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My Father gifted the 89 acre family farm to me 10 years ago but kept a "life estate" in the property. Will that prevent him from becoming eligible for Medicaid? He is 90 years old and we are now considering putting him in the local Veteran's Nursing Home. The property tax office will not take the property out of his name because of the "Life Estate" so when Social Services does a records search, they are going to see my dad as the owner of an 89 acre farm that he actually gifted to me 10 years ago. If it is a problem, is there anything I can do to fix it?

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I just spent a couple hours with an elder care attorney. He informed me that the Medicaide Estate Recovery Act requires all states to take steps to recover costs from the estates of decease recipients. That they look at ALL probate items exceeding $64,000. Which I bet 89 acres far exceeds this amount. Also..he tells me that the statue of limitations on this is one year. So don't sell for one year after the estate is probated. Finally, he told me that more and more often the States are going ahead and filing themselves for the forced sale within the one year statue .. Because so many people have used this loop hole.

So...talk with a lawyer on Medicaid estate recovery....learn what he can do
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He will be eligible for Medicaid. BUT do NOT sell the property until after his death, or the state will go after his "remainder interest". Been there. Done that.
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This is complex when it comes to "life estate" as your Dad is a "tenant" on the farm yet he is responsible to pay the mortgage, insurance, property taxes, and any repairs for as long as he lives [even if he lives in a nursing home]. Your Dad has "life estate" for as long as he is alive.

Another complication is when the time comes to sell the farm/property. Some State laws would look at this as a "gift" from your Dad, thus gift taxes.

I would call an Elder Law Attorney and make an appointment to check to see what are the State laws regarding gifting and life estates... and qualifying for Medicaid.
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