Legal Question in Elder Law in Pennsylvania

joint account with elder father

all my dads assests are in a jonit account with me . he mignt have to go to saaisted living home what rights do i have to the money could i take it all out and put in in my name under another account?

Asked on 10/12/03, 11:11 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bryant A. Boohar Charles W. Boohar, Jr. & Associates, P.C.

Re: joint account with elder father

Many assisted living facilities in Pennsylvania want new residents to show that they have resources of their own to pay the facilities’ fees. If your father transfers all of his assets to into your name alone, then your father may have a difficult time getting admitted into the assisted living facility of his choice.

Secondly, if your father dies within a year of the transfer, then you may still have to pay Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax (at a rate of 4.5%) on the amount that was transferred to you.

Additionally, if your father intends to seek Medical Assistance benefits from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the transfer may cause a period of ineligibility from those public benefits.

If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me.

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Answered on 10/13/03, 11:35 am
Joseph Guagliardo, Esq. Law Offices of Joseph C. Guagliardo

Re: joint account with elder father

Hello. Technically, yes if the account is truly joint (that is your father AND yourself) you can withdraw the funds. You should consider however the purpose for which you are withdrawing the funds. If you simply plan to use the funds for the assisted living then you shouldn’t have a problem. If on the other hand by assisted living you actually mean a "nursing home" and plan to apply for government subsidized nursing home care so you do not have to use these funds, that is a different issue. The funds need to be in your name exclusively for a minimum period of time, otherwise portions or all of it would be used for nursing home care before the government will provide assistance funds. There are other potential issues surrounding this and other ways to help pay for assisted living. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me directly at [email protected]

Best Regards,

Joseph Guagliardo, Esq.

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Answered on 10/13/03, 12:14 pm

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