How does shield a residence affect nursing home options?

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Read you can SHIELD A RESIDENCE and car ($ limits) to be exempt from Medicaid's $2000 asset limit.

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There are two issues here and both are dependent on rules that will vary by state.
The first issue is whether a primary residence is considered a countable asset at application. If there is a spouse or disabled adult child also residing in the residence then it is not countable. If not, then the overarching concept to maintain non countable status is "intent to return" as expressed by the applicant. Some states require that the ability to return to the primary residence be declared by and/or be demonstrated as physically possible and may limit that status for a certain period of time at which point the property would be deemed countable. Other states, like Florida, automatically assume intent to return and do not count the property as an asset as long as it remains titled in the Medicaid recipient's name or if they retain an enhanced life estate in the property.
The second issue is what happens to the property upon the demise of the Medicaid recipient. All states have Medicaid Estate Recovery programs which require them to seek assets for Medicaid "payback" at the demise of recipient. Some states only seek probate assets which means if the property is so titled as to avoid probate it is not recoverable by the state. Other states have authority to seek all assets, probatable or not, including the primary residence.
There are exceptions.
If there is a spouse or disabled child living in the home recovery will not be sought.
If adult child caregiver(s) live in the home for at least two years prior to the application for benefits the property is not recoverable. In this case the caregiving role and the need for it must be expressed in writing and certified by a medical professional before the two years commence. There caregiver's residence in the home must also be established.
Lastly, some states (again like Florida) have strong homestead protections and if the property is subject to probate it can still avoid recovery if a judge issues an "Order of Homestead" during the probate proceeding. In this case, if the property is devised to a lineal descendant it will not be subject to recovery even though it is a probatable asset.

The above is for educational purposes and is information generally available to the public. It is not to be construed as legal advice. It is recommended to always seek appropriate counsel.
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Don't think you can. As I have said to my parents many times thru the years, spend it on yourself you can't take it with you.
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Wow, now it makes sense why seniors flock to FL, if it is true about the "strong homestead protections" then they can put their nest egg into an expensive home and avoid paying any nursing home costs.
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Another aspect to consider is how probate is done for your state. MERP is very much interdependent on each states laws in how recovery can be done. If your state allows for MERP to place an actual lien on the property, that is quite the different situation to resolve for heirs than if it is a claim.

For those states that do debts as claims, how claims are done too make a difference. Like TX is Level of Claim probate state, and MERP is a Class 7 claim so all Claims in classes 1 - 6 have priority before the states claim; a property with a conservative appraisal with items that devalue the property also affects what the property is worth. The cost-effectiveness which is required for MERP to go after a claim may not be present.
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thanks for the helpful answers, Ralph. for some reason your response won't let us 'like' as a Helpful one...I guess you are self-sufficient in that knowledge. lol. Anyway, thanks so much. j
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