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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31683
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I moved in with my mother some twenty five years ago, wnen

Customer Question

I moved in with my mother some twenty five years ago, wnen my father died. I paid off the mortgage, paid some utilities, and did thousands of dollars worth of maintainence and up grades to the house.
we had an agreement, sort of a verbal contract in oregon, that she could live here till sh was unable to take care of herself, then she would go live with one of my sisters. this is evidenced by her will, and stated in her living trust.
Now at seventy six years old she is showing signs of poor financial judgement. maxing out credit cards, taking trips she cannot afford, etc.
My question is can i file for a first lean rights on the house, and will that protect my investment in it. also does that protect it from medicare costs if they are accumulated in the future? thanks Robert
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

Unfortunately, you don't have a lien right against her property UNLESS you have a written contract with your mother to repay you for the improvements made to the property. An oral contract regarding real estate is not valid, and if the contract takes more than 1 year to be fulfilled, it must also be in writing under the statute of frauds.

Thus, there are no lien rights you can legally assert....and you have no guarantee that she'll transfer you the house (even if her will or trust refers to this, as long as she's living, those documents can be changed....and you could be left out in the cold).

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

As for medicare, that's not a relevant issue because that's a program she has paid into over her working life.....but if she were to receive MEDICAID, that's need based, and if she were to own the property and enter a nursing home, the property could be seized and sold / or the gov't could require her to sell the house and use the money up before it will cover her costs.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Thus, you've got a precarious situation....and you're not in a very good position right now to guarantee the recovery of the money you've invested.

If you could get your mom to deed the property to you and reserve a life estate for herself, that would go ahead and transfer title to you....which would put you in the driver's seat.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Also, if your mother does receive medicaid, there's a 5 year lookback period, which means that you'd have to own the property for 5 years BEFORE she applied for medicaid in order to avoid the gov't getting involved in the transaction and requiring the property to be sold before she could receive benefits.