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Greetings, MiniMe, and welcome. You wrote:

<<I am asking this on behalf of my parents.

They are both in their 70s. My father gets Soc. Sec. at about 850 a month, my mom about 500. My father works part-time at about 500 a month take home.

They had sold their business and receive $3000/mo pre-taxed until 2002. They will then receive a lump sum of $165,000. That is it. THey were in some financial trouble earlier and were not able to save much at all. I had advised them that the best method would be to diversify the lump sum, as they were able to live fairly comfortably off of their social security alone. Some stocks, funds, bonds.

Here is the question. My mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and will likely go to a home. If that happens, I fear the payment for that will eat up all of the lump sum for my dad to live off of, and inheritance for me and my three sisters (I am fairly secure with my future as I have been foolish, but my sisters could use a little boost and it is my parent's hope to have something left).

Is there a QTIP trust, gift, ??? that can secure this lump sum in case anything has to be done. Any books on estate planning or advise would be appreciated.>>

I truly sympathize with your situation. As someone else pointed out elsewhere, moving the assets now will result in a look-back when your folks must ultimately file for Medicaid assistance. If the assets are simply given away, then the period is 36 months. If they are put in trust, then it goes up to 60 months. Also, each state has some rules of its own that must be met. In sum, there's probably not much your dad can do at this juncture. You might start by learning the Medicaid rules for his state to see what assets he may retain when the inevitable happens.

Also, you might want to look over my series on long-term care for some additional details. Those six articles are now archived at and begin with the one entitled "The Spectre of Long-Term Care."

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