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I have read several answers from those of you on this site that have referred to getting your parents home for providing caregiving to your parent and it has kept them out of living in a nursing home.

I do not believe all states do this, how can I find out if California has this law and how would I apply for it? Does it make a difference if the house has been put into a Trust?

I am disabled but have care for both parents and now just my Mom but it is a full time job that I am not paid for. Mom does not want to sign a caregiver contract to pay me as she has gotten her care for free from me, so why pay for it now. I am her DPOA but do not know that this helps me in any way.

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Holycow - for the most part what you are referring to on the "get my parents home" is about the caregiver exemption that is allowed by Medicaid's required MERP (after death estate recovery) program. Under MERP's exemptions, there is an exemption for family who provided for care for at least 2 years (and this care may need to be documentable) what kept the parent from going into a NH with the NH stay paid for by Medicaid. The caregiver exemption has to be filed for so the MERP does not proceed with their claim or lein on the property of the deceased who was on Medicaid. Sometimes the caregiver will have the property transfer to their name once the elder moves to the NH and other times the caregiver will continue to live in the house but the elder keeps it in their name (as there are usually much lower taxes and other elderly exemptions for their ownership).

Your situation is not that as you are taking care of mom @ your parents home. Mom is not on Medicaid, is she? I bet she is just on Medicare. So no Medicaid means no MERP.

But I totally understand your concerns about what happens with the house and your having a place to live once mom dies. You need to understand how property ownership gets transferred. I'm going to assume that mom & dad own their house in full and there is no mortgage (no mortgage or other debtor to get paid before the house can be transferred or sold); then dad died and in dad's will, the house went to his wife (mom) and that mom has gone to the courthouse and filed the paperwork for the transfer of title to just her name. Doing this provided for a clear chain of ownership from the past into the future. Now if dad did not have a will, it is probably ok because they were married and mom becomes the single owner as CA is a community property state. But she still should have gone to the courthouse to change the ownership name to just hers. Now at this point there are 2 things mom can do: she can do a quit claim and transfer her ownership of her home which she owns to you OR she can continue to own the house and will not transfer ownership but you will be mom's beneficiary as per mom's will.

Now what does mom's will read as far as who is the beneficiary of her estate and who is named in the will to be mom's executor or executrix? What mom's will states is going to be critical as to what happens with the house if mom refuses to transfer the house to you right now. If mom's will leaves all to you, then when she dies, you can go to the courthouse and either do probate to have mom's assets as per the will (so it goes to you) or you might be able instead of probate to do a "muniment of title" action which is kinda like probate low-calorie version and a very simple 3 - 4 steps of paperwork at the courthouse over 3-6 months to get the title awarded to you and the house in your name.

But you do what to do whatever to get the property title totally transferred and with the paperwork filed @ the courthouse to have it in your name. This is pretty routine legal and you could get it done either pro-bono from the local Legal Aid Society or via legal clinic from the area law school as you are disabled and "at-need".

If mom does not have a will, this is going to be a really sticky to deal with. In most states, dying without a will is considered to be an "intestate" death and all the deceased property reverts or becomes "escheated" to the state. This is super sticky because you or other family will have to go to court to establish yourself to be true lineal heirs….if there is other family, like from a previous divorce or grandkids or kids who were disinherited or gone away, they all have to now be considered when the estate is being divided up. You will have to have an attorney to do all this too. Please, please tell us that mom has a will and you are named in it to be the beneficiary of her estate??????

Does you mom understand that if later on as time goes by and she gets older and needs more caregiving and you get older and less able, that she may need to go into a NH and all the $$$ mom has been saving and setting aside will have to be totally spent down to $ 2,000.00. Two Thousand dollars and she has to do it. If mom has a nest egg of 10, 30, 50K or whatever, the state will require all that savings be used to pay for her care @ the NH. So maybe if she realizes this, she would be willing to "pay" you each month rather than just saving it. Since you are handicapped, you might be able to have a set amount of $ set aside for you in a "special needs trust" rather than having her pay you income. Special needs trusts are great because it will provide for $ for you in the future without jeopardizing your ability to get your own Medicaid or SSDI.
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Not sure if there are actually any laws that will give you your parents home upon their deaths. Your mother could place the home in her name and yours now...upon her death the house would be yours. That is what my grandmother did with my mom.
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