If my dad's property was signed over to me in 2009, why is the state of NC telling me I have to sell the property to keep my dad in nursing home?

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That was a great answer the sooner you plan for the future the better off you will be.ost people live in a nursing home 5-8 years so if they have any assests they usually are used up ,nursing homes charge about $450.00 a day so it does not take long for there savings to be used up-then you have MD visits and meds and PT added on to the cost.
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You should DEFINITELY see an attorney ASAP. Talk with them about protecting assets, capital gains taxes and medicaide criteria for disposal of assets and look backs. At first glance, I'd say that you didn't meet the state's look back period for application to Medicaide. Since a large asset was transfered before this period was over, they expect you to "buy" it or provide for his care until the look back period is met. Example of 5 yr (60 month) lookback: Mom gives me her house (value $100k) then 55 months later applies for medicaide. She would be disqualified for 5 months (60 months - 55 months) because the application was done BEFORE the 5 years (60 months) was up. The idea is that I - as receiver of her money - should pay for the 5 months until the 5 years or 60 months was up. Notice I say "should" - that's the rub - perhaps I don't have the funds or I can't sell the house with enough to pay for her care! It forces us to plan ahead - WAY ahead!

Most states used to have 2 or 3 years look back but they've expanded it to 5 or 7. It's designed to ensure that people pay their own way rather than "get poor" really fast to qualify for state aid. If YOU sell now, you'll likely be subject to capital gains taxes THEN you'll have to pay for Dad's care - in short, you'll get very little. It might be wiser to sell in HIS name to avoid capital gains taxes but he'll have to "spend down" that money to qualify for medicaide - and that means he still CANNOT give you large sums of money without some penalty like I described above. Be advised that the spend down means he'll have to use all his assets until he's down to his last $2000 or 2500.

Best of luck - let us know how it works out.

Depending on exactly how your father "signed over" his property, you might be able to keep it. I have specific experience with something called a "life estate". It's basically a gift deed from parent to child or individual to beneficiary. The childs ownership percentage goes up each year as the parents ownership interest decreases. The state may still put liens on the parents percentage but it only applies as long as the parent is ALIVE. As soon as the parent dies, the ownership is completely transfered thus there is no property to attach a lien.
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In NJ (and other states) if an adult child has resided in the parent's home for more than two years as a caretaker, the home can legally be transferred to the child if the parent goes into a nursing home. The home will then be in the child's name and will not be able to be considered a countable asset when the parent applies for Medicaid. The 5 year lookback period will not affect this transfer - it can be done just before or even during the parent's move to the nursing home. (Best to check with an elder lawyer for exact details on the timing. Actually, best to check with an elder lawyer before moving a parent to a NH in any case.) To get more info on this, Google "Caretaker child exemption". Try to find out if this applies to North Carolina.
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Have you seen an elder lawyer he or she would be the one to see -someone in NC in the county he lives in and let them deal with the nursing home-if they-the nursing home is talking about medicaide they have rules on how long a time has to be that something can be signed away they are concerned that some people give away assests just before going into a nursing home so they will qualify for medicaide-it is very important to do things right to begin with.
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