My mother in law is 93 years old and still lives in her own house. Several years ago my husband and I loaned my in-laws a considerable amount of money to cover years of debt. We created an official mortgage on their home that we hold, with signed and notarized mortgage documents created by our lawyer. My father in law is now deceased and my mother in law is requiring more and more care. I'm not sure how far we are from having to make a decision for her to live in some sort of assisted living facility. My question is this - should the house be transferred to my husbands name? Or should he be made joint owner? I'm concerned about future Medicaid issues and if they can take the house from us even though we hold a mortgage on it. Does anyone have any experience in this?

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You need to see an elder law attorney - this is going to be totally sticky if you did not record the "mortgage" agreement at the courthouse. You need someone who does work regularly at your county courthouse too. Doing the wrong thing right now - like transferring ownership - will set MIL up for a transfer penalty. Google
"transfer penalty Medicaid and your state's name" to see what this is.

imho you have a bunch of issues to mull over and not just the house situation. But before all that realize the medicaid is NOT going to take the house. Medicaid is not in the real estate business. But Medicaid fully expects the Medicaid recipient to use their assets towards paying for their care both while they are living and then after death from the proceeds from their estate.

- AL. Most AL is private pay. Medicaid is for "skilled nursing services" most AL is not skilled nursing. So Medicaid doesn't pay. Medicaid = NH. Now some states have Medicaid diversion programs in which they will pay for AL. You need to find out what approach your state does and how many AL participate and what they require for her to be on their list. You may have to get MIL into NH and that may be a whole hurdle to go through if she is living at home and does NOT have a medical history that clearly shows the need for skilled nursing care.
- legal on property, what does it show on the annual tax assessor statement? Is everything still in their name.
- dad's probate - did you open probate yet? If not, I bet you can file your mortgage as a debt of his estate. Speak with the attorney on that. This could be good as mortgage debt is a lein or claim on the property and you get paid before Medicaid if MIL ends up on Medicaid. Mortgage holders are paid off before others. If MIL needs to sell the house to pay for her care, then you all are paid off from the proceeds on the sale as mortgage has to be paid off so clear title done.
- perchance is there other debt on the house?

I would not do anything till you speak with legal. But you need to get all your documents together as well as legal on the in-laws before you see legal. MIL needs to update & codicil her will too as FIL is gone, so she will have to go to probably the second visit to the attorney. If you are still paying on things for her home, then do a excel on all you have spent to the penny. Documentation matters, so receipts, cancelled checks, etc get them organized. Good luck.
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