What to do about house payments when my FIL wants to leave his house to my husband but he still owes on it?


My FIL (82) has no will as of yet and has not taken care of any POA. He is paying for his house still. He wants to leave the house to my husband but if he still owes on it will we it make it more complicated or will my husband just pick up house payments?

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Leaving a house to you in a will does not impact Medicaid eligibility. It is possible, though, that if he needs Medicaid, Medicaid will recover their costs after he dies before the house can be passed on. One exception to this is if you provided care for him that kept him out of a nursing home, then you may inherit the house.

This is complex enough that seeing a lawyer is a good plan. It should be an Elder Law attorney, who will know all the ins and outs of Medicaid. (Let's hope, of course, that Medicaid is never in the picture for FIL, but sometimes that is hard to foresee.)
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shannonleigha68, if your father-in-law is still of clear mind and is able to understand what is a Power of Attorney and a Will, quickly make an appointment with an Elder Law Attorney to draw up the POA, Living Will, and a bunch of other needed legal documents. This will make everyone's life easier down the road.

And while you and your husband are at the Attorney's office, you both should get your own Power of Attorneys, Living Wills or Trust, yada, yada, yada. Don't wait until the last minute.
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You need to be aware of the Medicaid regulations. If your fil needs medicaid at some time there is a "look back" time, often 5 years, when anything gifted or transferred is factored in to his eligibility. Please consult an attorney who is familiar with medicaid regulations as this could cause a lot of trouble down the road.
Quote from a post by an aging care expert K. Gabriel Heiser https://www.agingcare.com/questions/explain-5-year-look-back-period-for-medicaid-150054.htm

5-Year Lookback: As stated by others above, when a person makes a gift of virtually any amount within the 5-year period preceding the date that person applies for Medicaid, those gifts are added together and will result in a disqualification period. The length of the disqualification (or "penalty") period depends on the total amount of the gifts made within the 5-year period and also the penalty divisor of the state where they are applying for Medicaid. For example, in a state where the penalty divisor is $5,000, if the total gifts made within the lookback period equal $50,000, then the penalty will be 10 months.
There are others on this site who know much more than I do and I hope they post to your question.
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