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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13283
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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Approximately seven years ago, both my parents passed away,

Customer Question

Hello! Approximately seven years ago, both my parents passed away, (only eight months apart). I have always wanted their house. At the time of their deaths, it was never mentioned in the deed, or will, that I would have "lifetime use of this house), like promised to me. I do have a brother, whom actually the house was left to both of us. This was up to
the two of us to decide what we chose to do with the house, and etc. My borther did not
want the house, but I did. My brother had no problem with me wanting the house, because he had his own home. At that time I was receiving SSI. They told me I could not own the
house, UNLESS, it was used as an asset for SSI. So, at that point, I did not want to lose
parents house. My daughter, agreed to put her name on the deed. Therefore, my brother, and my daughter agreed to put the house into her name. This took place around November, 2008. So, the deed was tranfered into my daughters name through a lawyer. The was no money exchanged. So, in reaity, the house was legally put into my daughters name; HOWEVER, according to a very recent visit to Legal Assistance. RIGHTFULLY, the house is mine. I was told through my case worker, that it WOULD be possible, to tranfer the deed, to it's rightful owner (myself). Which, I have been in negociation with my daughter to do this transfer. AT NO COST TO ME. I HAVE NO DOUBT I WOULD LIKE TO LEGALLY GO FORTH, WITH A DEED TRANSFER. ASAP. The house is old, and does need some TLC. But, once again, my case worker said, I would be able to receive help to make the repairs. The house is a burden to her, and her military husband. So, I am in great hopes, that I can work with my daughter, and SSI. Could you please tell me what my rights are about this issue with SSI. Is it possiblle for this deed transfer??? I am in great hopes that everyone can come to an agreement on this very imporatant issue. Thank you for your time, and efforts. In addition: I am disabled, and cannot work!! I am the only one would will living at this house. (But, that's what I want). Could this this also be a help, or not a good thing for my SSI??? I will have to pay the land & school taxes each year.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Hi, my name is ***** ***** I thank you for your inquiry. I have been practicing SS law full time for 10+ years and look forward to assisting you.
With regard to your post, I will provide comments based on legal basis, not subjective, OK?
"Hello! Approximately seven years ago, both my parents passed away, (only eight months apart). I have always wanted their house. At the time of their deaths, it was never mentioned in the deed, or will, that I would have "lifetime use of this house), like promised to me. -------- Unfortunately, promises in and of themselves, are not enforceable under the law. There must be a valid contract or, a will.
"I do have a brother, whom actually the house was left to both of us. ---- Great, OK, so they DID leave you the house, though to be shared.
"This was up to
the two of us to decide what we chose to do with the house, and etc. -------- That would be typical, yes.
"My borther did not
want the house, but I did. My brother had no problem with me wanting the house, because he had his own home. ------ Great, because if he doesn't insist on selling it, you can keep your 1/2 and rent his 1/2 from him.
"At that time I was receiving SSI. They told me I could not own the
house, UNLESS, it was used as an asset for SSI. -------- Not true. You can own a house if you live in it, generally.
So, at that point, I did not want to lose
parents house. My daughter, agreed to put her name on the deed. ------ OK, so did you own it and then "gift" it to your daughter? Gifting assets is generally not a valid avenue unless you are willing to forgo the SSI for the months that are relevant.
"Therefore, my brother, and my daughter agreed to put the house into her name. This took place around November, 2008. So, the deed was tranfered into my daughters name through a lawyer. The was no money exchanged. -------- OK, that sounds like you gifted away your asset for less than fair market value... That could invalidate your eligibility for SSI.
"So, in reaity, the house was legally put into my daughters name; HOWEVER, according to a very recent visit to Legal Assistance. RIGHTFULLY, the house is mine. ----- No, if you validly gifted it away, that would tend to make it NOT rightfully yours at all.
"I was told through my case worker, that it WOULD be possible, to tranfer the deed, to it's rightful owner (myself). -------- Except, you are not the rightful owner unless that TRANSFER was not valid. Do you have an reason to believe the transfer was not valid? Otherwise, your daughter would have to willingly give it to you.
"Which, I have been in negociation with my daughter to do this transfer. AT NO COST TO ME. I HAVE NO DOUBT I WOULD LIKE TO LEGALLY GO FORTH, WITH A DEED TRANSFER. ASAP. -------- Super. So it sounds like SSI never learned of your gifting of the house to your daugther, and never charged you (yet) with an overpayment of benefits.
"The house is old, and does need some TLC. But, once again, my case worker said, I would be able to receive help to make the repairs. The house is a burden to her, and her military husband. So, I am in great hopes, that I can work with my daughter, and SSI. ------- Is SSI being a problem? Or you just afraid of stirring a can of worms based on the fact that 8 years ago, you gifted away an asset your inherited and didn't tell the SSA (despite rules to contrary).
Could you please tell me what my rights are about this issue with SSI. ------- See above, as pertains to the PAST and an issue I see.
"Is it possiblle for this deed transfer??? --------- Sure, anyone can gift anything to anyone, generally. And although you will want to review this with the SSA, perhaps without going into your history of concealing that prior asset that was yours, (assuming you didn't live in it) so as not to have them "relook" at the situation and decide you were not eligible for those old payments, generally you can OWN a house you live in and it is NOT a counted resource. What could happen, less important, is that the gifting of the house TO YOU, could be counted in kind income, causing you to be OVER the income limit in the month received, only. After that, it is not income but a resource, but not counted because it is your home.
"I am in great hopes that everyone can come to an agreement on this very imporatant issue. Thank you for your time, and efforts. In addition: I am disabled, and cannot work!! I am the only one would will living at this house. (But, that's what I want). Could this this also be a help, or not a good thing for my SSI??? I will have to pay the land & school taxes each year. ------- See above, you can see the issue, most of which involve the past, not the present (at least not the present for any length of time).
I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To Stephanie O Joy Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.
Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.
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