Medicaid planning attorneys in Florida and elsewhere will use a variety of techniques to qualify their clients for Medicaid eligibility.
The goal of Medicaid planning is to reduce the assets and income of the senior so that the person qualifies for Medicaid, normally so that the person is eligible to go into a nursing home without spending their own money. The techniques involve giving money to family members or others so that the person appears broke when applying for Medicaid.
Personal Services Contract: Under this technique, a family member is hired to perform lifetime services for the senior, in exchange for all or a large portion of the senior's wealth. The money is all paid up front, in essence tricking Medicaid into believing that the senior is broke. Inheritance problems arise when one child of the senior, to the exclusion of others, receives all of the money, in essence stealing the inheritance from the other children of the senior. Although the child receiving the funds will claim that the child performs services for the senior, the value of the services is usually worth far less than the wealth transferred. And because the money is all paid up front, if the senior passes quickly, it is impossible to justify that the money was transferred to the one child for services - the services were never performed! Also, if the child stops performing services, there is no one to sue the child for the return of the money, because the child receiving the money is typically the one who holds the power of attorney over the senior. Finally, because the senior involved in the planning is going into a nursing home, the senior is typically quite old, frail, and of diminished capacity. The child who receives the funds is normally the one directing that the planning take place, not the senior.
Lifetime Gifting: The senior will make gifts of assets to children or others, to reduce the wealth of the senior so as to qualify for Medicaid. The inheritance fraud takes place when the gifting is done with a power of attorney instead of by the senior directly. In a typically abusive situation, one child will take the senior to the Medicaid planning attorney and arrange for the planning, and will receive the power of attorney. That child will gift the senior's assets to himself or herself, purporting to qualify the senior for Medicaid. When the senior passes away, the child who made the gifts has the total inheritance to the exclusion of other family members.
If you have been the victim of inheritance fraud under the guise of Medicaid planning, please contact Florida Law Firm, at (561) 842-4868. We have experience in the Medicaid / inheritance fraud area.
Contact Us » Meet Our Attorneys »