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My mother is in nursing home in Texas and is on Medicaid. My dad still lives in the community. Can he own a RV as his primary residence without jeopardizing my mother's Medicaid eligibility?

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Your folks are ok on having 1 primary residence home as an asset with mom on LTC NH Medicaid. But the home will be viewed as community property asset, as it’s community property state, so if mom should predecease dad, her 50% ownership will be subject to TX MERP NOI attempt (estate recovery Notice of Intent). If the RV is on land that he owns, the land value is also an asset. If it’s at a RV snowbird park, which theres oodles of nice ones in the Valley, so he pays rent or it’s parked in your side yard, then there’s no land asset.
RVs are like boats in that they CAN totally qualify as a first or second residence by the IRS as long as it has a bathroom, kitchen and separate sleeping area. For boats the general rule is 29’ or more footprints what’s required, I bet RVs / motor homes have something like that as well. You need to find out - like from IRS or the RV dealer - if there’s a size needed for it not be be considered a vehicle but actually a residence by IRS. States follow IRS guidelines.

MERP sends out the MERP NOI questionnaire within 2 -3 months of death. It imho will need to get filled out, but TX seems to usually waive a claim against the estate for the surviving spouse unless estate has high value. If RV actually still has a mortgage or purchase contract owed, that can work in his favor as it lessens the value of her estate. If it’s under 100k value estate, it’s imo kinda hard to meet the cost benefit to go after a recovery by the outside contractor especially if you open probate. Comprende? Should MERPs outside contractor get all huffy, dad can open probate as TX allows up to 4 years after death to do this assuming mom died with a valid will. TX is a after death claims process not a predeath lien (TIFRA) & it’s a Level of Claim by category for probate. MERP is category 7; but funeral, burial, costs to maintain estate property (like the RV or a home), all fall into category 1-3 so higher in being resolved to settle estate. Credit card debt is class 8, fat chance of that getting paid for most estates.

The problem that might happen would be IF dad were to predecease mom. Then the RV is totally her asset and she will have no $ to pay the taxes, land rents, insurance, etc on the RV as LTC Medicaid requires her to do a copay of all but $60 of her monthly income to the NH. It will fall to you or other family to pay RV costs till beyond her death as it’s going into an after death asset of her estate as it likely easier just to have it and not have to deal with a sale. Why? Well if it were to get sold, while she’s alive, the $ from the sale would take her over the 2k max that Medicaid allows, so she’d become ineligible and have to do a spend down and then reapply with all fresh documents. Comprende?
To me it’s kinda a balance between wallet and risk on keeping or buying property if Medicaid involved. If dads likely to outlive mom for quite a bit, and he can afford all on his own, if it was my dad, I’d do have him do it. I’m sure he’d love to have his own space to put up his HEB hauls. Good luck in your decision making!
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