In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Illinois and Missouri Elder Law attorney, discusses how gun collections, coin collections, or any other collections are handled during the Medicaid process, and how they affect your application.
Do You Need to Disclose a Gun, Coin or other Collection on a Medicaid Application
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, with offices in O’Fallon, Illinois a few blocks from the new St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, and in the Westport area catty-corner across the street from Westport Plaza, and this is your Elder Law Minute. Today I want to talk about a particular aspect of the general question of what a Medicaid applicant can and can’t keep, and still be eligible for Medicaid. And what I want to talk about today are collections: gun collections, coin collections, stamp collections, (and) antique collections. Can you keep those?
Well, the answer to that question is, you’re not supposed to be able to unless it’s part of your $2000 asset allowance. Anything other than normal household goods and personal effects – clothing – Medicaid considers luxury personal property, and you’re not supposed to be able to keep it unless it’s within your $2000 in Illinois, it’s now $3000 in Missouri, asset allowance. Now, I have a lot of people answer the follow-up question: “Ok Wes, great lawyer answer, but if I just don’t declare it, how are they going to find out? Is there any chance of getting caught?”
Well, let me tell you that there is, because people who are any sort of serious collectors tend to add to their collection and they add to their collection by buying things. They’re going to look at five years of financial records and if, for instance, they see that you have purchased $2000 worth of coins at a coin show, that you’ve paid $1500 for a new gun, they’re going to say, “Aha. Coin collector. Gun collector. Well, let’s start looking for other transactions.”
And they’re going to ask, and they’re going to have financial records to look at, if you try to get away with hiding things. So, moral of the story, we tell people “let’s be up-front about things and figure out a way to deal with it.” The better moral of the story is, do planning in advance and get those things out of harms way. If they’re important to you, you don’t want to take a chance of losing them.
- For more information about Medicaid and Asset Preservation, visit these articles:
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 or (314) 567-9292, or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.