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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33757
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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Hello. can you answer for me this question? Ive lived with

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Hello. can you answer for me this question? I've lived with my partner for 7 years now and as he gets older I fear him going into assisted living or a nursing home and what about me, as far as living in his home. Would I be protected if we were married? He does not have long term care insurance so I'm afraid they could take the house which is mortgaged. Please advise.

Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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If you were married, then even if he went into a nursing home that was paid for by Medicaid, then they can't force any sale of the house until you passed. So the house would be protected from sale.
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But if you are not legally married, Medicaid can file a lien on the property for the amount of money they spend on his care and then force a sale of the property when he passes. Even if he leaves you the home, their lien could force a sale of the property unless you were able to pay off the lien.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing.There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. When most people go in assisted living ,don't they have to sell their homes? He doesn't qualify for medicaid and has Aetna HMO. What is the best thing I can do to make sure I can stay here even if he is not well enough to. Thanks

If they are going into private pay assisted living, then yes, people usually sell their homes to pay for the cost of care. But if he doesn't have much along the line of assets, then if he goes into assisted living or a nursing home, it will eat them up very quickly. Average monthly costs range from $5K on up so it can exhaust a person's resources pretty quickly. If he got down to only having his home and $2K in assets, then he would qualify for Medicaid to pay for his care. But they would have the right to file the lien for any costs they expended in his care.
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The simplest thing to do would be to add you to the deed as a joint owner. If he does that, it wouldn't matter if you were married if he doesn't need Medicaid. You would become the sole owner upon his death. But if he needed to sell the house to pay for care, then he would be entitled to half the value of the proceeds to pay for care.
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Another option would be for him to give you a "life estate" which is granted by deed and gives you the right to live there for the rest of your life. You would have to maintain the house and pay any taxes and insurance typically, but it ensures that you can't be forced out.
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But unless his insurance included a long term care rider, it wouldn't cover the cost of assisted living or nursing care.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks...He has a mortgage of 150 which includes a van that he put on the mortgage. So if he did a life estate I could stay and pay the mortgage even if we're not married? Since he has the house, the van and virtually no savings Medicare would pay and they couldn't take the home? What if he is in an assisted living....what happens to his SSD and pension?Thanks

So if he did a life estate I could stay and pay the mortgage even if we're not married?
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Yes.
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Since he has the house, the van and virtually no savings Medicare would pay and they couldn't take the home?
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Medicaid has a 60 month "lookback" period where they can still file a lien if the person transferred assets out of their name in the past 60 months before applying for benefits. So if he gave you a life estate and then applied for Medicaid to pay for care 4 years later, they would calculate what the life estate was worth and deny him benefits for the number of months that equals the value of the life estate divided by the monthly care costs. So if they valued the life estate at $30K and his care costs were $5K a month, they would deny benefits for 6 months. They couldn't take the home, but could file a lien on it that could only be foreclosed on when you passed.
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But if you were married, then they can't lien the home or deny benefits.
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What if he is in an assisted living....what happens to his SSD and pension?
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Other than a tiny allowance, it all goes to pay for his care and Medicaid kicks in to pay the rest.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Oh....that makes sense. So, if we're married and his pension/SSD is being used to pay the mortgage, can they still take it?Thanks

There is a spousal allowance that runs from about $2700 that can be allocated to the non-nursing home spouse for their support. So it allows the nursing home spouse to essentially give that income to the other spouse and keep the nursing home from getting it. So if your income was $700 a month and his was $3000, then $2000 of his income would go to you and the other $1K would go to the nursing home.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What if my only income is SSD?Do they still subtract it from 2,700?Thanks

Yes, the Medicaid rules consider all sources of income. So if you got $700 SSD and his income was $3K, you would get your $700 and $2K of his income.
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I have to log off for the evening as I have work in the morning, but will be back online around 10am eastern time.
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Thanks
Barrister
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