How can I buy my moms house without affecting Medicaid?

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I want to purchase my mother's home, she lives in an assisted living facility. The house is worth less than 200,000 , how can I purchase without affecting my mothers Medicaid benefits?

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Reality is that most of the time unless you have till 2018 before mom needs a NH, you can't do it without mom facing either a spend-down of the money you paid to her OR a transfer penalty inquiry for the sale if she gifts the house to you for less than a appraised value or the current tax assessor value. There are things you can do to in the long -term to safeguard the property, but all that involves long term planning. Like 5 full years.

If mom is already in AL and the switch to NH is right around the corner, you just don't have that opportunity. When they do the Medicaid application, it will ask them for a history of where they lived and if they own a home or when they sold or transferred it. All this info is in the state's database and will be an easy match-up as all real property details is there.

But mom does not have to sell the house. Most states have the homesteaded property allowed as an exempt asset for their lifetime. Now mom won't have any funds to pay for house items (taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc), but if the house is empty whomever pays for those items can seek reinbursement of all that from the estate in probate. Those costs are exemptions for Medicaid estate recovery.
this is the MERP program and all states are required to do MERP. When they do a Medicaid application, there will be an acknowledgement of MERP statement within the application which allows for the state to place a claim or a lein on the property.
Again this is based on just how your state approaches property ownership and probate / estate laws. There are also alot of other exemptions for MERP, like for caregivers. Your state's program is going to have this on their website. Like if the property is the site of a family business or those inheiriting the house are at a low income level.

As jessiebelle said, speak with a good attorney regarding this BEFORE you do anything, Each state runs it's Medicaid program based on the nuances of its state law. Just another item.....most states are now contracting out MERP and it is now very proactive in placing a claim or liens. The bigger title companies are now wanting to see a release of the MERP claim or lein before they will issue title insurance. If you google TRGC Stargazer MERP, (they are a big underwriters) there is a great article on the whole issue of clean title and MERP which you as a Realtor should be aware of. Good luck.
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agingrealtor, I can't think of a way you can purchase the house without affecting your mother's Medicaid. If you purchase the house now, the money would have to be spent for her care before she could again qualify for help from Medicaid. You can wait, but unless there are some exemptions, the house may have a lien on it so that the state can recover some of the money spent on her care after her death. Money that is excess of the exemptions will go to the state. From your name, I assume you are a realtor. Talk to one of the attorneys you know to see what would be the best way and time to purchase the home under your own circumstances. He/she would probably have more spot-on advice for you.
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