Bradenton, FL asked in Elder Law for Florida

Q: My 86 year old mother in law is about to go into an assisted living facility, but may need to apply for Medicaid.

She has an automobile we gave her for free 11 years ago. Can she give it back to us for free without effecting her Medicaid eligibility or being penalized in the five year lookback provision?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jason E. Neufeld
Jason E. Neufeld
  • Elder Law Lawyer
  • Aventura, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: In Florida, the answer is: Yes.

If the automobile in question is mom's only car - it is an exempt asset (that Medicaid was never going to count against her when determining eligibility anyway).

For non-real estate/non-retirement assets (such as a car) which are already excluded, Florida Medicaid will not impose a penalty on gifting such non-countable assets away.

You are doubly protected if you can show that you gifted the car to mom in the first place. This would allow you to take advantage of the fact that reimbursements are allowable (i.e. mom isn't gifting it away, she is returning something she never paid for).

Hope this helps!

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