My mom transferred her home to me to protect herself since she keeps having strokes. She now wants the house back.

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My mom became paralyzed from a inner brain stroke and she had transferred her home to me to protect her from any liens,etc at her request. She continues to have small strokes. I also had served as her Power of attorney and now she want the home returned back in her name.

No family member wants to care for her and this is the only place she will have to live out her last days. Because she had no where else to go I became her caretaker for the last 2 years without a salary. I need some insight.


I would tell her the same conditions exist that brought her to the decision to transfer her home to you. If she is on Medicaid, and she owns her home, they can (and will) take the home when she passes.

Perhaps a legal and binding document granting her residence for the duration of her life would satisfy her.

Additionally, talk to your local Medicaid office. If your state has an Elderly Waiver program, you may be able to be paid a stipend for your mother's care.

I wish you the best of luck.
laurabmundy gives you excellent advice.

Perhaps the two of you can visit again with the attorney who put the house in your name, and he or she can explain why that was/is a good plan, and also take care of the part officially giving mother the right to live in the house for the rest of her life. This would be a good time, too, to arrange for a payment for your caregiving and perhaps a back payment for the last two years, IF she has the means to do that. It would be to her advantage if she ever has to apply for Medicaid. You are not exploiting her -- you are giving up a lot to care for her and you are entitled to some compensation (if she can afford it).

Good luck!
It would be a serious mistake to quit claim the house back to your mother. If she needs Medicaid in the future and the house is in her name, Mediicad can can take it when she passes. If the house is in your name, she can still qualify for medicaid and you keep the house but there is a lookback period of 5 years for transfers so to quit claim the house back to her now would just start the clock back to 0 and may make her ineligible for Medicaid. Also consider this. Old people get senile, confused and bitter as they age. After my father-in-law lost his wife, he insisted in putting my husband's name on the title. Years later as he got bitter and old, he tried many times to give the house away to people including one time he drove 200 miles to Pennsylvannia and tried to sign the house over to the Masonic Lodge! Years later he did need medicaid and he is eligible because the 50% transfer took place many years ago. Your mom intended for you to have the house which is why she transffered it to you.
While I am not an attorney and I do recommend you seek out an "eldercare" atty, based on my knowledge and experience you would be making a grave mistake by placing the house back in her name. Regardless of the how or they why you ended up as a caretaker or advocate you are. There are many options out there for a caretaker to receive some financial assistance or even be paid for being the caretaker if your other meets the Medicaid requirements for assistance or if her husband was a Veteran, there may also be some relief As for the remark above about Medicaid or the government "taking" the house. That's well intended mis-information. The government does take anything, you the home owner leaves the house unnecessarily exposed. The only way the govt. required the house be sold and proceed for medicaid assistance be re-paid is if the house is passed through probate. This can be avoided if the the house is in a living trust or has been owned by someone else longer than the 5 year Medicaid look back period, Each state is a bit different however again the eldercare atty can clearly explain and the money spend will be well invested in the long run.
All good advice. One thing missing: why does she want it back? Something is worrying or bothering her about having transferred the house out of her name into yours. You shouldn't transfer it back, for good reasons. But all the practical reality and reasonable explanations in the world won't settle her down if they don't speak to the part of her that's troubled about it. Her reasons may not have anything to do with practical reality, but a purely emotional reality such as "I'm homeless! When I was young I thought that owning a house was the key to security and now I don't any more!" Everybody has beliefs like that, that operate on us -- even without aging or senility or dementia. Listen until she's managed to express whatever it is. Then you don't have to agree or disagree, and you don't have to talk her out of whatever feeling it is (doesn't work anyway, on any of us) -- instead, just nod and reflect what she's saying. Like "Oh, I see. Owning a home felt secure." You don't have to change the house ownership but that part of her just needs to be HEARD.
I agree with Always. You need to talk to your mom and find out what is driving her to make that decision. Once she can be reassured that things will be okay, maybe she will calm down and leave the issue alone.
Obviously something has her worried about the house. You can continue to put her off and suffer her obsession on the matter, or you can try to find out why she feels this way and talk it out. Good luck!
The state doesn't "take the house". No state wants even more houses on the real estate market much less older homes of the elderly which likely are filled with old people stuff and probably have decades of delayed maintenance. What the state does want is any proceeds from the sale of the property the state is entitled to for reimbursement of Medicaid payments for the NH resident. This is done through MERP - Medicaid Estate Recovery (or Recoup) Program (or Policy). When they apply for Medicaid an acknowledgement of MERP is in the stack of admissions papers. How MERP is done is very dependent on state law as recovery is done through probate.

For those who didn't plan years and years ahead, how your state does probate is critical to how much exposure you or your parent have within MERP. All states have exemptions (which MUST be filed for after death) to MERP: 2 year caregiver; handicapped child; family biz on property; family farm; family who live in the house would be on another gov't housing program if they house gets sold; all & every cost to maintaining empty home, etc. There are many exemptions. But again, you have to file for them.What seems to happen is the MERP program sends whoever is the assigned representative a letter stating that MERP is applicable and then requests that if you have an exemption, you HAVE TO FILE FOR IT to be reviewed by MERP. Some states have it set in state law that the baseline homestead exemption and below is not subject to MERP - MS has something like this and it's set @ about 75K. Other states seem to have policy that MERP doesn't to a recovery of a home under a set amount. MERP is a legal process and they (MERP) really have to determine whether or not to even proceed with the claim or lein against the house in the first place. The steps to do it against a 80K house is the same as a 380K house. I know where I'd spend my valuable time, but this is the gov't so maybe not.

Yes, you can place the property in a legal vehicle that removes it from probate - like a trust or move into an LLC or sell/transfer to family member. But you have to make sure that whatever you do will pass Medicaid review in your state. Some trusts only are viable in some states - like Lady Bird Trust. Some states view any trust not done past 5 years prior (aka "look-back") as reason to have the NH applicant ineligible for Medicaid payment. Other states don't. State law and regulations rule in all this. Imho, an experienced elder care attorney who practices in the county where the property is located is essential in all this

Whether your state does probate as a lein or a claim will make a big difference too.
If your state is a claim probate state, then claims have to be presented and filed. There has to be 3 notices in the paper on this. How your state does claims also makes a difference. For example, TX is a level of claim probate state. Items are paid by claim level starting with Class 1. MERP is a class 7 claim in TX, so the MERP recovery rates are much lower than in other states where it is an equal claim or a lein on the property. Credit cards are a class 8 claim - so good luck Capital One on that! MERP still happens in TX and TX has moved to a contractor (HMS) to do MERP, so recovery rates will likely increase as HMS seems to act as a debt collection agency. My point is your state law makes a big butt difference.

Planning ahead in all financial is ideal. But for most of us, the whole momma needs a nursing home is emergency incident related, when momma has a fall and can't realistically go back home to live on her own. Planning is just not done.

One thing to think about is if there isn't the time to do advance planning or changes that will work in your state, is to see if your parent has a will. If they don't, then they are considered to have died intestate. Some state, like TX, have law so that any and all properties of the intestate deceased are owned by the state. And the heirs have to prove and provide documentation for lineal heirship afterwards. For those that get stuck in this mire and still had a home or assets and were on Medicaid, in these types of states, the state can really be more aggressive in recovery as they are the placeholder of the assets.

Personally, I think as states are facing horrendous shortfalls, the rules on MERP will change and along with that the till-they-die exempt status on homes will change. For us in our 40"s, 50"s & 60's, it's not too early to plan.
My understanding is that property can be transferred to a family member that has been a caregiver after a period of two years if addressed in a care agreement. Living trusts only protect the home from Medicaid if it is a irrevocable trust, if I understand correctly. Revocable trusts do not protect the home from being tapped by the government for Medicaid purposes. So it is in the family's best interest to keep the home in your name. And if she requires Medicaid assistance the 5 year look back will include transfer of the home. Since the transfer has already been done I hope that five years will pass before she needs Medicaid since it sounds as if there is not a care agreement in place.
Since even mini strokes affect the brain and thinking capabilities, part of what she is feeling is losing control over her life. Her home was hers, however, in more lucid moments she had the forethought to deed the house to you (you will get it when she dies anyway), and perhaps you can make a fake document that looks like the real thing. Since she doesn't sign anything, you can present her with the quit claim deed showing the house is back in her name (in reality it would have to be notarized and recorded in your county recorder's office). Give her something tangible to hold and the two of you can get on with life. Best wishes!
Just say no.

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