Page 27 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - March 2017 - 24-03
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THE ATTORNEY
Michael B. Walling, Attorney, Special to Senior Times
MEDICAID & DIVESTMENT CONSIDERATIONS
QUESTION: My Mother just went into a nursing home. We are going to apply for Medicaid for her. She has been giving me and my two sisters $10,000 a year for the last five or six years. She was told she could do this. Is there going to be a problem when we apply for Medicaid?
ANSWER: Yes. Under the
IRS tax code, she is allowed to
give $10,000 a year to you and
your sisters without paying a gift tax. However, that does not have anything to do with the Medicaid rules. Any gifts she made in the last five years are counted against her. Basically, the State of Michigan’s view is that whatever money she gave away in the last five years could have been used to pay for nursing home care. As such, they will impose a penalty on her such that the State of Michigan will not pay for her care in the nursing home for an amount of time that equals the amount of money she gave away. For example: If your Mother gave you and your two sisters $10,000 a year, then she was giving away $30,000 a year (3 x $10,000). If you multiply that by five years, then she gave away $150,000 (5 x $30,000) in the last five years (you only count what is given away in the last five years). The State of Michigan will then access a penalty and they will not pay for the first $150,000 of nursing home care.
If the nursing home is charging
Rev. Dr. James Gysel, Special to Senior Times
$7,500 a month, then the penalty will be for 20 months (20 x $7,500 = $150,000).
So who pays for the first 20 months of nursing home care?
The person(s) who received the gifts may be held legally respon- sible. The nursing home can file
a law suit under the Michigan Fraudulent Conveyance Act against the person(s) receiving the gifts and seek to recover any money or assets given away in the last six years. However, there are legal options available to cure (erase) the penalty. I would advise you to see an attor- ney who specializes in Medicaid Planning for nursing home care.
As you can see, bad advice can be more harmful than no advice. Make sure you seek out someone who is an expert in the area in which you have questions.
Michael B. Walling is an Elder Law attorney with a Master of Laws degree. He is the Managing Partner of The Elder Law Center and the law firm of Michael B. Walling, PLC. Mr. Walling is also a Law Instructor at Western Michigan University. Please send any ques- tions you would like addressed to: Michael B. Walling, 4625 Beckley Road, Building 400, Suite 4003, Battle Creek, MI 49015. You may also call (269) 968-1101 to set up
a free initial consultation. This col- umn is intended for general infor- mation purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice to any particular person.
Senior Times - March 2017
Page 27
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MATTERS
THE POWER OF SMALL THINGS
Small things matter! Did you know that? Isn’t it amazing how getting a small speck in your eye affects your entire body?
So many small things accom- plish so much in our world when you really think about it. To name a couple:
• The small parts of technology
which make your smart phone “smart” turns it into a portable computer and a miracle in your pocket or purse.
• The smallest tugboat can move the largest barge or cruise ship and turn it totally around in a different direction just a few min- utes.
And the simple truth still prevails when you remember that a small thing can make all the difference in the world to you or someone else.
The actor Edwin Booth once said, “When you are older you
will understand how precious little things, seemingly of no value in themselves, can be loved and prized above all price when they convey
the love and thoughtfulness of a good heart.”
It really isn’t difficult to do a small good thing, but it only hap- pens when you are intentional.
• A small attitude adjustment can make a big difference in a rela- tionship.
• A small shift in your thinking can make a big difference in your atti- tude.
• A small smile to a stranger can lift their spirit and bring joy to their heart.
• A small change in diet can make a big difference in your health.
• A small gesture of holding the door or thanking someone can bring joy where it might never have happened.
So get to it! Do the little things that mean more than money could ever buy. They truly have positive power.
Go ahead! Make someone’s day by your random small acts of car- ing and love, and discover the deep sense of joy and peace that comes from being intentional.


































































































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