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How will Medicaid view a shared house?

Mom conveyed her house to her children (100% split equally between them) with a reservation that she may live in it during her lifetime. If she moves to an assisted living center and applies for Medicaid to assist with the costs, can they consider her home as part of her assets if it is sold or rented?
Status: Open    Sep 21, 2015 - 12:29 PM


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Expert Answers

Sep 23, 2015 - 09:28 AM

Generally a gift of property or money in the past 5 years will result in a penalty. Also generally the retention of a life-estate will not be counted as an asset if the transfer has been more than 5 years. Both of these items can vary from state to state. If the house is sold now even if it has been more than 5 years your mother will have to be paid for the value of her life estate.

If the house is rented the income will likely be income for your mother. The net income not the gross amount.

Keep this example in mind: If it has been 4 ½ years since the transfer of a $100,000 house to the children the children can pay the next six months of care, say $5,000 per month or $30,000 total and keep the $100,000 house. You should definitely see an estate planning or Medicaid attorney in your area for help on this matter.


Sep 22, 2015 - 10:24 AM

Medicaid does have a 'look back period' so of course it would depend on when this paperwork process was completed. It may be a good idea to contact an elder law attorney who is familiar with the ins and outs of Medicaid. While Medicaid is a federal program it's use and parameters differ from state to state. I hope you find that helpful.
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