Many states will provide free health care services to their residents who do not have assets. But there are rules which disqualify a person from getting these free services if he or she makes gifts of assets to other people. Such gifts cause the person to be disqualified for a period of time. On the other hand, if gifts are made long enough in advance of the date the person applies to get on the program, then he or she would qualify.
The problem is that most people do not really wish to give away all their assets during their lifetime. If people do give away all their assets, it is typically with the expectation that the recipients will give the donors back whatever they want whenever they want it.
It is not unusual for the children of clients to call the clients advisors to ask how their parents can get on state aide programs. But the children are not the clients, and the advisors should not assist the children in preparing documents enabling the children to receive gifts.
If the parents want to qualify for state aide, the parents should contact and meet with advisors to discuss this. The advisors would need to stress to the parents that once they make the gifts, the paraents have no right to get anything back. Stated differently, the parents can only rely on trusting the children if the parents ever want or need anything. Also, if the parents and the children get into an argument, the parents may regret giving away their assets.
The best solution is for the parents to purchase long term care insurance before they are too old or too sick. This insurance typically fills up the hole in coverage that exists because regular health insurance and Medicare only have limited coverage for long term care expenses.