How Much Can I Give Away?

Dave By Attorney David A. Myers, CELA 


 "How much can I give away?"  This is

 one of the most common questions I 

 hear, particularly from clients concerned

 about preserving assets in light of the

 costs of long term care.  My immediate answer is that people can give away as much of what they own as they want (this still being the USA, after all).  That usually provokes two further questions - how about the $13,000 (some people still say $10,000) annual gift limit and how about the Medicaid 5-year look-back period.


The first thing to know is that the "annual gift limit" relates to federal tax law, and the look-back period to Medicaid (and other programs) eligibility.  The two are completely unrelated.



Planning for the Big Event 

My husband and I recently had house guests from England. It was the first time our friends had come to Ohio and we were very excited to show off the beauty and culture of Northern Ohio--the Cleveland Museum of Art, the West Side Market, Amish country (which was high on their list) and especially our beautiful Lake Erie sunsets.


We planned for months for our friends' visit. So much needed to be done--fix the shower that has been dripping far too long, replace the old, squeaky storm door, repair the rickety wooden steps leading to the patio... The list was long, but one-by-one we checked things off as they were completed. The house was just as we wanted it to be when our guests arrived and the much-needed, long-neglected improvements were finally done. Everything was just as we hoped it would be.


So, what do house guests have to do with an elder law firm? Or care coordination? Or aging?  Well, let me try to explain.

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September 2012 Issue 



Attorney Janet Lowder was named Best Lawyers' 2013 Cleveland Trusts and Estates "Lawyer of the Year." 


Upcoming Events


Helping Children with Disabilities Achieve Their Goals: Special Education and Medicaid

October 24, 2012

8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association


Fees vary for parents, advocates, attorneys, and CMBA members



  • Special Education Basics
  • Attacking Difficult Reading Problems
  • Special Education Legal Developments
  • FAPE, Section 504 and Section 1983 as they Pertain to Restraint, Seclusion, Bullying and Retaliation
  • Graduation, Transition and Medicaid Waivers


Click Here for Details


From Our Blog


Are You a Person with a Disability?

By Attorney Elena Lidrbauch


"Are you a person with a disability?" I was asked this question just the other day. The person asking wasn't trying to be rude. The question was being asked for census reporting reasons. However, it was a difficult question for me to answer.


I know that I am a person with a chronic illness, but does that also make me a person with a disability?


 Read More


Turning Your Obstacles into Opportunities

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Phone: 216-861-0360 . Fax: 216-861-3113

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