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My 77 year old mom lives in her own home. My husband thinks I should transfer her house into my name for financial reasons. My mom doesn't care what I do. I'm just wondering what the benefits and draw-backs to this would be for my mother and to myself as well.
Also, I have tried to find the deed to the house but without any luck. Any advice on who I would need to contact to get a copy of the deed|?
Thanks.

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Angel - alot of different issues here, in my opinion.

First - regarding the house paperwork, look about for the annual tax assessor statement sent to your mom. It will state the current assessor value on the property. Usually It would have been in Oct/Nov for taxes due in January. The form is mucho importante as it has the legal description of the property...like Parcel # 126-876.003. This is kinda the key to finding paperwork on the property as it gets recorded by parcel rather than address. In most counties you can go on-line to get the legal filings on property and it is very low cost to do so. BUT most assessor database go back maybe only 10 years, so if the last legal on the property was before that you will have to go to the courthouse and do a research request. It could take a couple of weeks too. Some places charge for this too. Could take a few days or several weeks. If you can;t find the tax statement, go thru mom's checkbook and maybe she wrote the tax bill # on her check. This just makes the courthouse work much easier for all.

Second - what is the vision for your mom, the house, her health?? At 77 she is very young and if she has no real health issues could live another 20 years! Does she want to stay in live in the house for the next decade plus? Or is she ill and likely to need skilled nursing care in the very near future? Medicaid look back is a full 5 years so although you can't predict the future, you can plan depending on health, age and attitude (hers & yours)

Third - the house in your name. I'm assuming you & DH have your own home and have a good solid relationship & finances. House in your name means that you are now saddled with all payments (taxes, insurance, yardwork, repairs) and responsibilities on the house. It's yours and your purse. Also the whole capital gains situation like Wyndie said. Also you have no homestead exemption on the home as you have your home with your DH too. Now mom could stay in the home and pay you rent and her rent could cover all costs & build a nest egg for repairs. If you do that you should have a clear contract on that with your mom (especially if you have siblings or PIA cousins). What I have found is the idea of having momma's house is somewhat fantasy land with alot of emotion to the house you all grew up in. Then the reality of a new water heater, roof replacement, increase in insurance, etc changes the fantasy and your siblings or DH are not there to pitch in physically or financially. It's your house and your problem to solve. And with your mom being young, you could be in this for years & years & years. If the house is in a marginal area or old with significant delayed repairs, there may be alot of expenses that your mom ignored and now you have to $$ deal with.

If it were me & mom was in good shape & wanted to stay in the house & DH was pressing on this, I would put the property in an LLC (if your state does real estate specific LLC's, then that) and have you and your children (her grandchildren) as the directors on the LLC with you as the registered agent for the LLC. I'd do whatever to make sure that mom stayed in the home for a full 6 years from now (2018) before it got sold. Then sell it when mom is ready to move to IL and use the proceeds from the sale to pay for whatever her SS and retirement is short for her IL (or, AL, NH); pay in full for her funeral & burial and other things that are costly (like dental work). And for fun, you as the registered agent for the LLC can do an annual or semi-annual meeting for mom, your DH and all family at mom's favorite restaurant which is a legit expense. Good luck and see an attorney.
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Jasper...l don't understand the hug system here or why l rated one, but thanks
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GO DIRECTLY TO AN ELDER CARE ATTORNEY; DO NOT PASS GO;
DO NOT TRANSFER ANYTHING ON YOUR OWN W/O LEGAL ADVICE.
AN ELDER CARE ATTORNEY WILL MOST LIKELY RECOMMEND A TRUST.
YOUR MOTHER WOULD NEEF TO APPEAR COMPETENT 2 THE ATTORNEY 2 SIGN
ANY LEGAL DOCUMENTS.
IF THE TRUST IS THE ANSWER, THE DEED WILL HAVE 2 B RE-RECORDED IN THE
NAME OF THE TRUST SO DON'T BOTHER GETTING A COPY UNTIL YOU KNOW
WHAT THE ATTORNEY ADVISES.
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I thought you could get a copy of the deed from the county. Call a Real Estate person and ask them if they know who you should contact or call the assessors office. Does your mother have a trust? If she does, she probably already transferred the house to you via the trust, most of them do. If not, then maybe your husband feels that it is a good idea for inheritance tax reasons or if she is on Medicaid then when she dies, Medicaid will take the house and sell it to recoup money they have paid out over the years, unless there is a spouse or disabled child. Why don't you just ask your husband what is on his mind. If you have any other siblings you need to discuss this with them before you do anything. Also if your mother has dementia I do not think she can perform any legal issues so you might speak to an attorney.
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Are you an only child? What does your husband hope to accomplish with the transfer of the house to you? Your Mom is only 77 and doesn't appear to have any life threatening medical issues (unless I have missed something). If the house is in your name, there may be capital gains on the sale of it when you take that action. On the other hand, keeping the house in your Mom's name means it is available to pay for her care should she need more help. If it is transferred to you, the scheme is to hope she doesn't need any financial help for whatever period of time the state rule is for the passing of assets --- to qualify for medicaid. If you transfer the house to you and sufficient time passes, your mom may qualify for medicaid. I've never quite understood that approach when there is a lone surviving spouse. It would mean your Mom getting cared for at the expense of the taxpayers in (what is often) a less than desirable nursing home. If there are sufficient assets to pay for potential care without considering the house, there is no reason to transfer ownership to you.
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If you can't locate the deed, trying going to the county and finding it there and getting a copy or call your local real estate office and ask what to do.
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Do not transfer ANY of your mother's assets, both liquid or non-liquid, to you. See an elder law attorney right away. They can best advise you on how to handle your situation in your state. Each state's laws, especially on how they handle Medicaid payments for the elderly, are different.
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Well, if there is any possibility that you will have to apply for long-term Medicaid for your mom for NH placement, don't do it! Talk to an eldercare attorney first!
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