Often in an attempt to avoid a relatively small probate fee, individuals can create huge penalty periods and taxable issues for themselves. Take for instance, a woman in New York who, two years before applying for Medicaid, transferred money from her account to an account with a co-owner. Transferring individually owned funds to an account with joint tenants is a common way to avoid a Florida Probate.
While her estate planning attorney seems to have given the advice, he was not aware of the problems that estate planning techniques to avoid probate can have on Medicaid eligibility.
Not only can transfers like this have problems for the individual making the transfer, but they can also create problems for the beneficiary or the new co-owner who will now have additional assets in their name, that may disqualify them from government benefits like Medicaid.
Before you try to save a few dollars and do what worked for your parents or friends, you may want to discuss your circumstances with a Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer who is familiar with Medicaid and Elder law issues.