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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 55470
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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Hi Richard: The issue of longterm hospitalization came up.

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Hi Richard: The issue of longterm hospitalization came up. If my mom were hospitalized (she is 85) for a long time, her assets would be appropriated by Medi-Cal including the house we would be leasing from her (see above). So ownership is necessary for us. My question is what is the difference between a gift and title transfer? Is the gift the same as a title transfer - does it give immediate ownership? Can Medi-Cal come after the property?
Hi! Thanks so much for requesting me! I'm sorry for the delay in responding...I'm on vacation this week and I'm only able to check in periodically. Thanks for your patience and I apologize for any inconvenience!

First, let me address the issue of gift versus a title transfer. No matter whether you sell the property or gift the property, you'll need to transfer the title. So, any conveyance will require the transfer of title by deed...the question is then whether you transfer by gift or you sell it. Any transfer of property for less than fair market value would be a gift in the amount of the fair market value in excess of any money received in exchange for the transfer. Any conveyance will transfer immediate ownership.

With regard to conveyances for less than fair market value and how it impacts eligibility for Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal has a 5-year look back period so any transfer of non-exempt assets for less than fair market value within 5 years of when your mom were to need Medi-Cal would impact her eligibility because Medi-Cal would consider the value of the gift in determining her eligibility. Certain assets, however, are exempt and would not be counted in her eligibility calculation so if she transfers those assets, it will not negatively impact her. Exempt assets include her principal residence. So, if she were transfer title to her principal residence to you it would not impact her eligibility no matter when transferred. But, if she is transferring property not her principal residence, if she transfers it for less than fair market value within 5 years of needing Medi-Cal, the fair market value less any amount you pay for the property will be considered in determining her eligibility. If you pay fair market value for it, it will not impact her eligibility.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Richard: So sorry to bother you on vacation. I was wondering how to make sure to label the property as principle residence. Is in on a quitclaim deed?


Hi Vince. No worries....I'm happy to help!

You do not need to label it as such in the deed. It is simply a declaration that this is her principal residence. The General Rules are as follows:

"48.2 General Rules
• The following personal property may serve as a principal residence:
• A mobile home
• A houseboat
• A motor vehicle used as a residence
• Any other shelter not attached to the land and used as a residence
• The following items of real property can be considered as a principal residence:
• A house
• The entire multiple unit dwelling if any portion serves as the principal
residence of the applicant or beneficiary
• Property (real or personal) which the applicant or beneficiary uses as a home is
exempt as the principal residence
• A former home is exempt even if the applicant or beneficiary is absent from the
property for any reason, including admittance to LTC facility, as long as he/she
declares in writing his/her intent to return to the former home to live.

Note: If the individual or his/her authorized representative (AR) previously states
that there is no intent but later makes a correction, the EW must accept the
correction for the exemption of the principal residence. In many cases, the
individual or his/her AR does not understand that the nature of the intent to
return is subjective and is not dependent on the individual’s physical ability to
ever return.
• Only one property may be exempt at one time."
Richard and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, so if she gifts her "principal residence" to my wife and I, Medi-cal cannot look back on this?




Thank you so much for the positive rating and the generous bonus! I appreciate your kindness and generosity! As always, if I can be of assistance in the future, just look me up and I will be happy to help! Have a great evening!