My Mom has alzheimer's and will need more care in the future(nursing home or in home care) My father is currently the primary caregiver. I spoke to a Madicaid specialist (Idaho)and was told that rental properties are not viewed by Medicaid as a "Countable Resource" If so, what prevents my father from doing what he wants with them and giving them to me?
I am aware of the MMNA income amounts allowed for the community spouse. And that giving away rental property may impact his amount. I have been managing the rentals for a year now because it is too hard for him. So part of the deal is that they would continue to provide a steady income to him.
What you & your parents will be dealing with is "community spouse asset" issues and it can get sticky. If one of them is older and ready for NH and the other spouse is younger (like a 2nd or 3rd wife usually), then the community spouse situation and keeping property & other assets going makes total sense because she will likely outlive him and will likely NOT need a NH in her near future. But if they both are up in age and declining in health, working towards and keeping assets at the maximum for the aging community spouse, will be a problem and involve a rushed spend down of all his assets if he too needs to go into a NH where mom already is in (and on Medicaid). Understand? Most states have it such that the community spouse can have up to about $ 110,000.00 in assets and all property is exempt. But if dad suddenly needs a NH, then all that $ and asset which were exempt (not a countable resource) are now subject to spend-down or will have to be sold if the value takes him over the exempted property limit.
About dad giving you the property, yes he can do whatever he wants with the property. BUT should he need to apply for Medicaid to pay for his NH in the future, the sale or gifting of the property within the past 5 years to you will cause a Medicaid transfer penalty to happen. So if he gifts it to you today, you are looking at May, 2018 to be beyond the look-back. That is an awfully long, long, time. Property records are recorded and the transfer will show up and become an issue for Medicaid. How the transfer penalty works is based on your states Medicaid reinbursement rates and other state law property issues. You really need an attorney who is experienced in elder law to structure whatever so that it can work best for a future Medicaid application, if that is the route you & your family need to take to pay for their NH. Good luck.