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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Transferring an Elderly Parent's Assets to Their Child

    My father-in-law is in failing health, and his mental state is declining. He's 84-years-old. He owns his own home, but we had him move in with us so we could help care for him. He has a car that he probably shouldn't drive any more. He says that he wants to transfer all of his assets to his daughter, my wife. Can we do that? Is it a good idea? We're in Florida.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Transferring an Elderly Parent's Assets to Their Child

    In terms of the transfer of assets you have two significant issues:

    First, if he becomes Medicare-eligible during the next five years, the transfer of assets may trigger claw-back provisions that would not apply if the assets were still in his name.

    Second, depending upon his mental state, he may not be competent to transfer his assets.

    To the extent that he wants to make gifts, it is important that he do so while he remains mentally competent, and if anybody might object to the transfers in the future it is probably a good idea to get verification from his doctor that he's presently mentally competent. If he's mentally competent, he can also execute a power of attorney and healthcare proxy, so that your wife can manage his affairs and authorize medical treatment if necessary.

    For the larger issues, the transfer of his home and other assets, it would be best for him to work with an estate planning lawyer who handles elder financial planning issues. If he's mentally competent, he can enter into an estate plan that preserves his assets and advances his goals, without potentially jeopardizing his Medicare eligibility. If he's not, however, it's not possible for him to execute an estate plan.

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