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10 years ago my father passed away without a will. The home was solely in his name. The home was passed to my sister and me through court decree because intestacy with life estate to my mom. My mom has lived in the house for 10 years but has recently moved to an assisted living place due to dementia. We are looking at selling the house. My legal question is this: with the sale of the house, does any portion (based on the life estate table) legally go to my mom as part of the Medicaid spend down or would the entire proceeds go to my sister and me as we are outside of the 5 year look back window when the life estate was established with my dad’s death 10 years ago. Are the life estate tables only pertinent within the 5 year Medicaid look back? Minnesota.

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I’d run this by a MN atty just to make sure that mom doesn’t have a remainderman interest in the Life Estate even though LE was drawn up over 5 years ago, as she is alive & doing an action now to the LE that is within the 5 yr lookback.

If she died, I’d bet, the property is totally yours as the LE was done beyond the 5 yr lookback.

If there’s remainderman, her age will be critical as to what her interest % & $ is. For 86, it’s about 33% for her remainderman proceeds from sale. She’ll be ineligible for Medicaid till the $ is spent down unless her state expects the windfall to pay towards her Medicaid LTC tally to date. Medicaid will know what is sold for and to the penny.

If there’s remainderman, You may possibly want to run the #s on property costs to see if continuing to own it with her filing a right of return (so homestead exemption & lower taxes keep going) and just shutting off power & keeping maintenance to a minimum may be a better plan if you can pay property costs for 2-3 years, so you actually inherit it after death via that 10+ yr old LE. Avg NH stay is 2-2.5 yrs.
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No. Legally none of the money goes to your mom. A life estate just means she can live in the house as long as she wants-until she either moved out or dies. It was never her asset and won’t be included in the 5 year look back. Since she has moved out, the life estate has ended and the home now belongs to your sister & yourself. The entire proceeds go to you and your sister.
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I would contact the attorney that drew up the life estate, I would be more concerned if you can legally sell while she is still alive.
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