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My wife's Mom deeded her house to my wife upon her death. My wife and her mother went to an attorney and filed papers deeding the house to my wife upon her mother's death. The attorney said filing this way would protect her mother's house from medical claims. Her mother died this summer. Now medicaid has sent a claim stating the house should be sold to pay for services provided by medicaid in Ohio. Is this possible? Did the attorney provide bad eldercare advice and service?

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Kannie - you aren't going to have worry about medicaid taking the house. Mom
is NOT going to be eligible for Medicaid until either she or you pay the transfer penalty due to all this.

my experience is that you have multiple issues & You need to see an elder law attorney to get on all this so that she can qualify. You could find, that mom has a higher level review on her application, in which you have to recreate moms pattern of spending for 5 years prior to the application dare. If not, she won't be eligible for Medicaid. If you can't account for other $, they will be added to the penalty amount.

Land is an asset; it has a value in & of itself apart from the house (improvements) If you & mom bought it as raw land, then it was an asset to both of you based on the inital price. Look at the tax assessor statement to get a sense of that amount. Mom signed something releasing her share to you (let me guess, she did a quit claim, right? & it reads it was done for free?) This is gifting and has tax issues as well as future Medicaid issues and possible title issues if done via a QCD. if the QCD was recorded, it is established legally. Doing something now to change that is going to be viewed as medicaid avoidance other than you sign it all back to her.

Most county base assessment on the parcel whether it's 50' x 100' or 5 acres & just companionized the improvements upon the parcel - this is pretty common.

Make that elder law appointment soon.
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My mom and I had bought land and built two houses on it. Her house if considered a grannie house. The deed was in my husbands and my name as well as my mothers. In 2014 we legally had her name taken off. Our houses are considered one house as far as mortgage and taxes are concerned. My husband and I have always paid the taxes and mortage ourselves. Mon did not contribute. Our house is paid for now. My question is if mom were to go on Medicaid would they still recover her house upon her death? We really need some help with her but we are scared they will take her house which would include our house as well. As I said her name is off the deed but it's only been off a year and I read somewhere it has to be 5 or 7 years?
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Adophill - what the states are doing more & more is disallowing a homestead placed in living trust as exempt from the Medicaid application. Medicaid refuses to treat the homestead as exempt resource. So because of this they are over the 2K asset /resources limit so not eligible for Medicaid.

Yes having a trust avoids probate so avoids MERP - but if they can't qualify for Medicaid then it really doesn't matter about what MERP now does it?

Hopefully they have enough other assets to private pay for their NH.
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Putting your property and assets in a trust is the only way to protect what you have!
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Pam may have hit upon the problem here. Did this deeding take place before 2005? If so, the attorney may have been correct at that time, but the law changed, and the house became subject to MERP. This may be a good reminder to all of us to review our will, trusts, etc from time to time.
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HB12 - ok so what have you gotten? Is it an Intent to File a Claim/Lien letter?
If so, you need to clearly review what is being asked. This is all being done within MERP - look to see if the MERP letter is being done by the state or is actually being done by an outside contractor. It likely is stating that $xxxx amount is due to the state for MIL care paid by Medicaid. The amount could be over the tax assessor value of the property too.

It is not saying house has to be sold, rather that the estate of MIL will have or has had (this depends on your state laws & how Medicaid is admitted in your state) a claim or lien placed on mil estate for the total amount state spent on her care paid for by Medicaid (not just for NH costs either).. All states have exemptions, exclusions and hardships relative to MERP. It is up to heirs to find out IF they qualify for these, file for them and with whatever documentation required by the state and within the time frame in the letter.

Just how your state does property laws fir transfer & does probate will make a big butt difference in your approach & level of ability with MERP. Like TX has MERP as a class7 claim for probate so all other classes are required to be paid first. That is very different than a state that has debts against the state all equal. Or a state that allows for a lien placed property once they are on Medicaid.

So my suggestion is-
-Google your states MERP site to see if you qualify for exemptions, etc.
- Respond to MERP that you will have those & how to submit
- start finding receipts, etc to bolster your own claim against mil estate
- get a good probate attorney who has MERP experience

Perchance did MIL attorney do it as a Lady Bird deed / Enhanced benefit deed?
If so that is a whole different situation for property ownership transfer.

Btw if no lady bird, then I'm joining the chorus that this attorney was idiot.
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See Ohio law House Bill 66 enacted 6/30/05 "Accordingly, whereas previously only the assets of the medicaid recipient passing through probate was subject to recovery by the State, now any asset in which the individual had an interest at the time of death may be recovered by the State."
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Heyboy, your lawyer was an IDIOT. Pure and Simple.
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Surprisingly many people think that if a house is willed to them that the house comes free and clear. Death doesn't wipe away any debt on the house. Example, if the house has a mortgage, the heir would be responsible for the monthly payments or the heir would have to re-finance or sell the house if the mortgage company had a payment upon death clause.

Same with a Reverse Mortgage, the heir has a certain amount of time to pay back the loan once the person who took out the Reverse Mortgage had passed on.

Same would hold true if your wife's Mom was using Medicaid for her care. The house was still in her name upon her death. Thus, Medicaid can make a claim on the house. As JessieBelle had pointed out, there are some exceptions.

When the said Will was signed, where was the Mom living? Was she still living in the house? Some elders believe they will never need to move into a nursing home, and that if they do that they have enough money to cover their own care.
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Heyboy, the answer is yes, the house is subject to Medicaid recovery. The key point here is that the house did not pass to your wife until her mother died. If she had transferred the deed before she went on Medicaid, there would have been a gifting penalty. After your MIL went on Medicaid, her assets were determined. The agreement probably has that a lien would be put on the house when your MIL died. Transfer cannot be accomplished when there is a lien.

There are considerations when it comes to Medicaid recovery. Is it the permanent resident of an heir that provided at least two years of caregiving that allowed your MIL to stay out of a nursing home? Is the resident the home of a minor or disabled individual? Is the home a business, such as a farm, that would cause economic hardship if it were lost? If any of these conditions are true, you need to file the paperwork to file for an exemption to recovery. You may need to consult an attorney for more complicated cases. Much luck.

But yes, the state can consider the house in recovery if your MIL owned it when she died.
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My mother in law "sold" her property (two houses on a small farm) to my wife last year. The lawyers that drew up the paperwork told her up front that should she go to a nursing home in the next five years, they could still take the property.
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I would go back to the attorney who advised your mother in law and ask for a free consultation. I don't believe that there is anyway to "protect" assets from Medicaid besides putting them in a trust. Your mother in law's assets must be used to pay for her care.
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