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Ask David C. Garner Your Own Question
David C. Garner
David C. Garner, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience:  JD with Distinction, Admitted to practice in California
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My grandma moved into a nursing home a few years ago. Before

Customer Question

My grandma moved into a nursing home a few years ago. Before doing so, she failed to sign stuff over to her sons. I live in her house and it is the only place I have to live. There is fear that they will try to take it. What can I do to keep that from happening? I live in Indiana.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  David C. Garner replied 6 years ago.



My first question is who has title to the house right now, is grandma still alive and does she have a will?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Grandma is still alive. She is in a nursing home now. It was unexpected, so she hasn't signed stuff over. the home is on a farm...actually she owns a lot of land, etc. She does have a will.
Expert:  David C. Garner replied 6 years ago.



Upon her death Grandma's assets are going to be distributed according to the provisions of her will. If that does not exist or fails for some reason, the property will pass through intestate succession. Unless you are specifically provided for under a will, the chance of you retaining the house is very small. It will be disposed of as she has directed, or if an intestate matter, probably to the next of kin (most likely sons).


There is no requirement that she sign over property before entering a nursing home, and at her death her assets may be subject to social security liens depending on how her stay was financed.


The fact that you have nowhere else to live is irrelevant, and your status as a grandchild provides almost no footing for you should the property pass through intestate succession.


I know that is not what you wanted to hear, but that is the legal answer.


I hope this helps.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My real question was what is the liklihood that the government will take it in order to pay for her stay in the nursing home? If the government doesn't take it, then I'm really not concerned.
Expert:  David C. Garner replied 6 years ago.



The answer you are looking for is a complex one. First of all, the only way they government would file a claim is in the case of Medicaid provided care for which reimbursement is sought. In most cases, if she has a house and farm she would not qualify in the first place as you can only have $2000 in countable assets. WHile the home and its surrounding land might be excluded, the government might file a claim after her death. That said, if it is a large parcel, the claim might be negligible in relation to its overall value.


The short answer is that the answer is undetermined. It will take more facts with respect to your mothers financial conditions and the ownership structure of these assets before a clear answer can be provided. The best approach would be to talk with an asset planning specialist and at this point it would be a good idea. If assets can be protected then it is well worth any cost.