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Roger
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Experience:  Litigation Attorney
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Hennepin County, Minnesota My mother owns her home, but has

Customer Question

Hennepin County, Minnesota: My mother owns her home, but has received medicaid benefits for years. My brother has lived with her and taken care of her and the house, so she put his name on the deed. Now he wants to buy his own home and move out so she will have to move also as she is blind and physically unable to live alone. She is exploring options for living arrangements and wants to know if she sells her home, 1) can she use the proceeds to purchase another home, 2) will the income of the sale disqualify her for further medicaid benefits, 3) Can she give the home to children or grandchildren? Maybe even use her equity for my brother and his wife to purchase a new home? Any other suggestions? Her income is extremely low, if this matters. Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Roger replied 3 years ago.

Hi - my name is Kirk and I'm a litigation attorney here to assist you.

 

Generally, a single or widowed person can enter a nursing home and have the nursing home costs covered by Medicaid even though the person owns a house. In that case, Medicaid pays the nursing home bills but can place a lien on the house equal to the value of all the money it spends on nursing home care for the owner of the house. That money is then collected out of the value of the house when the house is sold or the person dies.

 

Thus, if your mother were to sell the house, the proceeds from the sale become unprotected assets, meaning that they would count toward the Medicaid eligibility limit. These assets, assuming they're more than just a few thousand dollars, would then disqualify her from Medicaid coverage, and she would have to pay for the nursing home herself. If and when she spends enough of that money to get back down to Medicaid asset eligibility limits, Medicaid could start paying for her nursing home care again.

 

If you're thinking about your mother selling the house and then her giving the money to or spending it on her family members, be aware that Medicaid has a tough rule against that. The amount of any gift (or exchange for less than full market value) your mother makes within 60 months prior to applying for Medicaid nursing home coverage is still considered part of her assets, and if the amount is over the Medicaid asset limit it could disqualify her from Medicaid nursing home coverage for a considerable length of time.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She is not ready for a nursing home, but perhaps assisted care or living with a relative. Could the proceeds of the home sale help to pay for either of those things? you mention gifting within 60 months prior to applying for medicaid, but she is already on Medicaid. What then? Can she gift her home to heirs and live there until she dies?
Expert:  Roger replied 3 years ago.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can she used the proceeds to pay for a different primary residence?

What about my brother being on the title and deed? Will they take half of the value?

Expert:  Roger replied 3 years ago.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
One more thing. How do we find out if there is a Medicaid lien on her property. I check the county property records and saw nothing and checked her credit report and also saw nothing. Is there somewhere else to check?
Expert:  Roger replied 3 years ago.
Yes, the land records should reflect a lien. Also, you can call Medicaid and ask.

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