Am I still allowed to give away up to $15,000 per year to any one person tax-free, and is that a good idea? It depends. There are two very different issues involved: (1) federal gift taxes, and (2) Medicaid qualification. From a tax standpoint, you are able to give away up to that amount without any federal gift tax. In addition to that amount, you can also give away up to $11.2 million over your lifetime (twice that amount for a married couple). However, every gift that you make could disqualify you from getting Medicaid to pay for your nursing home if you are in a nursing home and otherwise out of money. It is extremely important that you discuss both of these issues with an experienced Elderlaw attorney.
-Attorney Jack N. Alpern