My husband and I are at the point in our lives that we want to retire. We have been taking care of my mom for the past 4 years but she is at the point where she needs more care. We will be selling our home and moving in with her. She has plenty of money, so we do not see her needing to access Medicaid. We want to make sure that when she passes that we are not forced to sell her home.

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Regarding putting your name on the house title, get the advice of an Elder Law Attorney first. It's my understanding that when it does come time to sell the house, your bases for capital gain taxes will be the date that your Mom had purchased the house. The bases is much better if instead you inherit the house.

I see from your profile that your Mom has Alzheimer's/Dementia. Moving in with her is a great idea, but as her memory loss progresses, you may need help by hiring caregivers, otherwise you would be doing the work of 3 full-time caregivers each day. Great way to crash and burn, and for your Mom to outlive you.

So plan ahead. Caregivers from an Agency could cost $20-$30/per hour depending on your area. Sounds reasonable until you add up the total number of days. Does Mom have enough in savings for that? It is less expensive to have Mom live in Assisted Living/Memory care where the cost on average is $6k per month, the cost depends on where you live.

Whatever you do, do not use your own money to pay for Mom's care, or before you know it your retirement is wheedled down to almost nothing.

Mom could also outlive her money, then she would need to get help from Medicaid if you find yourself overwhelmed taking care of Mom at home. Medicaid does look back 5 years, depending on the State, and they are very good at following a paper trail.

Oh, if only aging wasn't so complicated and expensive :(
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I would definitely advise consulting with an Eldercare attorney. Nursing home care where my mom lives costs $12,000 per month. She has been there for nearly 4 years now. She will run out of money in another 3 years or so and we will apply for Medicaid for her then.

When she first entered the nursing home, post stroke, post hip fracture, she was not expected to live out the year.

My mom will be 94 later this month; I don't see any reason why she won't live for another 5 or 6 years.
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I would consult an attorney first. My dad passed away a few months ago and I lived with him for many years. Now my mother with dementia will be moving in with me. My father had a mortgage on the house as he took out a loan to help a sibling get a down payment on their house so now I have that mortgage to pick up since I will be remaining in the home. I don't have a great job but inherited a moderate IRA to keep me in the home for at least several years. My father finally took out a living trust several years before he died and I'm so glad he did. I am the trustee of his estate and were it not for the fact that my name was put on the title and the deed to the house also titled as being under his trust I would have nowhere to go and the house would automatically have gone to probate. My sibling's home (that my father took a mortgage against our home for) was not in the trust and did not have the deed to the house as being titled under a trust so now she has to find a place to live as the house is in probate and she cannot make the mortgage payments any longer. I hope your mother has a living trust and has placed the title deed of the house as being in a trust. One of the reasons I cannot do anything about the probate on my sibling's house is because the title to her house does not have her name on it in addition to my father's or at least as being listed under the trust. Another thing to consider is if your mother has any debt because if the house is not in a trust (and the title to the house is not appropriately titled as being such) the house could be sold to pay off those debts but it's not always the case. Sometimes you can work things out but take it from me as I am learning it can be an ordeal. If you're going to care for your mom at some point you will likely have to put her in a care home. I worked in a nursing home and memory care facility for two years and there is a point at which Alzheimer's and Dementia patients need constant monitoring (wandering, toileting, health care issues from great weight loss, combativeness, etc.). If she can get Medicaid (Medi-Cal here in California) prior to moving in to a facility that will save you from having to drain what is left of her savings as most nursing homes will expect you to come up with the money and it may involve having to sell the house since nursing homes are expensive. Having Medicaid before placing her is important as I have learned having worked in a nursing home a few years ago and asking about that very issue concerning my own mother. However, those are things to consider. Every case is different and it's best to consult an attorney regarding estate issues, living trusts and elder care financial issues. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (6)

Why would you have to sell her home when she passes? Are there other heirs who would expect a share? You don't expect Medicaid to be involved. So ... who/what would force the sale of the home? Why can't you just inherit it when the time comes?
Helpful Answer (5)

I think I heard once that even Suze Orman did the same thing: added herself to her mother’s house, but when the time came, she found that even though she was listed on the house, she still did not have full ownership, and still had to address probate issues, which is why even Suze Orman still promotes the need for better protection, i.e. placing property in trust and filing it in the county of where the house is located. I guess each county or state can be different, but sounds like a lot still to address if parent already incapacitated. Financial adviser and/or attorneys would review. Definitely, a full review is in order. Of course, I think there are other options as mentioned above which are solid, given certain circumstances, i.e. closest living relative, only living relative, next of kin, cost savings, inheritance, financial security, etc. Need to know full determination of financial situation. Keep in mind, though, might have to sell home to maintain continued health care if cannot afford costs yourself or more care is required, due to another unforeseen life event. Good question, and good luck!
Helpful Answer (4)

Selling your home and moving in with her=very poor choice.
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Definitely get an elder law attorney.
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