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Does a person need a lady bird deed?

Does a person need a lady bird deed to be protected from the state taking a persons house if they ran out of money while in a nursing home?
Status: Open    Sep 14, 2015 - 07:32 AM

Elder Law

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Sep 16, 2015 - 09:54 AM

No. What you need is to sit down with an Elder Law attorney and discuss your specific situation with her or him before you do anything. Would you decide to amputate a limb because you heard that you needed to? Of course not. Seek professional advice before you make a silly expensive mistake. Not all states even recognize Lady Bird deeds anyway.

Sep 16, 2015 - 02:04 PM

NO! That type of deed, a version of a retention of a life estate deed, would cause the property to remain under the control of the grantor and it would still be an asset to the grantor and considered an asset to Medicaid. As stated: Do not make an expensive, uncorrectable mistake. Go see an Estate Planning or Elder Law attorney prior to doing any type of deed or selling the property.

Sep 17, 2015 - 10:18 AM

When you say “a person’s house” I assume you mean their primary home (homestead).
Every State differs in how they treat an applicant (for long term care Medicaid benefits) homestead property. In Florida, an applicant’s homestead is not an asset that is taken into consideration (i.e. non-countable asset) when applying for Medicaid (subject to a $552,000 equity limit for 2015). We use a lady bird deed to transfer property to the remainder beneficiary (after the applicant dies, without the need for probate). But it’s a tool use as part of a comprehensive estate plan.

Source: Sophia Lopez, Esq.

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