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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118787
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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In Aug 2013 my Mother had a quit claim deed done

Customer Question

In Aug 2013 my Mother had a quit claim deed done transferring her home to my fiancé with a life estate interest. In that same year do to a family tragedy my mother came live with us because it was no longer safe for her to live alone. In November of 2014 when she approved into the WI IRIS program so she could get additional services thru Medicare her house/asset was not a factor because her pay down period had expired. (Apparently it had started years back when she first applied for state benefits.) In May of this year she had to be placed in an RBC home which is where she will stay until the end.
We live in WI, I am the POAHC agent which has been activated and I am the POA agent for finances, the home is a 5 1/2 hour drive from us and has not been lived in for almost 2 years. Can I as the POA sign over her life estate interest to my fiancé now so we can do something with the home and if yes would it effect Medicare with the new change in the recovery law.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

The retention of a life estate has a value to medicaid and when applying for medicaid benefits, even if she has not lived in the home, they can consider the value of that life estate. In order to transfer the life estate now, it would have to be reported to medicaid and it would be up to them or the court as to whether or not to include it. However, there is an alternative. The owner of the home where there is a life estate can file a petition in court to terminate the life estate based on her inability to use the life estate, which is a legal basis to terminate the life estate. If the owner terminates the life estate the court will exclude it from the 60 month Medicaid lookback period for benefits.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would he (the owner) file the petition in with the court in the county he lives in or the county the house is located in?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

It would be filed in the county where the house is located as it is real estate and the proper jurisdiction is the place where the land is located.