Get going five years before you think you need to. Medicaid has a five-year look back to all your parents' financial dealings. Which means transactions conducted during that time may be counted in determining their program eligibility. With this requirement, it’s good to have your parents' banks' names and numbers accessible. Regulators are looking at two things: if you're hiding any money and if you've given any away.
Also, if one or both of your parents still live in the family home and you’d like to keep it, you should try to transfer ownership or set up a trust at least five years before they apply for Medicaid. Although there are some exceptions, typically if you don’t address this issue, you will be forced to sell the home.