My mother-in-law was recently divorced. In the divorce decree, her ex husband was awarded the house and she was awarded a piece of land. The plan was that she would sell the land, my husband and I would sell our home and we would buy a new home jointly with first floor bedroom and bathroom for her. However, she recently had a health problem that is requiring short-term 24 hour care. This has caused us to consider the potential need for Medicaid in the future. We know that the Medicaid 5 year year look back period will be in effect if she gifts us money to put into another home. Our concern is, what is the best way to use her money to get into a home that a large enough for all of us? Our current home is definitely not a good long term solution. We have considered:
1. Put her name on the house as "tenants in common" with my husband and I as beneficiary upon her death. Concern is that if she does need Medicaid in the future, will they put a lien on our home for her portion of the home?
2. If she gifts money toward the home to us, we know there will be a "look back" period that will cause her to be disqualified for a period of time. After her death, does the Medicaid Recovery Act allow for the state to sue us to return the gift?
3. If she cannot put money toward the house, can we have her pay rent/expenses as "spend down?" If so, what is considered reasonable?
4. If she uses her money toward making improvements to the home (such as an accessible shower, accessible steps, etc.) is that considered a gift because the improvements are for her care, even though we own the home?
How can we keep her in our home (meaning we will need a bigger home to do so) and get the resources we need?
Need ideas -- appt with lawyer is pending.