Can I protect assets from nursing home costs by giving them away?

Yes, so long as the gifts are outside the 5 year look back period. However, after the gifts are made, you will have no control over how the assets are used and the assets will be vulnerable to the recipient’s creditors. For example, a parent who gives assets to a child that gets a divorce may see those assets awarded to the child’s ex-spouse by a court. There may also be adverse tax consequences for such transfers as well, particularly when real estate is involved.