How does the Medicaid look-back rule affect property transferred to adult children?

Q: I’ve been told the rules differ from state to state. The surviving parent lives in Massachusetts. We live in Pittsburgh. If property is transferred to an adult child more than 5 years before the parent requires Medicaid assistance, how is the look-back rule handled?

A: Per federal law, the look back period runs forward 60 months preceding a transfer, so gifts 61 months before a Medicaid application are outside the look back period. Consult an elder law attorney or estate attorney versed in Medicaid law. Minor timing errors can cause thousands of dollars of loss. It sounds like you made the look back period but would consult with a local Massachusetts attorney.