Can I keep money in a joint account? Will medicaid take all the money in my moms account if we have joint ownership of it. ALso we are both on the house , can they make me ell it, I dont live there but my name is on house?
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As Jeanne said, their home & a car are exempt assets for Medicaid.
For most families paying for expenses on an empty house is just not feasible for the possibly years and years that the parent is in a NH. If there is still a mortgage to be paid, this is especially true. Realize that under Medicaid, they are required to do a co-pay or their "SOC" (share of cost) of all of their monthly income less a small personal needs allowance. The allowance runs between $ 35 - 90 a month and really it is enough only to pay for beauty salon costs, or some clothing replacement or their phone or cable costs @ the NH. Mom will essentially have NO income to pay for anything on her home.
So can you pay for all taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc on both your % ownership on the house as well as your mom's % ownership? Can you maintain all the documentation to the penny on all the items you spend on the house for possibly years & years? If something goes amiss at the house, can you deal with it easily or have a support system who can? Again can you realistically do all this for possibly years & years? Is there a good reason to do this for an empty house and has mom clearly stated her intent to return home? If so, then keeping the house can make sense but if not, then you probably should sell it.
If you sell it only mom's % is an asset subject to spend down rules of Medicaid. It is very important that you are able to document all $ you spend on the house so that you can get not only your % of ownership from the sale but also be reimbursed for all expenses you paid for moms share to bring the house to market and have it on the market. There are costs like yard work or small repairs or increased utilities for having property on the market. If you're paying for all this you should be able to get whatever you covered for mom's % ownership. Understand?
If you keep the house, then upon mom's death, her share of the house will be subject to estate recovery (MERP). As you have your own home that you live at, all the expenses you paid for mom's share of the house can be an exemption or exclusion to the Medicaid tally for MERP. (I think this is true for all states MERP programs). So again it will be important to document all the costs on the home to have this exemption done. If the home is modest and you have a good amount of costs, then MERP may not be done as it may not be worth the costs on a small only 50% at the most recovery. But that really depends on how your state runs it's MERP program and your state laws on death, probate & property. Good luck.
As for the account, any joint accounts will be considered as belonging to your mom by Medicaid. It doesn't matter who else is on the account or whether your mom's name is first or second on the account. Any money in the account will be considered your mom's money regardless of who put it there and/or why.