Should I have my mom's home put in to my name?

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My mother has either early stage Alzheimers or Dementia-Dr's haven't totally pinned this down for me yet. She is taking Alzheimer meds but they don't seem to do much (if any) good, but that isn't the problem.
Two years ago my stepfather (her husband died) and left mom without any income except her Social Security which is about $1,000 a month, however he did leave her with TRICARE for medical (he was retired military) and medicare so she doesn't really have any major medical bills. She also was left with a mobile home on about 1/3 acre. Unfortunately it isn't paid off yet, she still owes about $10K on it.
All in all mom is in pretty good physical shape but her memory is pretty bad. She generally reminds me of a petulant child and it is very hard to make her happy. This is what makes me think it is early alzheimers.
My husband and I live within a mile of mom and due to her memory lapses I immediately started taking care of her bills and things like that. Within 6 months I realized I had to stop her from driving because it was a danger to others.
My husband and I live in a tiny mobile home in a senior community. We don't even have room for a nail to hang mom on so she can't come live with us. Also we don't own the land where our mobile is, we just rent to land.
I am one of 5 children that my mother had. So far she has outlived 3 of her children. There are only 2 of us left. My older sister lives about 100 miles away and basically only talks to my mom by phone maybe once a month. I am the one that calls mom daily, takes care of her medication, buys her groceries, takes her to the Dr, takes her cat to the vet, etc. But so far she has been capable of living alone. As time goes on I can see that it won't be long before that isn't possible. I also work a full time job and can't quit because I am the one that provides our medical insurance.
I have POA for my mom and she has a will which leaves her mobile home to me. She made that decision 2 years ago because she said I am the only one that helps her. She really doesn't have anything else of value to worry about. Recently I moved mom into a tiny little apartment so that we could try to sell her place. Mainly because she needed to be in a smaller place using less utilities and closer to neighbors for more companionship. I also figured if we sold it she could use the money to live better and hopefully continue to live independently with my help. I also figured that if she had to go to a nursing home eventually the Gov would take her place anyway. My husband and I have been cleaning and painting her place in hopes of selling it but it has been a few months with no real interest.
I can't afford to move into her place and lose my place if I will be thrown out when she passes or goes to a nursing home and I can't afford to pay for my place on the side. Things are very tight money wise for my husband and I.
If her place doesn't sell, the best thing would be for my husband and I to move into it and bring mom back to live with us until we can no longer handle her, but like I said I don't want to be left homeless.
I have been told that if the house hasn't been in my name for 5 years the gov can take it from me.
What should I do? Any help is appreciated. I can see this is rambling but I hope you can figure out what I mean.

Answers 1 to 10 of 65
Right now you are paying for 3 places - yours, your mothers and the apartment. Would it be possible for you to move into your mother's home and sell yours instead? I believe it is true that if you were to sell your mother's place now and keep the money, she would not qualify for medicare/medicaid (I'm never sure which one it is) that would cover nursing care if she gets to that point. They do look back 5 years. If you were to move into your mother's home and leave it in her name you would not have a problem but if you put her home in your name, it could definitely be a problem down the road. Good luck to you.... it does get complicated!
Top Answer
The 5 year rule applies if and when you want to apply for medicaid for your Mom. If she needs nursing home care and she does not have long term care coverage, she will have to pay from any resources she has. Her mobile home can be considered an asset and they can use that until there is nothing left. Then the medicaid will take over.
If your Mom is in good health, you can put the house in your name or a trust. BUT you will have to wait 5 years to be free from contributing to long term care.
Good luck.
I would definitely contact an elder law attorney on this. It is true that medicaid will look back 5 years to see if any money or assets were transferred into someone else's name, and that could make that person ineligable to collect Medicaid. Also make sure you keep VERY accurate records of how you are spending her money, because Medicaid will want to know that every cent spent was used correctly, and they want very detailed records and receipts. Any large sums taken out or transferred will be questioned by them and you will be penalized (not be able to collect Medicaid) if money was spent on what they consider "unnecessary" items. Here in Florida, the government cannot go after a person's home to collect money, (the home is protected) however once the home is sold, they can go after the estate. You definitely need an elder law attorney who can set up a "trust". Good luck!
The trust is a good idea we did that with ou son and when my husband needed to be placed the 5 years had passed so they could not touch the house-he died before he got on medicaide but the house would have been safe and not considered an assest. Elders need to make these decisions earier you never know what is going to happen tomarrow and adult children need to have the talk while their parents are well and their mind is sharp-.
I agree with 195Austin. Elders need to make decisions early. Luckily, when mom & dad bought their manufactured home in 1994, the deed read; his name OR moms name OR my name (I am an only child and they trusted me so it was easy for them to do - not everyone is as fortunate). When dad died in 1997, the home automatically passed to mom OR I. At any time either one of us could have sold it without the others signature (again a trust thing by my parents). Mom broke her hip in 2010 and developed complications and was back and forth in the hospital and rehab for four months - which she did have to pay the rehab after her 30 days of medicare coverage was up. I then found a wonderful small assisted living facility where she was for a month (she paid for) and then passed away. Mom & Dad had all their bank accounts, cd's and home all set up with my name on them as "or" so upon their death everything just passed on to me immediately. No legal issues whatsoever. But like I said being an only child and having the trust of my parents made it easy for them to do. But everyone needs to have things in place BEFORE bad health sets in. Makes it soooo much easier for all concerned.
evelyn...... that's really interesting..... I've never heard of the "or" option. I'm wondering if it's different in every state. Could I ask what state you're in?
We live In the state of Florida. But when we lived in NY YOU can put your home, cds, bank accounts, etc. with the OR. Many times a bank, mortgage company or vehicle title company will automatically use "AND". It doesn't matter what state you are in - it's something YOU need to do with your bank, vehicle title also (mom didn't drive and didn't have a car - however when dad was alive he did and his title said his name OR my name. When he died it automatically went to me - no probate. They both did however have their own wills which left everything to me anyway, just to make sure in case any problems did arise, but since everything had my name on it with "OR" everything was simple. It's a good idea to have everything in names with OR not AND. But you have to truly trust the other person - because with the OR clause EITHER one can withdraw all the money, sell the house, sell the car, etc. With "and" both people are required to make any transactions.
If you are wanting to get her on Medicad or some kind of gov. aid. She can only have the one home in her name and less the $2000 in the bank. We did not get mom's house's in our name's till a few yrs ago. And now we have to wait till they have been out of her name for 5 yr's to get any gov. help for her .She is living on her SS. And that does not cover her med. bills, food, and all the other needs and Alzhiemer's patient have. And if we have to put her in a nurseing home she we will have to pay for it inless everything is out of her name for 5yrs. So get everything out of her name as soon as you can. Good luck. Your state laws might be differant . Check and see. And elder lawyer can help a lot.
My thoughts were to sell her house and she would have money to live in a nice apartment for the next few years and my husband would be able to get away from the upkeep of two places.
As for selling our place that would be a good idea but in essence I would only be selling a very old mobile home-no land. You have to be a senior to live where I live and they are wanting to move all the old mobiles out when people sell. I don't know anyone that would buy it really.
But even if I sold my place and moved into moms to take care of her it sounds like I would get thrown out if she had to go to a nursing home because it would be paid for by medicare and they would take the house, right?

No, you would not be thrown out if she had to go to nursing care. For instance, my mother had a home in her name and she went to nursing care. Medicaid paid for whatever her monthly income didn't cover and I stayed in Mom's home rent free. If I (or anyone else) would have paid her rent, it would have gone towards her income and Medicare would pay that much less. My mother had a miraculous recovery and ended up moving back to her home for a while. I think that must be the reason they cannot take your home?? You can get well and return home.

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