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My 81 year old mother is in subsidized housing,and wants to buy a mobile home cash,closer to my sister who is a certified CNA in Illinois. Is buying a mobile home cash considered a spend down of her assets to quality for Meidcaid,and if so,can they seize her property when she needs a nursing home,and is she eligible for Medicaid once her assets are under $2,000? Also, we would like to know is a mobile home is approved by IL Medicaid rules and is the same qualification as buying a new home.


Thank you, Sue P.

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The following should not be considered legal advice. It is wise to consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice regarding estate and Medicaid planning matters.

The state never "seizes" property. The state may, however, place a lien on property in an attempt to recover payment from the estate of a deceased Medicaid recipient for Medicaid services rendered.

Exactly what may be subject to lien or other methods of Medicaid Estate Recovery varies by state. Here is a link to the State of Illinois web page regarding this matter.
https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/info/Brochures%20and%20Forms/Brochures/Pages/HFS3419b.aspx

Note it states that mobile homes are not subject to lien. Also note that Illinois will otherwise only seek to recover from assets subject to probate. What this means is that the mobile home (and other assets, if any), if titled in a manner that does not subject it (them) to probate, will not be subject to Medicaid Estate Recovery.

To accomplish this your mother may wish to consider creating a Revocable Living Trust and titling the mobile home in the name of the trust. Administration of a Revocable Trust at death is not subject to probate in Illinois. In Florida we find attorneys drafting this documents for under $500. I suspect the same holds true in Illinois.
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You probably need to talk with an lawyer who specializes in elder care or call your state Medicaid office. If you have an office of Senior Services in your state they might be able to help you.
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How long to do you think your mom will be able to live in the home? If you think 5 or more years she should be ok. However once she buys the home how will she pay lot rent utilities and upkeep on the place if she has spent all her money? If you think she will only live there for a short time then i would consult medicaid via your department of human resources. Hiring a lawyer would be great but very costly.
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If your Mom is on subsidized housing how can she afford to pay cash for a trailer? Is someone else paying for it? If so, it should be in her name. If she is going to another state I would check with that state considering housing and Medicaid. She may not qualify for help until she has residency. She may lose benefits.
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Moondance, THANK YOU! I'm so glad someone finally said it. Attorneys are extremely expensive. If you're old, sick, and trying to get on Medicaid, you don't have a lot of extra money.

I will say that most Bar Associations have a few hour per week window where you can call and ask an attorney a question for free. If you're low income, they offer other services as well. I had my mother's will, health care proxy, POA, and authority to dispose of remains form done for free through that program.
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It's my understand that Medicaid can place a lien on any type of home if the patient is the owner of the property, to help pay for nursing home care for your Mom.

There are exceptions, such as if your sister takes care of your Mom around the clock for at least 2 years prior of your Mom entering a facility, but your sister would need proof that the care had been similar to that of a nursing home. It all depends on the rules of that State.
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That is suppose to be "their" name.
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This is true. If ur going for Medicaid its because you have no money. A lawyer is a last ditch effort. He is going to charge you for what u may be able to do on ur own. To me, the best way to get answers is to go to the source and in person is best. Have all financial info handy. Amt of SS monthly, pension monthly, monthly bills. Statements, etc. Here in my area, I have never had a problem talking to SS or Medicaid. They have always been helpful.
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Purchasing Noncountable Assets

Payments may also be made to buy a new, exempt asset. For example, a Medicaid applicant may purchase a new home if it meets the requirements for being an exempt home. Likewise, the applicant can purchase a new automobile if he or his spouse will drive it. For more information, see our article on
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Puglsi5: I just uploaded part of the information for you...search Medicaid for yourself.
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