Mom wants to sell her townhome and give money to us so we can build a house with a mother in law suite. Is this risky?

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We live in Minneapolis. Mom owns her home and wants to sell it for $160,000. She would keep 20k and then we would add that 140k to our money and build a house for our family and have Mom live in a mother in law suite within our house. The goal here is to keep her in our house and never go to a nursing home. I know there is a 5 year look back period. Would the state be able to put a lien on our new house if mom should need in home care? Is it risky to just sell her house and build a new house with our combined money or will it back fire on us? What else do we need to consider? I'm wondering if they would somehow put a lien on our new house after mom passes away.

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Alfred, thanks for the information on the gift taxes. I didn't know it had gone up. I was under the impression it went up to $5.6M for 2018.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Just a quick FYI on gift taxes. You can gift over $11 million in your lifetime (over $22 million for a married couple) without having to worry about federal gift tax. The bigger problem would be with the Medicaid five year look-back.
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Reply to AlfredR
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Neither one of you should be the other’s landlord. Family intermixing with finances is never a good idea. It might, MIGHT work out if you were financially able to purchase a home on your own with a separate garage apartment for your mom. Not part of your actual living quarters. That way, when and if it became necessary to make other living arrangements for Mom, there would be no legal/financial/Medicaid look-back entanglements. It might cost Mom rent for a while, should you decide to charge her rent. But her name would appear nowhere on any legal documents attached to your home.

Living in such close proximity to one’s children or one’s parents can cause lifelong stress and strife. My mom and dad, 70 years ago, lived with my Dad’s parents until out of desperation my mom asked her boss to loan her money so they could buy a home. What my mom endured from her in-law family caused problems all her married life with my dad’s family. And, when my mom became a Senior, she was healthy mentally and physically. She wanted very badly to come live with me. Even though she was intimidating, I knew that wouldn’t be possible. I was an active grandma by that time with an even more active toddler grandson that I babysat in my home, and then, 3 years later, another infant grandson. I was an animal rescue volunteer who would foster animals in my home. I came and went as I pleased without accounting to anyone. And, Mom , unbeknownst to me at that time, had dementia. Within a few years, she was combative, hallucinatory and delusional. There was no way to predict that. She would have fallen in our home, probably down steps. She would have wandered away. She struck out at me in the nursing home. (I have a scar on my arm from her nails) These were all things she did in the nursing home and would have done in my home. There was no warning she would be like this. In addition, I am now sole caregiver to my bedridden husband. So, as the others have said, never say “never”. That would be choosing your mother over your family. We chose a nice apartment, five minutes away from our home for my mom. Mom was never truly happy because of her negative nature, but I believe she acclimated.

None of us can tell you what to do. We can only advise upon our own experiences and upon what we’ve read from other posters. Good luck in whatever choice you make.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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usa1, I agree with the other posters above. Co-minging your money with your Mom's money to build a new house could become so complex.

Before you do anything, make an appointment with an Elder Law Attorney to see what is allowed and what is not in regard to Medicaid, if and when your Mom may need it. Oh if only we had a crystal ball to see Mom's future.  And to make sure all of your Mom's legal paperwork is up-to-date.  Does she have a Medical Directive, along with a Power of Attorney, and a Will?

Then there may be a possibility that the IRS might consider that $140k a "gift", thus Mom could be required to pay a "gift tax".

Ok, a lot depends on your Mom's age and her health. If she is 55+ and quite active, that is one thing.... if she is in her 80's and has general age decline with a bit of memory lost, then that is a whole different ballgame.

Never say never when it comes to a nursing home. My Mom refused to moved to Independent Living, then she had several major falls with head trauma in her home. She spent her final months living in long-term-care. Around the clock skilled caregivers would have cost $20k per month. Financially, long-term-care was a better fit with doctors/nurses being in the building.
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Reply to freqflyer
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There are a TON of threads on this site about people who move parents in with them (sometimes with a mother-in-law suite) and immediately regret it. Do your homework first. Poke around on here looking for threads about parents living with their children. You are asking for years of increasing responsibility and stress, not even counting the potential financial downside to comingling your monies.

My mom and dad lived 1.5 miles from me in independent living. It was all I could do to handle their stuff and still go home to my own place at the end of the day. I could NOT have had either parent live with me, even though I loved them dearly. I had care of my mom for 15 years and my mom and dad together for 9. It aged me greatly and they were easy compared to many of the parents discussed on this site. 

Here are just a couple of threads to consider: 

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/should-i-build-home-extension-in-law-suite-to-house-mom-431095.htm

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/Blind-sided-by-what-I-think-must-be-dementia-438275.htm

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/we-recently-moved-my-85-yet-old-mother-into-our-home-one-day-shes-happy-and-the-next-shes-sad-439027.htm?page=1&cm=865704#865704

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/i-am-burning-out-how-do-i-talk-to-dad-about-moving-to-an-assisted-living-facility-436564.htm

Your intentions are admirable, but the downsides to following through are great. I'm with Countrymouse, DON'T DO IT!
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Reply to blannie
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NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.

Don't do it. Head for the hills. Run like the wind.

This is a terrible idea. It will tie you up in so many welfare and financial tangles that when - rather than if - anything doesn't go according to plan you will all of you be royally stuck, and you will be sorry bunnies.

Far, far better would be to look for the best independent living facility, ideally one with continuing care. Mother gets the best of both worlds - meaningful inclusion in her family and support from all of you, and her own front door. Maximum flexibility, that's what you want to aim for.
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