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Do jointly held accounts affect Medicaid eligibility?

Many New York residents will need some type of financial assistance when it comes to paying for long-term care. Because of this need, individuals often look into applying for Medicaid. However, in order to qualify for this assistance, certain financial stipulations need to be met, and a person's assets can greatly affect his or her eligibility.

Some parties may believe that if their assets are held jointly with a spouse or child, then those assets will not be considered for Medicaid eligibility, but that is not the case. Agents reviewing a Medicaid application will take all assets into account that are in the applicant's name, including joint accounts. Therefore, if a person simply adds a child's name or other person's name to an account, it does not make that account ineligible for Medicaid consideration.

Additionally, if a person adds a "payable on death" or "transfer on death" designation to the account, it also does not affect Medicaid eligibility. In these cases, a beneficiary would only receive the assets in the account after the account holder's death. This means that until that time, the assets remain in the account holder's control and will go into consideration for Medicaid eligibility.

There are numerous factors to consider when trying to obtain Medicaid benefits. Fortunately, New York residents can take steps to help themselves qualify for those benefits later. Because it can be complicated to do so, it is often wise to consult with elder law attorneys who can provide interested individuals with information regarding this type of planning.

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