How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask John Legal Your Own Question

John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 15 years legal experience.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
John Legal is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My mother-in-law has sold her mobile home and is moving in

Resolved Question:

My mother-in-law has sold her mobile home and is moving in with my wife and I. She is 63 years old, disabled, and currently on medicaid. Prior to the sale of her mobile home, her only income/assets were her car, house, and monthly SS income. She will be paying for an in-law suite addition to our home with part of the proceeds from the sale of her home. How will this affect her medicaid eligibility? Assuming she sold her home for $70,000 and spent $55,000 on the renovation.

Also, She wants to give all of the money to my wife and then have her pay the contractors, etc. I'm against this, as I just see it creating tax problems for my wife and I (how will the IRS know it's not a gift?).
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John Legal replied 2 years ago.

Welcome! Thank you for your question.


Your instincts are right that there could be some very big issues with these transactions. If your mother-in-law is qualified for Medicaid now then her home is not counted as an asset to determine her eligibility. If she sells her home the cash will be counted against her eligibility. She can only have $2,000 in countable assets to be eligible for Medicaid.


There are also issues with her using her money to build an addition on to your home. Even though this addition will be used for her it is still improving your property. Medicaid will likely look at this as a gift. I am not worried about taxes because Pennsylvania does not have a gift tax and the federal gift tax exemption is 5.125 million dollars. Your mother-in-law would have to give your wife more than 5.125 million dollars before your wife has to pay gift tax.


However, if your mother-in-law writes your wife checks then Medicaid will certainly view those transfers as a gift and every time that she gives her money it will cause your mother-in-law to essentially be ineligible for Medicaid benefits for 5 years. If your mother-in-law pays the contractors directly that may get around the deeming of a gift by Medicaid. The answer to the question of whether it will be okay depends on the Medicaid caseworkers in your area. To completely prevent it from being a gift you could sell a portion of your home to her based on the amount of money that she will be paying for the addition.


I would highly suggest getting full advise from an Elder Law attorney in your area. I am sure that they will be able to clarify these options, plus maybe give you others based on the full facts of your situation. You can find an attorney at



I cannot provide you with legal advise. I can provide you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you can find online, should not take the place of having a detailed consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.


Please show your appreciation for my candid, accurate information by clicking VERY INFORMATIVE, OR the OR and positive feedback. You should only rate me if you are satisfied with the information I provided you. If you feel there is something more I could have done please do not rate me and click REPLY TO EXPERT.

I appreciate your question and repeat customers. You can request me by beginning your question with "Dear XXXXX..."

Thank you,


John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience: Over 15 years legal experience.
John Legal and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan

Meet The Experts:

  • Tina



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • JPEsq's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • FiveStarLaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.