Listen to Lawrence…Answering your Medicaid questions

September 29, 2020
Dear clients and friends,
If my mother’s regular checking and savings account are actually listed as a joint account with my nephew, does Medicaid still consider it only her money or half her money? 
Jointly held bank accounts are understandingly confusing. After all, doesn’t joint mean half and half? Nevertheless, the Medicaid law states that jointly held bank accounts, among non-married people, are considered wholly owned by the person whose money it was before the account was created.
In the question above, I assume the money was the mother’s and she added her grandchild as a joint account holder. The account most probably lists the mother as the primary account holder and uses her social security number. If this is all true, then it makes sense that this is still all of her money…at least until her grandson actually withdraws money from the account (which will be a transfer subject to a look-back.)
On the other hand, this is simply a presumption. If the nephew can prove that he contributed some or all of the money in the account, then the presumption can be rebutted…but how likely is that?
Also, be aware that joint accounts among married people are considered to be owned half and half by Medicaid.
If I apply for Medicaid homecare for my mother after October 1st but I transfer my mother’s investment account out of her name before October 1st, will that transfer be included in the new 2 1/2 year look-back? 
You all know that I have been writing about this new look-back since it was enacted back in April. The good news is that transfers made before October 1st will NOT be caught in the look-back. The bad news for you procrastinators is that now you only have today and tomorrow to make your transfers!
I hope this helps! Please forward this information to your friends and relatives.
As always, please send me your questions. If you are thinking about it, others are probably too, so my answers will no doubt help you and many others.
Let’s stay connected.
Stay safe!