Gift pitfall #4 is very similar to commingling family funds, but not quite. Many people think if their parent pays their cable bill, telephone or other, small, monthly charge, the payment by the parent will not be considered a gift, or not noticed. This is not the case at all.
When a person applies for Medicaid, they must provide copies of their checks from 2/8/06 to the date of the application. If a person writes two checks to Verizon, for instance, in the same month, they are going to be asked why? If the answer is - "I have two phones," the person will be asked for copies of the bills.
Since the parent will not have a bill in his or her name (but the child's name), the payment will be considered a gift.
The same is true of any payment for a child.
If you are a caregiver and would like to learn more about house calls or other home care services, please visit the website of the Coalition on Family Caregiving at www.cfcares.org. The Coalition on Family Caregiving, formed in 2003, is a group of community-based organizations, businesses and individuals whose mission is to assist family caregivers by offering support, education and information on resources and services.