Can nursing home bills be claimed from the value of the house?

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In 2007 our parents did a Quit claim Deed to move their house from their trust into Joint Tenants in Common. They said that they did this because any potential Nursing Home Bills could be claimed for from the value of the house whilst this asset was in the family trust. They were prompted to do this at this time due to Trust Laws changing either in 2007 or 2008. Does anyone know if this is correct? Thanks

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Your states laws for property as to if a lien can be placed on homestead property & probate laws as to determine how assets & debts / claims against the Estate are dealt with, will determine what a NH can do. If they are on Medicaid then the administrative code for Medicaid will also factor into this & each state will be somewhat different as each state manages its Medicaid programs uniquely but under an overall federal guideline.

So you’ll need to meet with an atty in your state as to what’s what.
If the atty who did the trust in 2007 or the atty who did the JTWROS later was not an elder law specialist, then I’d suggest you meet with a NAELA or CELA level of elder law attorney with all the old paperwork and soon. None of this is a diy.

NH fully expect to be paid each month for services provided either by private pay, LTC insurance or Medicaid. And Medicare if their post hospitalization in a NH that has rehab section & elder is ok & progressing in rehab.

If they are on Medicaid, then Medicaid pays the facility a preset daily room & board fee. Avg payment is about $175 a day. Medicaid is required to do an attempt to get paid for the tally racked up while in the NH & this is done through estate recovery (MERP). So it would be the state or its outside contractor for MERP doing this & NOT the NH as NH has been paid both by the state Medicaid and by the residents required copay or SOC (share of cost) to the NH each mo of almost all of the residents monthly income (like SS) paid to NH from day 1.

The latter item - the copay / SOC - is imo very, very important for your elder, family, the dpoa, heirs to be fully aware of. It can come as a beyond total surprise to all. Although elders home can be an medicaid exempt asset for their lifetime, but once on LTC Medicaid they will have no-nada-zero of their $ to pay any property costs ever again realistically due to copay. So family needs to pay all and till beyond death as you are going to have to deal with MERP and likely also probate to settle & transfer home. Whether or not keeping an empty home makes sense is your decision. If there’s still a mortgage (horrors!) it’s going to be quite a bundle paid on a property that you do not actually own. If family lives there and not eligible caregiver exemption to MERP, Medicaid may want you to pay rent which becomes income to the elder and has rental property tax stuff to deal with.

Keeping the home can be done but someone other than elder has to have the wallet or purse to pay all costs and then deal with post death legal and MERP. If there’s a lot of heirs, getting everyone to truly equally share in costs may not be at all feasible. If there’s 3 heirs due to the JTWROS and 1 refuses to pay a penny, the other 2 have to pay all and do all although all 3 benefit after death ( assuming no MERP).
Based on posting on this site, Most family’s end up selling the parents home within their first year at the NH as not affordable and 1 or 2 heirs won’t pay and want it sold, gone & done with..... and the elder then becomes ineligible for Medicaid due to House Sale $ which is totally an asset of the elder.... so dpoa has to deal with private pay to the NH and then reapplying for Medicaid once they have done House $ spend down. Yeah it’s a lot to mull over but best now & clearly discussed with dpoa and supposed heirs and before entering a NH & Medicaid is ever applied for. Good luck.
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Reply to igloo572
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Here in Ireland, yes they can the housing laws here changed a few years ago. If say my mom owned her house and has to go into a nursing home , the cost of the nursing home is deducted from the sale of her house after she dies. Now if she signed over the house to say my brother 3 years ago or less The house is still used to pay for it even though my brother owns it. If the house was signed over 4 years ago. The state picks up the cost of the charges to the point that her pension covers anything left to pay has to be picked up by the next of kin.
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Reply to Abo1970
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aquasition Jul 29, 2018
Thanks Abo, the property is in Florida and would imagine rules are different0
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Your parents need to talk to an Elder Care Attorney for the most current laws regarding nursing homes and how they can collect payments.  What state do your parents live in--that might affect the Trust Laws also?  Contact Area Agency on Aging or Legal Aid or local College of Law for possible free or low cost attorney advice.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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aquasition Jul 29, 2018
Hi DeeAnna
I should add some further information. In 1995 our Mother moved from Scotland to Florida where she met and married our Step Father. Each parent had been married before and had 3 children by their previous marriages and non in their current marriage. They bought a plot of land in Florida and built their home. The home was put into a trust where we understand that upon the death of one parent, the surviving parent would have a life time estate. On the death of the surviving parent the house would then be shared amoungst the 6 children.
In 2007 they transferred the house from the Trust into Joint Tenants in Common by Quitclaim Deed. The reason they did this was and I quote "To safeguard the property from potential Nursing Home Bills". They had stated that when the house was first put into the Trust it was protected against Nursing Home Bills. However, they had then received information on changes to the Trust Laws in Florida that would no longer protect the house. In view of this they transferred it out of the Trust and into Tenants in Common by Quitclaim Deed.
I'm enquiring as to whether anyone knows about this "possible" change or whether a Trust would have protected them back in 2007.
Thanks
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