheritances for
> progeny. However good the advice, however, it sounds like you just
> don't like the sound of it. Elizabeth provided a possible solution...
> though it may or may not be available depending on the health of your
> folks. And, no, even after paying a lot of past taxes... they're in
> the same position as everyone else who has paid a lot of taxes in the
> past... they're expected to utilize their assets to pay for their own
> long term care before they can expect to have everyone else pay for
> their care through their taxes. If you want to have the government
> pay for these types of social services, then take a look at some of
> the Scandanavian countries with really high taxes. There's no magic
> money tree that pays for social programs. It's all a matter of
> choices and in this country we, at the present time, have decided to
> not pay for long term care for the elderly. Look at how much stink
> and delay is brought about by the simple proposal of paying for drugs
> for the elderly! Imagine what it would be like if long term care was
> being proposed.
>
> Just a couple of things to think about instead of getting ticked
> because the money you were spending in your head may go to help those
> who earned it.
>
> Nat
>
>
> "nospam" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news(E-Mail Removed)...
> ..snip..
>>
>>
>> The idea of people providing for themselves went out the window with
>> the tax burden in this country. My parents have paid hundreds of
>> thousands of dollars over the course of decades, so others could
>> receive health care, and numerous other programs. Now they may
>> be the ones in need, and you're telling me after paying all of those
>> taxes for decades, they need to lose everything to qualify for long
>> term health care? Too bad they weren't drug addicts or alcholoics,
>> I'm sure they would qualify for help then. No, after paying a
>> lifetime of taxes in this country, they should be able to receive
>> care without loosing everything.


--


 
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kat
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      08-24-2003, 09:10 PM
protecting assets... might i suggest that ya make sure y'all's parents
have set up both a "will" and a "durable power of attorney"... fer if
they don't, then any money grabbing elderly focused hospital will try to
push y'all's parents into an assisted living facility, long before
they're at a point where they may need to be there fer medical reasons,
just to take y'all's parent's assets, fer the hospital can legally make
judgement that y'all's parent's dementia is such that they are nooo
longer competent, then the hospital can legally appoint a legal guardian
of the hospital's choosing, who then legally, literally, rape y'all's
parent's assets from 'em... and the kicker is that every participant in
this scheme, that goes on everyday, in every state, takes a cut of
y'all's parent's assets, such as the appointed legal guardian who
charges outrageous fees fer each hour that they give service, the social
worker who determines that y'all's parent's dementia makes 'em nooo
longer competent, the hospital takes a cut when they recommend a
particular assisted living facility, the doctors who ususally prescribe
over dosage of medicines to get y'all's parents not able to think
straight, the hospital's attorney who charges outrageous fees per hour
and of course, the assisted living facility rapes y'alls parents assets
the most with ridiculously high costs, similar to how a defense
contractor is able to get away with charging us taxpayers a $1000 fer a
screwdriver... remember, make sure y'all's parents set up a "will" and a
"durable" "power of attorney" of which includes "healthcare" authority
amongst the 10 to 13 clauses, depending on y'all's states laws, of how a
durable power of attorney document can be written up... another
suggestion, might be, as we did, that when my father was approaching a
surgery where the surgeon had said that he may not make it thru it and
we were concerned that mother, who had never worked, who herself was
suffering a medical condition, would still have their home to live in,
to where father sold me the house, fer which we drew up a legal
document, to where i now rent it back to 'em at a dollar per month and
the funds that were paid to 'em fer the house went into a "trust" fer
'em, thus now, they'll never have to worry 'bout losing their house or
having financial means to take care of 'em, even if i'm not alive to do
sooo myself...

 
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HW \Skip\ Weldon
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      08-25-2003, 12:50 PM
On 24 Aug 2003 21:10:09 GMT, (E-Mail Removed) (kat) wrote:

>protecting assets... might i suggest that ya make sure y'all's parents
>have set up both a "will" and a "durable power of attorney"... fer if
>they don't, then any money grabbing elderly focused hospital will try to
>push y'all's parents into an assisted living facility, long before
>they're at a point where they may need to be there fer medical reasons,
>just to take y'all's parent's assets, fer the hospital can legally make
>judgement that y'all's parent's dementia is such that they are nooo
>longer competent, then the hospital can legally appoint a legal guardian
>of the hospital's choosing, who then legally, literally, rape y'all's
>parent's assets from 'em... and the kicker is that every participant in
>this scheme, that goes on everyday, in every state,


snip

No question. A Durable Power and Healthcare Power is certainly
desirable.

But the procedure in the absence of those documents varies.

For example, without a General Durable Power, the procedure (in my
State) is for a competency hearing. Then if necessary, the COURT
appoints a Custodian.

With Healthcare decisions, and in the absence of a Healthcare Power,
it works similarly to dying without a Will - there is a defined list
of people who, in order, can make medical decisions. It begins with
Spouse, then children, etc. Only if none of them is available does
the decision move to a Court for court appointment of a Custodian.

While I could envision a situation where temporarily there would be no
family and no documents, I would be surprised if any State permitted a
provider (hospital, doctor) to unilaterally and indefinitely choose a
Custodian.

-HW "Skip" Weldon
Columbia, SC

 
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