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No other income, no savings. She lives in a co-op complex. At some point she made two siblings beneficiaries to the share equity of her unit -- about $7,000 I am told -- "upon her death". The notarized document is on file with the cooperative. A Medicaid application is in process. If Medicaid is approved, and her social security and pension goes to the nursing home, where do we stand with the shares that were bequeathed to her kids and notarized, "upon her death"? I am her legal guardian but not at the time of the notarized bequeathment. Does Medicaid approval supersede that document and take the shares?

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I think Tacys on the right track as to the asset either able to be transferred outside of probate as it’s MI and MI allows for Lady Bird Deeds / Enhanced Benefit Deeds and that document you have is actually a Lady Bird in some way OR its an inaccessible asset in some other way so too like Lady Bird Deeds is outside of Medicaid Estate Recovery.

True Co-ops are pretty unusual for ownership as often your ownership is a %, but it’s a % of the overall undivided interest in the entire building or property. Being undivided interest kinda imo makes it an inaccessible asset for Medicaid. Co-ops usually have a board who governs over all and can determine how, when & to whom “ownership” can pass or transfer or even sell to. Like a generational transfer is allowed but she can’t actually on her own sell her % on the open market easily.

Please realize that IF there is an association or co-op fee it has to be paid. If mom goes onto Medicaid, mom will not have $ to do this. So you kids have to pay all costs on the co-op from now till beyond her death when you can finally get it transferred. Look at the documents to see what happens if there’s coop costs and what happens upon default.

To me, Co-ops are similar to mineral rights in that they both can be based on a % of an asset that is within undivided interest so not easily accessible. For mineral rights for Medicaid, for the TX & LA application and renewals if they are actually in royalty payout mode, you just include the pitiful royalty $ as income and do it based on an 12 mo. amortization. Medicaid can’t make you sell it as you don’t actually own the wellhead, you don’t own the oil or natural gas line.... what you have is a % (often a % within a %) ownership within an overall oil&gas field that’s output determined by the exploration Co. The analogy is mom has a % ownership of the building but what happens within building is determined by the Co-op board. Their inaccessible assets.

I’d suggest you really carefully review to document to see just exactly what her % in the co-op means as a asset and if it’s with a true liquid $ figure. And do this ahead of ever applying for Medicaid. If your not clear what’s what, then you need to get with a real estate atty to review it for you all. Good luck and let us know what happens as we all do learn from each other.
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Zelda53 Dec 17, 2018
Thank you for this. Your post is making me able to connect some dots.
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That notarized document would be the "deed". A copy of it and the death certificate would be filed at the courthouse upon death to tranfer assets without probate.

I am also in Michigan and it was one of the things suggested on this site. When we met with the lawyer, we could not do it because the application for Medicaid was already done. I looked at the cheat sheet info that the lawyer provided and co-ops are covered by them.

I do not know all of the specifics of them. I gave up researching them once it was determined it was to late.
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Zelda53 Dec 17, 2018
Thank you. Very helpful. Unfortunately I filled out medicaid application before knowing all of this. I wasn't "in the loop" before my sister placed mom in the nursing home. Since I took the reins and petitioned for guardianship and it was granted, I am definitely in the loop now and I have to make the decisions. Thank you again for this!
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The thing is, there is no deed -- it's a co-op. There's no will. No bank accounts. No "estate", only personal items, kitchen stuff, clothes, etc. Nothing of value. The only thing there is, is that notarized document stating that two sibs will get her shares, "upon my death". That money will have to go into some type of account (when she no longer lives in that unit (and that will be soon) in my mother's name. If it wasn't for the fact that I am now her guardian, I wouldn't have to be involved with these two sibs at all.

My sister placed mom in a nursing home following a brief hospital stay because she didn't want to take care of her. I think she may have shot herself in the foot. Haha? My actual concern is, though, the notarized document naming two sibs as beneficiaries. The money still belongs to my mom until she dies, but now medicaid will be involved. Apparently my sister didn't think ahead, and she will have to eat the cost of any attorney to secure her little chunk of change.

I'm just trying to collect information before the actual sit-down, something I'm not looking forward to. I don't care about the shares, but I am the legal guardian so now I am involved. Not going to lie about anything either.
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Thank you. I'll look into that. I'm going to reply to the post below. You might have a comment on that.
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Michigan is one of the states which allows Lady Bird Deeds to circumvent Medicaid recovery but timing is everything. I would contact the lawyer who drew up the deed.
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Upon her death, Medicaid will file a claim on her estate for repayment of money spent on her care. Any estate assets may be used to pay Medicaid, and this can include the primary residence.
It depends on how the shares are going to pass to the siblings and what the laws are in your mother's state. For example, there are exemptions made to protect the residence for children who live with their parents in the parents' home and who provided care to the Medicaid recipient for a period of time before the person went to a nursing home. There may be other exemptions.
A consultation with a lawyer who is well versed in your state's Medicaid rules is in order.
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