Am I allowed to sell mom's property or does Medicaid have legal hold on it?

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As my mothers POA, I have applied for Medicaid to help care for my mother after having a stroke which has left her with a severe dementia. My mother and father, however, deeded back the house to me in April of 2005... 8 years ago... with a life use to the property. My mother medically and physically...according to the medical diagnosis MUST have 24/7 care for her safety due to the progressing dementia...AM i allowed to sell her property? and if I do..does Medicaid have any legal hold on the funds since it has been well over 5 years in the look back period?

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The taxes on a gift in excess of $13,000 per person per year are paid by the gift giver, not by the gift recipient. Although a gift tax form has to be filed with the IRS, taxes are not due until they reach a much higher lifetime gift sum. Also, a gift from two parents allows each the $13,000 gift tax exemption.
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Terrim - Yeah totally and don't forget about the capital gains aspect!

I think we are going to see the lookback extended to 8 years. The states that have contracted with HMS for MERP are going to see a easy revenue stream from MERP filings of claims & liens.HMS got awarded Michigan recently, so they now do about a 1/3 of the states and they are very good at what they do. I bet if you tracked MERP collection rates before and after (HMS) the increase if huge. So if a 5 year lookback can generate XX amount of $$ then 8 years can do double that with no fallout. Not going to require a change in laws that will be an issue for most elected officials as the better off (who donate to campaigns) can and already are private pay or buy into a CCRC or do the trusts and other advance planning to work around Medicaid compliance. The whole we're going to inherit momma's house will be a thing of the past. Plus there is the excuse (or fact) that you can't complain about MERP as you have the ability to file for an exemption(s) and don't have to apply for Medicaid to begin with. It's not going to be pretty.
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This is a tricky situation. Did you pay them anything to "purchase" the house or did they just give you the house? If they just gave you the house then legally you would have had to report this as income to the IRS and pay taxes on it or else it would be avoiding taxes. You can only give a $10,000 gift in one year to any person and even so, that person has to pay taxes on it. If you have not reported it and paid taxes on it you need to go to www.irs.gov and report it now. You would have 8 years back interest to pay but they can set up a payment plan. If you did not pay taxes and if they have it in writing that they have a lifetime right to live there, Medicaid might just come for the house saying that this is still her home and wanting to know why it was deeded to you. They generally go back 5 years in a search but legally can go back 10.
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Star42 - well personally I hate quit claim deeds as a matter of course because there is no assurance of clear ownership. With a warranty deed you have that and can get title insurance to back it up. Not so with a QCD. You have to be just so very solid on the history or the property with a QCD and so often there is just something out there. QCD when couples divorce work OK but QCD when it's a property that has been handed down generationally is likely going to have problems.Just to digress, one reason there are still so many homes and empty overgrown lots that once had homes before Hurricane Katrina in LA and MS is that the property had been transferred via a QCD. It was Grandma's or Auntie's place and then QCD to family (usually because it seems simple and cheap), so the property technically has many owners and many opportunities for liens. But since the house just got passed down, it wasn't an issue. Then Katrina hit and if you wanted to rebuild via a SBA loan or federal grant you had to provide a clear title. Many folks just could not get out from under the leins or get a all family to sign off their share of ownership to those that could qualify to get $. A real mess. If warranty deed had been done, it wouldn't be the case.

back to your ?, if QCD is done and has a Medicaid MERP claim as a flaw then I imagine you are saddled with the claim till it is worked out & released.

I'm curious now what would happen if a house sold via warranty deed and MERP didn't show up in the title search, would the title insurance company pay off the MERP claim?
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How would a quit claim deed apply in this case?
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You need to tell us what type of "deed" you have. I tried to have the deed the house my step-son lives in with his mother (who needs 24/7 care), but because CO Medicaid program is providing that care, they wanted her name back on the deed and the house will pay for expenses when she dies. Step-son's POA and her notarized signature didn't matter in this case. Call your state's Medicaid program and ask them about your deed and what will happen to the house. That's the easiest way, and won't cost you anything. Good luck!
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Check with and Elder Attny, just to be on the save side.
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What type of deed?
If it was done by a warranty deed and was it recorded in the county courthouse back in 2005, then you own it. A Warranty Deed establishes & guarantees that there is a clear and valid ownership on the property. So your name is on the assessor's records, your name on the tax bill, etc. It's your's, you can do whatever
and it's more than 5 years so no Medicaid issues.

But if it was done as a Life estate, it could or could not be your ownership.You need to have someone legal (elder law attorney) review the document to see what's what and your options. I bet it's probably done so that your parents are the grantors with full revocation and you are the grantee and if it's done like this then you have no right to possession of the property until they die. They still own the property, it's a life estate for them whether they live to 80 or 100. The property will still show their names in the tax bill (& the taxes will be at their senior rate) etc.
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