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My mother lives in Wisconsin. She owns two homes free and clear. A sibling would like to purchase one, possibly both. Another sibling feels it is too late bc of her age and the possibility that she may need long term care in the future. We are in agreement to sell. I feel it should be at a reduced rate. Others say it should be no less than FMV.

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One other question.... Has anyone heard that her primary residence can be gifted or sold at a reduced price to a child if that child has lived in the home with her. The child has provided care and enabled her to continue to live in that home. Thus, delaying the need for Medicaid?
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JoAnn29 Jan 15, 2021
No, she cannot sell it for a cheaper price because of Medicaid look back. What can happen is Medicaid, because the person was a Caregiver, will let the person remain in the house as long as they can pay the utilities, taxes and upkeep. When Mom passes, Medicaid will put a lean on the house but will probably allow the person living there to stay. If they leave, sell or die, the lean will need to be satisfied. There is more to this but thats basic.
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DRedd525, don't forget to add a CPA to your list. Since your Mom owns two houses, only one can be considered her "primary residence" for IRS Capital Gain taxes. Your Mom is entitled to the tax reduction which will be used to lower the Capital Gains for the primary residence.

The other house would probably be considered "investment property", thus no tax reduction. Full Capital Gain taxes would need to be paid. A CPA would be needed to untangle investment property taxes.

As others have posted, your Mom would need to sell at Far Market Value. Hire a licensed Appraiser for this situation. A Realtor could give you a ballpark figure, but an Appraiser uses different methods to arrive at his/her figures. I hired an Appraiser when it was time to sell my Dad's house as his house hadn't been updated since the 1980's [which doesn't sound that far back but actually was 35 some years ago].
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Thank you all for your input. This was very helpful. Mom is of sound mind and is in agreement to selling the home. She wants to help my sibling and simplify her life and affairs as much as possible. The rest of the family is in agreement as that sibling lives in the same city with her and has been bearing most of the responsibility of caring for her. We are all very appreciative of that as we are scattered all over the country. I will share your comments with them at our virtual family meeting tomorrow. At this point I agree that an attorney and an appraisal may be needed.
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If your mom will need Medicaid, the house can not be sold for a reduced rate. I live in GA. My son bought my mom's house and we had it appraised, he bought it at full market value. She used the proceeds to continue paying for her full time care. When we applied for Medicaid sixteen months later, we had absolutely no problems.
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Not any less than FMV. If she needs Medicaid she will be penalized for the amount that is under FMV.
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Just another vote for investing in a consult with an estate planning/elder law attorney who knows Medicaid qualification. I just went through buying my mom's home in 2019 (she is 90). We were very careful to have her home appraised and pay FMV. Age IS a factor if the mom is not very well off financially and if the look-back period is long (like here in MN it is 5 yrs). My mom is very healthy, but not very wealthy. I don't dare take any risks to endanger Medicaid.
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MJ1929: what you describe is a springing POA. A durable POA becomes effective and actionable on the date it was signed and has nothing to do with incompetency or incapacity . The POA can make any financial decisions and/or transactions on the grantor's behalf and in his/her best interest anytime after it was signed.
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What does mom want to do? The age of the owner is no obstacle to the sale of a house. If she's of sound mind and wants to sell she certainly has that option. If one of the siblings has mom's financial POA, she (the POA) can sell the house on her behalf and in her best interest and use the proceeds for mom's future care. If there is no POA, mom would have to be the one to make that decision. I would try to get the family in agreement about the sale price so there are no hard feelings once it is done.
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MJ1929 Jan 14, 2021
The POA can only do that if Mom isn't competent to handle her own business affairs.

I agree that an attorney and a CPA need to be involved, because Mom is going to have to pay taxes on the proceeds of those sales, and that may not be in her best interests. If she does decide to sell, she needs to have that money put into a trust for her care.

Under no circumstances should the houses be sold for less than fair market value, because that's taking advantage of her. It sounds like the one sibling who says she may need long-term care is the one who's looking out for her best interests.
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NO to the reduced rate first of all. If she does this she would not in future, should she spend these proceeds on care, be able to get medicaid; she will be considered to have "gifted" her home, and be disqualified in a 5 year look back.
So NO to a bargain. She can sell to whomever she likes whenever she likes for FAIR MARKET VALUE. Have property assessed; list needed repairs, buy for low fair market minus the repairs. Keep meticulous records for her. Then these proceeds are her assets. She can use these assets for care in her own home, care in Assisted Living or however else she likes to spend it for her own life and her own care; she must NOT gift this money to ANYONE EVER. She can make a will to leave it after her own death.
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Sorry, but "feelings" do not come into this UNLESS your mother has enough money, independent of the sale of these properties, to be able to afford nursing home care at the going rate until the end of her life.

My mother's NH rate was a bit over $10k per month and that was several years ago.

If there is the remotest possibility that mom will require Medicaid, you need to get an Eldercare attorney involved (as MidKid wisely points out) so there are no surprises down the road
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A lawyer needs to be in the mix here.

Doing this on your own will almost certainly cause issues in the family. Being as open and transparent about ALL your dealings, I imagine there is a way to do this. All money from the proceeds should go right to mom for her care, first.

I wouldn't take a step w/o legal representation. And you ALL need to be in 100% agreement about the selling price.
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