Clients will frequently ask: How much can I give away before a gift tax return is necessary?
For 2016 up to $14,000 per year per person.  Just because you don’t have to file a gift tax return, does not mean you avoid all future penalties on the gift.
The following explains how your gift could create a penalty for you (or your spouse) in the future.
60 month look back period for Medicaid
If you (or your spouse) to go into a long-term care facility or nursing home and apply for Medicaid, there is a penalty imposed on recent gifts. Specifically, gifts made within the last 60 months, or five years, prior to applying for Medicaid. 
The IRS annual gift exclusion does not provide any exemption from the Medicaid look back period. If you made a gift within the prior 60 months, the result will be a penalty period from Medicaid coverage.
For questions on estate planning or asset protection, feel free to contact Elliott Stapleton.
Read more at on CMRS Law's website
 Source: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/whats-new-estate-and-gift-tax
 Source: Ohio Administrative Code 5160:1-3-07.2 Medicaid: transfer of resources. http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/5160:1-3-07.2v1
Elliott Stapleton Attorney with CMRS Law
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