My Scrambled Nest

An Almost-Empty Nest Journey of "Letting Go" With Laughter and Love, By Cathy Free

After my mom’s home sale closes next week, I’ll be using some of the equity to buy her a $60,000 car, which she plans to immediately “gift” to me so that I can sell it back it to the dealer and abscond to France with the cash. 

Well, OK, not exactly. But close.

Because my mother is currently doing pretty well, even with a Stage 4 bedsore on her backside, I am told now that she could very well be a hospice patient the second time around for another year, maybe longer, after doctors initially gave her a few months, tops. (Are they ever right? From what I’ve observed these past eight months, I would have to say, nooooooo.) While I’m thrilled to have more time with my mom, living longer means that she’ll need more money for her care center copays. Simply put, to afford to live in a long-term care center, she needs Medicaid.

Hence, the car.

I was shocked to learn that my mother will be allowed only $45 a month for “extras” while on Medicaid, and she can’t have more than $2,000 in her bank account at the end of each month. The government will also be taking back the annuity she was awarded when the Veterans Administration was found culpable in my stepfather’s death after giving him a faulty pacemaker. Grrrrrrrrr. The entire process has been maddening. But I’ve found a crazy loophole that I’ve doubled-checked with several attorneys, and thought I’d share here.

Even though my mom can’t drive a car and will never drive one again, she is allowed to own a car, free and clear of Medicaid requirements. (Go figure.) She is also allowed to “gift” the car to anyone she chooses — in this case, moi.

So once her home sale closes next week and her equity is deposited, I will have until the end of May to spend down my mother’s account on “legitimate” purchases. First, I’ll pay off all outstanding medical bills and copays. Then, I’ll prepay for her cremation and funeral — another Medicaid-free expense. Trust me, rather than let the government take it all, we’re going to have one helluva party, with a string quartet, hors d’oeuvres and case after case of my mom’s favorite Veuve Clicquot Champagne. (Of course, if Trump is impeached before my mom dies, I’ll have to make another run to the wine store.)

Once all of this is paid for, that will leave me about $60,000 to buy a one-year-old car, park it for a month or so, then resell it back to the dealer and deposit the cash into an account for my mom. Wacky, I know. But the beauty of it is that this is all perfectly legal, and Medicaid won’t get a single dime of my mother’s equity if I do everything properly.

As you can imagine, I initially fantasized about buying a shiny red Corvette or Porsche Boxter and driving it for several weeks. Then I learned that Medicaid (now very aware of this loophole) won’t allow me to buy a sports car or a convertible. So now I’m thinking about a luxury Audi, BMW, Jaguar or Mercedes-Benz, or possibly a spanking new Volkswagen camper van for a road trip. Hmmmmm.

After my new account is opened at the credit union, don’t be surprised if I’m tempted to take a little overseas trip to a certain land of art, wine and cheese as well. 

I have a hunch that that my mom will understand. : ) 


2 thoughts on “Wheeling and Dealing

  1. Greg Frei says:

    How you were able to sum all that we’ve been going through into a few short paragraphs is amazing. Nicely done/said. Personally, Cathy, I like Volkswagen camper van for a road trip. We can take turns! 🙂

    In the end, why sell it? Ha! Maybe mom can live in it. You could take a trip with mom–arrange ahead of your arrival at each destination to have a hospice care nurse admin meds and provide necessary care. Together, you can both write a novel about this crazy experience. Much LOVE. Greg

    1. Cathy Free says:

      Haaaa! Good plan! Who knows? It could work. Love it. Oh, and you do know I’m joking about absconding to France, right? Maybe. Possibly. Could be. Perhaps. 😅Love coming backatcha! Xo

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