My friend is on Medicaid and is terminally ill with cancer, he wants to stay in his home. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My friend is on Medicaid and is terminally ill with cancer, he wants to stay in his home. Any advice?

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He also wants to deed or sell his house to me as I will be giving him medical care at no cost until he passes allowing him to remain in his home, we are not related. The question is since he receives Medicaid can he leave the house to me or sell it to me before his death?

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Thank you all for your responses, it was very educational. I appreciate it and feel bad for those who have gone thru such terrible events.
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Reply to RNfriend
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One more thing regarding the house that I meant to include: There was a VERY large lien on it already from a credit union who had loaned Mom money many years before and also gave her a credit line. The house was not free and clear by any stretch of the imgination and that was a huge factor as well. We believe this lien is why she didn't transfer the house many years before - the lien would have had to be paid off & she didn't want us to know about it. Her estate planning person had done no discernable work on any kind of asset protection plan for her. Oddly, Mom always assumed it would "all go to a nursing home" but she never did anything to prevent.
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needtowashhair: (Love your screen name!) No matter which way we turned, it was either sell the house now or it will have a lien placed later. The key in our case was that she's a permanent long term care person with no option to return the the house. She's allowed $2000 in combined assets in order to be on Medicaid. Her estate planning attorney was also apparently not the best & that did not help either.
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OverTheEdge17, did you have a medicaid lawyer involved? You should not have had to liquidate the estate. At a bare minimum, a house is an exempt asset for medicaid consideration. it doesn't count. As a child, there are many ways you can get it exempt from recovery after death.

OP, check into the laws in your state. In many states whether an asset is subject to medicaid recovery is simply whether that asset goes to probate or not. So a transfer on death deed will prevent medicaid recovery since the transfer happens upon death and there is no probate. I would suggest you at least do a initial consultation with a medicaid attorney.
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Reply to needtowashhair
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He can leave the house to you, but the state will have first dibs on taking their funds out of it. You can inherit what is left, if anything.

He can pay you for your bedside care. I don't know if that debt would be paid out of the value of the house before or after Medicaid's claim.

I suggest, though, that you/he consult with a lawyer who specializes in Elder Law. These folks know Medicaid rules and practices inside and out. If there is a way to make this situation more advantageous to you, they will know it.

Perhaps start by calling your Senior Help Line (Area Agency on Aging) and asking if they have any legal counselor's available, or get a referral to an Elder Law attorney.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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I agree with the previous post. If he's on Medicaid, they will place a lien on the house and after your friend dies, the house gets sold and Medicaid gets paid back for what they paid out to your friend. If there is possibly anything left after that, it would go to your friend's heirs.

In terms of him trying to deed the house to you, my experience is that he would have had to have done that years ago. When a nursing home became the reality for my mom, it was then and only then when she suddenly wanted to "protect the house." However, Medicaid requires disclosure and FIVE years worth of data to prove the person is truly poor and NEEDS Medicaid. In other words, one cannot sign away assets (house, car, money, insurance policies, etc) and then claim poverty and go on Medcaid. If my mom wanted to "protect the house" my thinking is that she should have done that at least 5 years earlier and maybe it would have been exempt. We had to liquidate everything to satisfy Medicaid: we had to sell her home, sell her car, cash in her insurance policies, prepay her funeral and then use any remaining money to pay the nursing home.

If your friend sold his house to you, that might be an option. BUT he would need to sell it at the going price for his neighborhood. Multiple people told me that I could buy my mom's house for a pittance just to get it out of her name and into my own name. This is NOT true. Since Medicaid is putting out funds for your friend, Medicaid is looking to recoup whatever they can. Again, you can't give away assets and then turn around and claim to be "poor" and in need of Medcaid.

The fact that you are an unpaid caregiver I think does not have any bearing on this. Seems like you should be entitled to something, but Medicaid wants to know where the assets went & proof needs to be provided. I was never paid for care I provided, but I suppose there could be legit options? Don't know.

I wish I could make this a little nicer sounding, but this is what happens when Medicaid arrives on the scene. We basically had to liquidate Mom's estate while she was still alive. Very draining for all concerned. Anyone who was expecting to inherit money from her is going to be sorely disappointed.
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Reply to OverTheEdge17
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If he is on Medicaid they are watching for his death. They will place liens on the house. There maybe nothing left
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