New York, NY asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Elder Law for New Jersey

Q: I want to know if I can gift my car and IRA account to my disabled child without a penalty from medicaid.

I read that this is possible and would like to know how to do it.

1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: The car is easy. Just transfer the title to your child, but only do this if your child is capable of managing a car. If he/she is not, then see an estate planning attorney about other options.

The IRA is not so easy. If you cash out the IRA and retitle it to your child, that will be a taxable event. You will want to be sure to withhold enough to pay the taxes on that amount of income coming at you all at once. That might or might not be a good move.

Medicaid qualification, for most people, is not a do-it-yourself endeavor. You should contact an elder law attorney to assist with this. There are many techniques that can be used to accelerate Medicaid qualification and preserve assets, but every case is different so there is no one-size-fits all solution.

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