My father lives in his reverse-mortgaged house but a week ago checked into a rehab/nursing facility for either short-term or long-term residence (not sure yet). His savings is almost under the threshold for Illinois Medicaid which would start paying for his care in about 2 months. He also has owned 35 acres of undeveloped property in another state. He bought it 50 years ago and has been trying to unload it for the past 40 years. No buyers. The land has no access, no water or electric lines. No one wants it. It fronts a national park on one side. My question is how does this land affect his Medicaid eligibility? Is there some formula that is used? We don't know the value of the land except that to the family and the public it seems to be worthless. But, it does get property taxed so maybe that assessed value for taxation is what we should go by as it's value?

So, any idea how a second piece of property, as worthless as it is, affects his eligibility for Medicaid in Illinois? Thanks!

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Thank you so much for your very informative and detailed response. It seems that our situation could be an “unavailable asset,” and None in my family have ever heard that term. I will be in touch with my siblings on Friday and we’ll all read thru your note and then it’s quite likely we’ll call a lawyer. Thanks again for your extremely helpful response!
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I’d try to get it to be viewed as an “inacessible asset” so although it exists, it cannot be counted as an available asset for Medicaids spend down. & I’d get a NAELA or CELA level of elder law atty to shepherd his Medicaid application. It’s going to need specialty experienced eyes to get this done. Not a DIY filled out Medicaid application by the DPOA imo. Plus he has that pesky RM that has to be dealt with.

inaccessible assets do exist. & can work within Medicaid eligibility rules. The property has no egress, is restricted in development and you have a paper trail of old listing agreements..... attempts made.... its inaccessible asset. Attorney will - I’d bet - need documentation done in the state where the land is, so you might want to start gathering up all paperwork from the past and meet with a couple of NAELA atty to find one who is experienced with these ahead of dads running out of $ as atty will have costs. It may need to have a fresh Realtor listing so show a current attempt to sell.

The inaccessible that I’m familiar with is mineral rights...... what happens is that land is passed down generationally and it has a oil field or two running through it. Field stopped producing any revenue decades ago, so no Royalties paid since forever. It’s not Spindletop and there’s no pumping equipment on it. Land got sold last millennium and without including mineral rights as there wasn’t any value cause to put a “value” on it would mean getting a landman to do it and he’s gotta look at the entire field which likely is big, like sections (not acres) huge and then into each line & where it draws in the field. Like yours is 1/32nd of 1 unit within 64 parcels for a field with 2 exploration companies each with thier wellhead counties away. Or land divide out over time via heirs where you own 10 acres of undivided interest within a ranch of 10 sections and nobody will buy it as it realistically has no value. It’s $&time on something of little to no value so inaccessible asset. But it still owned by the now elderly owner & can show up as an asset for Medicaid if your state cross references that type of records. Like for TX it’s all in TX Railroad Commission data (RR does oil & gas). It’s common enough for TX Medicaid in that oil & gas royalties have thier own question for the annual Medicaid renewal and you put in whatever pittance paid and it gets amortized for the year into assets. Not an issue for Medicaid and they don’t expect it to be sold. Fracking has probably changed this as folks are in some places of Permian Basin & west TX are actually making $ so not qualifying for Medicaid. But most old lines are tapped out with no royalties even though elder owns mineral rights as an asset, it’s an inaccessible asset.

Is there a plan for how taxes are to be paid both on the land and on his RM property? Due to Medicaid from day 1 of application copay or SOC (share of cost) requirement all of dads monthly income less a small personal needs allowance must be paid to the facility. He will have no $ to pay anything at all on either property. RM can foreclosure. Tax assessor can place it up for tax sale. If you pay, you need to be comfortable in viewing it as something you do as a sense of familial duty without planning on be repaid. You should clearly speak with his atty. as to if you can ever be reimbursed.
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