My mom owns the house that I live in. She has not lived in it since 1998 and I have lived in it since 2007. She is wanting to go into assisted living but does not want me to have to move and give up the house. She will be private paying until her money runs out. How should we handle this?

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You need to talk to an elder law attorney in your state. Unlike what some have said, there are ways to get past the MERP lookback period. In the state I live in, it's simple. As long as there is no probate, there is no medicaid recovery. So a simple transfer on death dead does the trick. In all states, there is the child caregiver exception. If you are a child that has been the caregiver for your parent for at least 2 years and living in your parent's house, the house is exempt from medicaid recovery. There are other ways depending on your situation. So speak to a attorney.
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Reply to needtowashhair

svanland, where does your Mother current live since she hadn't live in said home since 1998?

In order for my own Dad to continue to enjoy living in senior living, Dad sold his house immediately in order to get the equity out of the house. It was a nice buffer so Dad wouldn't need to worry about running out of money for a few years.

The way I looked at it, my parents [Mom had already passed] had worked hard to pay off on that house and to keep it looking nice for 30 some years. It was Dad's money for him to use for his senior care and to be in an extremely nice senior community.
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Reply to freqflyer

Every parent that loves their children would love to leave them assets. As long as the parent is not looking to access public benefits intended to help the indigent and poverty level folks while diverting assets that could be used for their care to family members, it's a great idea. The lawyer you consult needs to be experienced in Elder Law, Medicaid, and real estate. If your mother transfers the house to you today, there will be a 5 year look-back if she applies for Medicaid for nursing home custodial care or waiver for assisted living. There is no way around the 5 year look-back - all states have it as part of a Bush era tax package intended to help maintain federal and state programs for Medicaid and elderly/disabled (called MERP or Medicaid Recovery). In the computer age, all databases dovetail together for tax reporting on property - local, state and federal. Any transfer will show up. Quit claims that are done without being recorded at courthouse will not necessarily be valid if property taxes continued in elder's name. Exemptions to keep property are specific and require paperwork that a lawyer will understand and help prepare.
Example: mother transfers $250,000 house to you June 5, 2018. She will be assessed a penalty if she applies for Medicaid through June 4, 2023. Can mom private pay for that long at assisted living or nursing home? Can you pay all the expenses of the house - utilities, property taxes at YOUR rate (not mom's elder rate frozen at whatever age and property valued at current rates, not mom's special rates as elder), homeowner's insurance. If there is a mortgage, you will need to refinance the mortgage balance and provide records that YOU paid it all along - there will not be any money from mom to pay YOUR expenses any more without it being more gifting and the 5 year penalty goes from the date of each gift forward.
The penalty works like this: Let's use $200 per day as example medicaid rate. $250,000 house transfer (from the date of application if the $250,000 transfer occurred within 5 years look-back of application date with NO amortization day, so day 1 counts same as day 1,825). $250,000 divided by $200 means that Medicaid WON'T pay a dime for the first 1,250 days of care. That is almost 3.5 YEARS from the date that she applied - you know, the date when she was already impoverished and had no money to pay for care above her $2000 in assets. If you have the money to pay for all house costs from date of transfer and person is in VERY good health to cover 5 years from date of transfer, you might be able to do it. Check with lawyer.
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Reply to Guestshopadmin

In order to keep everything above-board and legal so down the line there will be no investigations or surprises, your best bet would be to engage the services of either an attorney who deals in real estate issues, or preferably in Elder Law. You want to have everything you need to have in the way of legal documentation. It sounds like you will be applying for Medicaid for her at some time in the future and that’s another whole set of issues since she owns the house. If you stay in her house, you will need advice on how to handle mortgage payments if there are any, utilities, repairs, do you start paying her rent? Do you need to? Things like that. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it involves finances and housing.
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Reply to Ahmijoy