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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 116722
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Have 85 year old in Tenn. who is considering going nursing

Customer Question

Have 85 year old in Tenn. who is considering going nursing home, but house is in her name and doesn't want to lose it to nursing home. What's best way to keep house and have her go to nursing home?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years 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.
Unfortunately, this is something that many families encounter when they have failed to prepare for long term care needs. Under medicaid rules, the house is not included for determining their eligibility for benefits, BUT as an asset it would be subject to asset recovery after her death, because she did not take measures prior to 5 years before needing medicaid benefits. The only thing she can seek to do to try to stop medicaid from taking the house is to add his heirs to the home now as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, which can prevent medicaid from doing anything with the house, because after the person dies, the state may not recover against the person’s estate as long as there is a surviving spouse, a minor child, a blind child, a totally and permanently disabled child, a caregiver child, or a sibling with an equity interest.
So if there is a joint tenant on the property deed, chances are many times medicaid will not pursue recovery against that asset in most cases because they do not want to invest the time in the court process, although there is some case law suggesting that they could do so if they want to do so.
This is why estate planners keep telling people to put their property into irrevocable trusts before the 5 years lookback period used by medicaid if they want to fully protect it for their heirs.

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