Case: An elderly father and his adult son came to our office just after the mother had died. All three had been joint owners of property that was being sold and father and son had questions regarding the proceeds from the sale. Specifically, they wondered if they would be able to put all the proceeds in the son’s name. By doing so, they hoped to provide for the son since he was unemployed and enable the father to qualify for state assistance should he need future nursing home care.
Result: We cautioned the father and son that any transfer of the father’s share of the proceeds to the son would have adverse consequences should financial assistance from the state be required before five years had passed. We also advised them that “gifting” would have tax implications. Our concern was that although the father wanted to help his son, he could be jeopardizing his own financial future.