Your spouse might be able to access your bank accounts but he will be very limited in doing much else. A properly drafted power of attorney and statutory gifts rider is an absolute necessity.

When an elder law attorney prepares a power of attorney and statutory gifts rider, powers are included that are not readily apparent to you. For instance, we will add powers allowing for the transfer of your assets in the case of Medicaid planning. Having your spouse on a bank account does not allow him to transfer the assets of the account. In fact, many brokerage accounts will not allow one spouse to withdraw money without the signature of the other.

We also include powers that are necessary to make you eligible for Medicaid and file an application, if necessary, such as the power to create and fund trusts, the power to change beneficiary designations and the power to sign a spousal refusal.

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