My dad passed away his house was in his name and mine as tenants in common quit claim deed this was done 7 years before. No one was living with him my mom has passed, he was on Medicaid. The state of Michigan sent me a form to fill out September 11, 2019. I filled out sent back have not heard anything from them, it is now February 22, 2020. I have not opened probate, Dad had nothing he was poverty level. My question is what will the state do if there is no probate opened? The house is not valued at very much it is a old shabby house windows falling out home made septic, dad made. It is a burden, costing me money paying taxes. I am on fixed income and can’t afford it. Can I quit claim deed the house to my daughter without getting in trouble with the state not selling it to her giving it to her? and how long of a time limit does the state have to do anything? I am waiting to hear from state, no response. Thank you for your time.

Thank you Gloria

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Don't wait -- call the state and ask for a status on your form. Ask if it's normal it should take so long and that it's causing a financial burden on you, is there any way to expedite the process, etc. Good luck!
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Reply to Geaton777

Hi Gloria,

This is just my opinion and I am by no means an Elder law attorney nor a Real Estate attorney. State forms can take awhile to come, I would not transfer, gift or sell anything at this time.

If your dad had no “personal” property and no money in the bank or a “ITF” or “POD” (in trust for OR paid on death bank accounts with a beneficiary), or a joint bank account with you let’s say, then no probate is needed for all of those things.

However “tenants in common”, does the deed mention “with rights of survivorship”? Is it an equal 50% ownership between yourself and him or anyone else? Does it mention anything about a Life Estate for him on the deed? If the deed states “with rights of survivorship” then the house should be passed to you without probate, if no wording is included, it would need to go through probate (his portion) whether he has a Will or not.

If he was on Medicaid with owning a partial asset, I believe there may be a “recovery” on those back benefits or a lien let’s say on his portion of the house he owned. Best to be upfront about this, Federal is not so forgiving if owed money, interest, penalties, etc.

Good luck!
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Reply to Dollie1974

Gettingca letter from Medicaid could take a while. Did the form ask if there was a family member residing in the house and it was their main residence? That it also was Dads main residence? Did u send a copy of the deed showing u were co-owners.

I would do nothing until I heard from Medicaid. If Dad owns half the house, then Medicaid can put a lean on his half. At time of sale, that lean has to be satisfied.

The paperwork I received said that the lean will need to be satisfied if the resident leaves the house, sells the house or dies. Meaning you will be able to live there.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Blue24 question on IF it was Tenant in Common or Joint Tenancy is important. So which exactly is it?

Estate recovery aka MERP can be dealt with, but in my experience what to do depends on the situation, so....

Did he die leaving a will? & in the will who is/are the heirs?

He -if living at home - was on community based Medicaid. About how long do you think he was on community based Medicaid. Like when do you think it probably started? Was he ever in a facility- like a Nursing Home - while on Medicaid?

Was your mom on Medicaid? Either community based or in a facility? If so, abt how long?

Have you been paying property costs? Like property taxes, property insurance, repairs? Do you have receipts, canceled checks on these?

There is no mortgage, no HELOC or other lending on it, right?

are you yourself low / lower income or disabled or would be homeless if the home wasn’t there for you? If there are heirs besides you, are they any of these?

Were there funeral burial costs? Who paid these?

Did he have a life insurance policy? Who was beneficiary?

was the questionnaire actually sent by the State of MI, or, was it send by an outside contractor for MERP on the behalf of the State of MI? The questionnaire is actually a NOI - Notice of Intent - like to file a lien or a claim. The answers you put into the questionnaire should have let the state to determine what path state of its outside contractor will take. Was there a ? in it asking if there was a will? & asking if probate was to be opened? If so, how did you answer these?

Is house over 75k? Over 100k?
On the house, is the value on the latest tax assessor/ collectors bill accurate to what the property is worth? The bill usually is in 2 parts... like land value & then “improvements” (this is the actual house), that added create the overall assessed value. Look at it overalll and then for the improvements part..... is it kinda accurate? This is actually imho pretty important as often elders do not ever challenged the assessment as their taxes are fixed & have some sort of elder exemptions.... so if value goes up it doesn’t affect them, so they let it happen, whether it’s accurate or not. Think if dads neighborhood is actually having lots of flips or teardowns or massive renovations. If this is what his ‘hood is like, that assessment will be actually reflective of what homes are selling for. The “comps” the assessor uses are whack for your dads property. Assessment not accurate. I’m guessing it’s off, perhaps way off.

There’s a way to deal with this and other items, but imo your answers will make a difference as to what might be the way to deal with this.
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Reply to igloo572

You can quitclaim your portion only. But I would make sure and see how the entire property is vested first.

If the deed is showing Tenents in Common . . . then the assumption is that you and your dad each owned a 50% share of the property. The deed/title will show names and percentage of ownership. Whatever his percentage is , that would be probated. This is different from JOINT TENANCY - which allows the surviving owner on title to take ownership in full upon the death of the partner.

You Probably should open up probate just for the sake of getting CLEAR TITLE on the property. Are you the only child? If you are the only child and there are no other relatives that will 'pop' out of the woodwork - most likely then, you can get the percentage of his portion that he owned in your name. Also, there may be other debts that your dad owes - which his estate must pay. This is where Medicaid (the State) may come in. Bottom line - the property will need clear title to be sold, either now, or sometime in the future. Maybe run a pre-lim title report and see how the property is vested and if there are any liens. Your dad may have never filed the quitclaim and the title could be different then you expected. Who is the tax bill addressed to?

('m just making assumptions here - based on my personal experience of dealing with death and property - my husbands' side of the family owned many properties some of which we were surprised to find out how title was vested, and had to clear title before moving forward. Quitclaims, complicated percentage portions - it can be quite a mess and it took several years to figure out)

I believe most states require that probate be opened within a certain amount of time. If you don't follow state laws regarding probate or medicaid. .. you may get a knockin' on your door from them in the future! Beware.
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Reply to Blue24
igloo572 Feb 15, 2020
Blue24, did y’all ever have to do a Quiet Title action to get clouds removed from the title or to get new title issued?
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I am so very sorry for the loss of your father. I sincerely don’t know but recognize there are quite a few people here with solid legal backgrounds. So hold on, there’s answers coming. Wishing you well.
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Reply to anonymous1010889

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