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I'm moving back home into the house I grew up in with my mother to care for her. The house will be mine upon my mother's passing. Is there any benefit to putting the house in my name now? Or, just let it pass as it's set? We recently dealt with another family members passing. It made me realize, the more things I can do now, the better. Trying to deal with legal/property issues at the time of a death felt nearly unbearable. Thanks for reading.

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You should let it pass after death because your mother can exclude $250,000. of capital gain on her tax return. If she gifts it to you before death, you will then have her cost basis when she received the house (either purchase or inheritance) and when you sell it you would have a larger capital gain on which to pay taxes. At death, your cost basis would be the market value at the date of death.
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First..if it is your primary residence...then there will be no capital gains tax.

The issue I see is two fold. If you have it transferred now you will avoid probate court. But..if she needs Medicaid within 5 years...this transfer will prevent her from being eligible.
If you keep it in her name...and you are there to provide care for 2 or more years...then Medicaid will exempt the home for the caregiver child. You still do not inherit it if Medicaid is involved...they just put a lien in it so they get the proceeds when you sell or die.

Guess I think the central issue is...do you think she will need to go into a NH and get Medicaid to pay for it within the next 5 years from the time of the title transfer? Does your crystal ball work?
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How do you get along with your mom?

What are her impairments at this time that she needs caregiving?

Whatever you set up, do it through a Medicaid savvy, CERTIFIED eldercare attorney.

Whatever her impairments, make sure that you have respite built into the plan.
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I'm in the same boat as you and we need to consult an attorney. I think asking for help here isn't the greatest idea, since none of us is a practicing attorney and comments about your "crystal ball" are less than helpful. This is a journey, and the more info we have, the better. You have good and very valid questions but find the right (legal) ear to advise you. This sucks, yes. It is stressful, yes. It is not impossible if you-we both-act proactively. Laws vary from state to state...find an attorney who practices estate and/or elder law and meet with him or her. Most attorneys will give you a half hour of their time so you can see if you like them and can work with them. I am on the phone today arranging meetings, I'd strongly suggest you do this also. You don't want any surprises later, and neither do I. But please, don't get your advice here. This involves money and property, two things attorneys are best suited for and will guide you in. Protect yourself, your mother and your future. I wish you well and know you're not alone.
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Being HERE is the BEST advice I have EVER gotten while in this d*mn journey-boat!!
We learn from others who have experienced "it"!!
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Prelude670, if you inherit the house after your Mom passes, and the time comes to sell the house [for whatever reason] the basis used to calculate the captain gain tax will be what the house is worth on the day you inherited the house.

If Mom changes the Deed and puts your name on the Deed, and the time comes to sell the house [again for whatever reason] the basis used to calculate the capital gain will be what the house was worth when your Mom had bought the house. Since you moved back in and the house is your primary residence, you are allowed $250k Federal deduction off of the calculation of the capital gains. Of course, when it comes to Federal laws, anything can change in a heartbeat :P
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As BB suggests, absolutely take your questions to an attorney specializing in Elder Law. Paying for good advice now can save to grief and loss down the road.
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If there are no siblings to object which would cause her home to be an estate asset at your mother's passing, then yes I would do it now where she can sign a Quit Claim Deed. Keep in mind a few things. I believe that her real estate taxes may be less due to her age, which will increase once you become owner unless you are a vet or over age 65. Capital gains or inheritance tax, check your state law, I normally leave that all to the professionals, now knowing all the fundamentals.
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If your name is on the deed now, prior to your mother's passing, you are the new owner. Capital gains refers to rental properties, i.e. house flippers, vacation homes, etc. not main residence
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Are there siblings?

And for the home transfer to be exempt under Medicaid you have to provide two years of medically necessary care as determined by mom's doctor. At the end of that two years mom must be nursing home eligible, memory care or assisted living are not nursing home and do not count.
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Follow Earlygirl42's advice to the letter. When I had to sell my father's home 3yrs ago in California he had lived there for 41yrs. He bought the house for $30,000 and I sold it for $440,000. I had a tax person that is an EA explain to me that if my father would have placed me on the title before his death I would have been responsible for half of the tax bill which she said would have been around $60,000. She explained that most older people believe they are doing their children a favor by placing them on the title but don't do it.  So what Earlygirl42 said x2.
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There are a lot of good answers here but the best one is "consult a tax/eldercare attorney. Lots of implications that the lay person is not aware of.
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Here's what is happening in my life right now. My Mom died 1 1/2 years ago and my Dad just died 2 weeks ago at 101. After his house sold last year he didn't update his will to reflect how he wanted the money distributed to us kids from the sale. My brother purchased the family farm and lakeshore property at a bargain basement price when my parents moved into town. So my parents wanted the money from their home in town to go to us three girls. The bank accounts weren't set up properly either, so basically my brother and one sister can take everything. So see a lawyer and get everything covered.
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Go to a lawyer and get everything figured out. My Mom passed away 1 1/2 years ago and my Dad just died 2 weeks ago at age 101. There are 4 of us kids, one brother and us 3 girls. My Dad's will stated that interest in his property was to go to us girls because when my parents moved off the family farm my brother bought the farm and lakeshore property at a bargain basement price. The property in town sold last year but the will wasn't updated. And my brother and one sister put their names on Dad's accounts as co owners. My other sister and I never questioned that and we never looked over Dad's will. We thought we're family and Dad's wishes would be followed even if things weren't done properly. Now those two siblings aren't speaking to my sister and I, and they can keep everything for themselves if they want. So get all your ducks in a row to save any future hassle.
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If you continue to care for your mother for the two years before she enters a nursing home, and such care can be documented to show that it prevented her from going into a nursing home, then the transfer to you will NOT be deemed a gift under Medicaid rules. To avoid getting her basis in the house upon a later sale, should she gift the house to you, the deed should reserve for her the right to live in it for her lifetime. Such reserved power will cause inclusion of the house in your mother's taxable estate, giving it a tax basis equal to its value on the date of her death.

As you can see, this stuff is complicated and the rules must be carefully followed. Show the above information to a good local elder lawyer, and they can advise and assist you with this!
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I heard Suze Orman give possibly the best answer to this, using her mother as the example for the exact same situation. Suze had her mother (1) create a Living Revocable Trust with the mother as owner and trustee, and upon mom's death, Suze is named the trustee; and (2) put the deed to the house in the name of the "[mother's name] Living Revocable Trust." This lets mom keep control while she is living; when she dies, the home passes to Suze immediately -- no probate court or delay or taxes! I hope I have the terms correct here, but it's close enough for you to get the right idea to take to a lawyer. Please look into this because I think Suze - a financial wiz - is right on the money on this one (so to speak).
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I would do the quit claim deed. We have lived with my mother for over 6 years giving her care. Yes, if she has to go to NH things will change, but if she lives for over 5 years at home with you, the house does not go to probate. My advise is to speak with an atty at an agency on aging. We did this just a year ago, but we had been here in excess of the 5 years so he said we will be ok, because we have been her sold care givers for all this time. Again, check with an atty who is well versed in elder law.
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The elder care lawyer we used told us absolutely not to put the home in my name prior to my mom passing away. The reason for that advise was because we were getting my mom "Medicaid Ready" when she was in "long term care." Had we put it in my name (her only child), it would have compromised when she would be eligible for Medicaid. We live in Florida, and I don't know if other states have different rules governing this issue.
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I would recommend getting as much information from multiple sources especially those have been down this road already...but note if Medicaid every comes into play..there is that 5 year look back.. (finances, savings, checking, annuities, IRA's, CD's savings bonds, safety deposit boxes, real estate rental homes and second homes...and any financial gifts to her children).....

Go on line check out the application for Medicaid it's a 10 page application.)....review the application and then bullet point all your questions before you go to the attorney's office..as you may have questions to ask him about the application.

Get all advice from those who have been through it... and seek legal advice from an Elder attorney who specializes in the Medicaid field...  Even thou Medicaid is a federally funded program it is administered by the state in which she would be applying for it.

Check out   K. Gabriel Heiser Attorney, author, Medicaid asset protection planning he is on this site and has offered valuable information to many people..

Get your ducks in the row..don't go into the attorney's office emptied handed....knowledge is power.....it will save you time, money and most of all your mental health if you are prepared.

Good luck.
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Everything depends on the state you reside in. In Louisiana we still have many laws which were formed under the Napoleonic Code, which means they tend to be archaic. In this instance they worked to my advantage. Through estate planning ( with an expert) we transferred all of my mom's assets to me. She is in assisted living, which costs about 1/2 of what a NH would. I pay the monthly bills with her SS check plus what I draw from her investments. She can stay in assisted living until she passes or we run out of money. In 5 years, if she goes in a NH, she will have no assets & will be eligible for aid. I have made a will leaving everything to my two children but plan to use the same plan to transfer my assets to them in the event I need a NH in the future. You cannot beat a good elder-care attorney. He/she will protect both of you.
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Talk to a good legal expert on wills, trusts, etc. I've dealt with several estates one way and another, and my personal suggestion (depending on the state involved) is a Living Revocable Trust in your mom's name, with you as successor trustee. Frankly, a quit claim deed can be a real can of worms, especially if there are several family members involved. And the capital gains tax favors your having the date of inheritance as your purchase date--could make a HUGE difference. Don't go to one of the "trust seminars" advertised, get several reference to estate and elder finance experts, probably both accounting and legal.
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Everyone here has great advice. I am going through this right now, I am putting my mothers house in my name so that I can take out a home equity loan against the house to pay for her care since I have spent much of my savings. I can not afford to take a loan out on my house advised from my attorneys. I have gone to 3 elder attorneys who all had a different solution and my accountant. I will continue to pay for her care at her home until a room opens up at the VA home in NJ. I will then sell the house or rent it. Please seek advice from an Elder Attorney who knows the laws in your state. Mr. Heiser has given you a good start to your answer.
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