The relevance of this statement is that the State will examine the applicant’s and their spouse’s economic ability to privately pay for nursing home care and also to determine if any gifts were made. Any transfer of assets for less than fair market value is usually considered a “gift” in the Medicaid program.
All Maryland applicants must give the State permission to examine their and their spouses’ assets for 60 months. That five-year time frame is commonly referred to the “look-back period”. The examination includes assets then currently owned and those that were closed during the look-back period.
The examination is retroactive starting with the month of application. The State “looks back” (examines) the applicant’s assets to determine if the applicant or their spouse, made any gifts. The state imposes an economic penalty when gifts are made during the look-back period. This penalty is that the applicant must privately pay for care for a period of time. Most, but not all such transfers are penalized. There may be other considerations that the State can examine.
The Maryland regulations that control gifting are updated on a regular basis. Our system in Maryland is extremely complex. It is recommended you meet with and experienced Elder Law attorney so a comprehensive plan to preserve assets can be developed.
Mr. Abraham is an experienced attorney and founding member of the Law Office of Richard K. Abraham. The Sparks, MD office of the firm concentrates its practice in Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate, Medical Assistance (Medicaid), Guardianship, Asset Preservation and Fiduciary Representation.
He is an active member in a number of professional organizations that focus on law, the senior community, and estate planning. He works with clients in Central Maryland, especially in Towson, Hunt Valley, Lutherville/Timonium, Parkville, White Marsh, Bel Air & Northern Baltimore City.
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