Improperly Spending Down Assets – Don’t Make These Mistakes!”

By Rick Law, author of ‘Cruising Through Retirement – Avoiding the Potholes’, Elder Law attorney at the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law in Aurora, IL.

If a spouse has Alzheimer’s and needs to qualify for Medicaid but the assets are too high, that person cannot simply give away assets until reaching the maximum figure. “Spending down” has to be done within the Medicaid regulations.

An Elder Lawyer knows to keep in mind that there is a five-year look-back period when it comes to assets and qualifying for Medicaid. That means if the client has Alzheimer’s and needs to qualify for Medicaid, any gifts the client made in the last five years can, and probably will, be scrutinized.

When a person needs to qualify for Medicaid, it is very difficult to prove that gifts made in the last five years were not made to qualify for Medicaid.

The general rule is that money transferred between generations will be presumed to have been given to qualify for nursing home Medicaid. The presumption is that if the person gave away money within five years of needing nursing home Medicaid, the giving was done in order to qualify for nursing home Medicaid. If you cannot rebut this presumption, the person will earn a penalty period of ineligibility.

Too many families needlessly lose everything they have.  Don’t let that be you.  If you need help paying the overwhelming cost of long term care, give our office a call at 800-310-3100.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now, because when you’re out of money, you’re out of options!


Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine,, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future.  Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.  Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!

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