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A Medicaid professional consultant helping an elderly woman to protect her assets and money from the nursing home spend down.

Medicaid Joint Accounts

Surviving spouse's joint accounts & Medicaid rules

Many elder law attorneys are familiar with the myth about joint accounts and Medicaid eligibility. The following example will help explain this myth. If Dad enters a nursing home and has countable assets that exceed the amount of $2,000, he will not be eligible for benefits from Medicaid. In the case of joint accounts, if one spouse dies and the other is left with all of the assets. This means that the surviving spouse's assets would be the combined amount of all joint accounts. This can cause major problems, making many surviving spouses ineligible for Medicaid. The only way to avoid this issue is for the surviving spouse to gift away some of the assets, or open another joint account with someone else.
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