Can you legally give away half of property you own to charity?

Follow
Share

My mom is in a real estate property nightmare with a sibling. A house they inherited from their parents is finally for sale and it will take a miracle. They split the expenses but it is costly. Mom is not in good health and is tired of the responsibility as the property is six hours round trip away. She is wondering if she can legally just give her half to charity? I told her this would affect for 5 years if she ever needs Medicaid but she is in a mess now and the 5 year waiting game may arrive in one year or ten, so you really can't plan your life around it. I know joint property laws are specific per state for spouses but where do siblings stand?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
10

Answers

Show:
Your mother could certainly deed her 50% interest in the property to a charity and get a charitable income tax deduction. However, it would nonetheless be counted as a gift for Medicaid purposes and would cause a long period of disqualification should she apply for Medicaid within 5 years.

There is an exception if a property is transferred to a sibling, however: There is no penalty for a transfer of a home to a sibling who has an equity interest in the home if the sibling resided in the home for at least one year immediately preceding the other sibling (i.e., your mom) entering the nursing home.

So your mom could simply wait until she enters the nursing home and then deed her interest to her sister, without penalty. To be sure this can be done, it would be adviable for your mom to sign a durable power of attorney specifically authorizing this and appointing someone else with the legal authority to sign the deed if she is unable to do so for any reason.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Whatever you do, get a current evaluation of the property at its current low? value, with details on all the repairs needed before it can be sold. Then she will only be ineligible for the $20,000 her share is worth, not the $150,000 it would be worth in good condition.

There are lots of smart people here, but in the end, you'll need a lawyer.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Mom might be better off to put the money in an annuity and name the charity as a beneficiary. Some charities offer very attractive rates.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Why not just do a quitclaim to the sibling if the sibling wants the property? There may be some penalty if she needs to apply for Medicaid within the next five years, but the penalty will become smaller as the years go by.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Agree with psteigman, go for the annuity. Mom may need that income at some point in time and that provides for flexibility while still being charitable for whatever is left. Universities are a great help in setting this up if she has a college or university she is fond of. Of course any financial or estate planner can be a huge help as well.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Joyce & lgloo have been in communication about this on Joyce's Wall/Activity page.

Can we get an update of what's going on behind the scenes before we spend more time commenting here?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Joyce - altho we can't give him a click for "helpful answer", it seems attorney Heiser has offered the perfect solution. Does moms sibling already live in the house? If not, can she move there for a year and qualify for the no penalty transfer? What a great option!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

No one lives in the house and hasn't for years. Neither sibling can move in the house. It is 3 hours away from where my mom lives and her brother has his own home and would in no way agree to move in.
The house is for sale with a realtor. It was with this last time that my mom was asked to sign to be able to sign the house that we learned the house had been listed twice before with a realtor and twice in the paper without my mom's knowledge. Due to long term caregiving with my mom having the majority of the responsibility and her brother's attitude, the relationship has been gone for decades.
My mom is just in her early 70's but is legally blind with other health problems. I have no clue if she would need a nursing home in 6 months or a decade. She is just wanting to get out from under the burden if the expenses if it doesn't sell.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I live in our condo alone in CA. My Mom has moved to OR because CA is too expensive for her to live in assisted living here. She had not quite spent down to Medicaid in OR yet. I am maintaining our condo but have been a long term unemployed individual and out of a permanent job for at least 19 months, and just had a two-month temporary job this year. Thank goodness I had worked and saved for over 30 years. Mom is 93 and not in good heart health; I am 57. My situation is that my savings and IRA's will last about 7 years. Mom has a trust and will probably not live that long, but no ones knows with medical care today. I was told that I cannot sell the property even if I had to because we jointly own this property, and I have nowhere else to go except relocate with another relative out-of-state. Even if my funds run out unless I find employment or Mom dies before that time, I could be legally stuck. Mom has a short-term memory and can no longer make financial decisions for herself, but she still wants to come back home even though her doctors and social workers tell her it is not safe to do so.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes, she can legally give her house proceeds to a charity or many charities depending how she wants to split it up. Make a Living Trust then a Will, so if anything happens untoward to her soon, you will have those documents. You can give your property to whomever you want unless their is duress involved or incompetence.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.