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My father and stepmother have been separated for over ten years and have had no contact with each other in that time. Neither believed in divorce and refused to even discuss it. Alimony was never an issue because they each had equal income. They live in different states with my dad residing in Florida. Both are on the title to the Florida home as well as a home in TN. A relative just informed us that stepmother is in a nursing home, has Alzheimer's and is on Medicaid. I have no idea how she got Medicaid with owning two homes. Her family refuses to give us any info. Dad (90) moved in with my husband and I about a year ago and we recently got him to agree to sell both houses. He hoped she would agree to sell the homes, split the money and he could use his half of the equity to pay for his long term care. This new development puts a kink in the plans. Can anyone tell me if a spouse must be notified, required to sign the Medicaid application or must supply evidence of income/assets? Also, is it possible to receive Medicaid without the spouses knowledge? My concern is that he won't be able to sell the homes because of MERP and will have no assets for a nursing home if needed.

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Update: I met with attorney and he thinks stepmother unlikely on Medicaid because it is very easy for them to find out if the applicant is married and what properties they own. If we find out differently he explained legal actions that could be taken to insure Dad's primary residence in FL would not be included in Medicaid recovery and that he could sell the home . We now need to do more research. Thanks to everyone for taking the time answer!
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Update: I met with an attorney that confirmed my suspicions. If dad divorces his wife now he may still be liable for her debts up to the point of divorce finalized. He also reviewed the QC and said it was legal. Attorney suggested other options to find out if wife is on Medicaid and we talked about what legal options dad has if she is. Thanks to each of you for taking the time to answer my questions and for all the support I have received from this forum.
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Dads - if either property were generationally inherited land and themselves " sold" to dad via prior QCDs, well there is likely to be something somewhere in the chain of ownership that likely can be used to invalidate the QCD.

Really only warranty deeds ensure full legal ownership. Mortgage companies don't like to do any lending on QCD properties nowadays because of this. It's good you are looking into this now cause the QCD will likely be an issue for a future sale.....What seems to be required often now ( in the post real estate /mortgage meltdown era), is for a valid & recorded QCD property to get a Quiet Title Action done. Quiet needs about 3 -6 mos to run its course, so this usually queers any pending sale. So better doing whatever now than a couple of years from now when dad is at immediate need for a NH.

About Quiet, it's called various things dependent on state law, but needs a real estate atty to do. It's a series of notifications in the paper over several months on the property that requires anyone with valid interest to notify the atty. It "quiets" or tamps down any future claim. Quiet is done all the time for tax sale properties to kill any future claims. Often the real estate atty will be one who just does this sort of work for site selection property clearance for big developers but does little individual owner ones as well. It's specialty legal but not expensive if no litigation is involved as its a set series of actions & filings on a set timeframe (kinda like probate).
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Thanks Igloo, I do have a copy of the original deed and also the QC. but I never thought about having the attorney look at the QC deed for validity. Thanks for the info.
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Also atty needs to do whatever to limit dads exposure to actions done by estranged wife & her family. Really divorce atty would be better at this. If your appointment is with an edier law atty please vett him out as to exoerience with dads situtation. A good NAELA certified atty will have affiliations with divorce atty as well as FA & CPA as needed. I'd be concerned that most elder law attny are single atty offices with too narrow a focus & not skilled with multi-state property & divorce issues to be best suited for your dads situation.
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This definitely needs really good legal to deal with. Elder law involved but it's really a divorce atty with property rights issue IMHO first & foremost as he is not immediately needing a facility.

I'd try to find out what is required for a QCD to be valid in both states. You need to get the chain of documents for ach property - these should be a low-cost on-line down load from the courthouse in each state. I'd try to be this done in advance of the arty apptment. For items over maybe a decade or so, this will have to be pulled by hand by the courthouse staff so takes a few days. So get on this ASAP. I'd bet you can go to FL courthouse and walk this through -take small bills cash and go about 9:30 (courts in session so its down time)and be nice to courthouse ladies as they can get this done tout suite. If QCD wasn't written correcrtly or recorded it could be invalid.

QCDs have all sorts of issues for selling property to start with as there is NO guarantee of ownership. That is only by a warranty deed. QCD can work like when they are accompanied by a judges order -like in a divorce when spouse QCDs home to other spouse & it's included in the divorce decree. But otherwise QCDs have issues as it only conveys what the person thinks they own & it has to be properly written & recorded. I'd bet a decent mad-dog level divorce atty could get the QCDs invalidated so they are totally dads assets.

Now for her family....well they know she was married, so somebody filed a fraudulent Medicaid application on her in her state. If she has been on medicaid beyond a year, they have filed fraudulent renewals as well. Bad..very bad for them. Good...very good for you. This is leverage for dads divorce atty to use in all this. Let us know what happens too!
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Thanks JessieBelle. The homes are not rented and dad has been paying taxes, insurance and maintenance on both properties, which is ridiculous since this money could be used for his future care. He actually owned the properties prior to the marriage but quit claimed them from his name only to jointly with wife. I would love for him to be able to sell the homes. With the sale, and 1/2 the equity he would have enough funds to pay for long term care for two years. He lives with me and I want to keep him at home as long as possible, however, I do worry about paying for his future needs.
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From what you wrote, Medicaid in your stepmother's state missed some assets, perhaps because they were out of state. Selling them and giving her half may cause problems, so it is good to consult an attorney. The flip side of that is that it wouldn't be fair that your father should not be able to sell the houses to help with his care. It might be that he can sell the houses and she can spend down her share, then reapply for Medicaid. That way your father would have access to the money and no one would have to continue paying upkeep on the properties. Are these properties perhaps being rented by someone else? That would be a different matter.

Definitely talk to an attorney who knows about Medicaid and property. It will be money well spent. I am sure your father doesn't want to make things difficult for your stepmother, but he does need to handle the properties.
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Thanks for your answers. We do have an appointment with an elder care attorney but it is two weeks away. I hoped someone that had completed a Medicaid application would know if the form requires a spouses signature or a release for income/asset from the well spouse. Unfortunately, Florida is not a 50/50 state. Thanks again.
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Yes, Medicaid does differ from state to state. In my state for example, it is a 50/50 state and freqflyer is correct, the lien's would only be for 50% of each house.
Too bad they didn't go ahead and get a divorce, this would be much simpler.
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I am not an attorney, but I think if the houses are jointly owned with both names on the deeds, neither party owns 100% of the house... instead they each own half. Therefore I would assume that if Medicaid does put a lien on each house, it would be for half of the value of the homes.

As Jeannegibbs and CarolC had mentioned above, see an Elder Law attorney... each State has their own rules and regulations.
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The only part of this I can answer is that yes, a person can get Medicaid if they have $2,000 or less. If they own a home, when they die, Medicaid will place a lien on the house and recoup the amount that was spent during the persons lifetime while in Medicaid.
I agree with Jeanne, this is a situation for an attorney.

Good luck and keep us posted...
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I think you need to consult a lawyer. This isn't a typical situation.
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