If you have Medicaid coverage for nursing home care, there is a chance that the state may file a claim to take monies form the value of your house after you pass away. To protect your house after moving into a nursing home, you should take the necessary measures to secure your home and protect your assets.
Transferring Your Home
In many states, transferring your house may result in a Medicaid penalty period. This would disqualify you from Medicaid for a certain period of time, However, there are exceptions to this rule. Generally, you may transfer your home to any of the following people without subjecting yourself to a transfer penalty:
- A child who is below 21 years
- A child who is disabled or blind
- A trust for a disabled person who is below 65 years
- A sibling who has an equity interest in the house and has lived there before the applicant was institutionalized
- A caretaker child who had lived in the house for two years prior to the applicant being institutionalized caring for the applicant thus preventing them from staying in a care home
Lien on Home
In special circumstances, Medicaid may subject your house to a lien for costs of your care in the nursing home. In case your home is sold while you are alive, you may be asked to pay back the state to satisfy the lien. The main exceptions to this rule are where the occupants of the house are; a child who is below 21 years, or a blind or disabled child, or a sibling who has an equity interest in your house.
In the case that you received medical assistance to pay for the nursing home, the state shall attempt to retrieve from your estate any benefits they paid towards your care. This is known as estate recovery. According to Medicaid eligibility, the property that a Medicaid recipient is eligible to own upon death is their home.
The state cannot claim reimbursement for Medicaid nursing home costs if a blind or disabled child, a child below 21 years, a sibling, or a spouse who has an equity interest in your house resides in the house. However, the state can claim your home if a dependent relative or spouse moves out or dies.
There are circumstances where the value of your house is protected from recovery by Medicaid. Firstly, the state cannot recover your home if you and your spouse lived in it as tenants, if the ownership of the house is in your spouse’s name and you have withdrawn your interest. The house can also not be taken if it is protected in an irrevocable trust.
Consult an Attorney
Ultimately, within each of these scenarios, you will need to consult an Elder Law attorney who can help protect your house and your assets. Mindy Felinton is an Elder Law attorney with over 35 years of experience protecting her client’s assets in Florida and Maryland.
Protect Your Fortune and call Mindy Felinton and her team today at (301) 610-0055 or (561) 290-2179.