I was the sole caregiver for my Mother who passed away in April 17, 2013. She had a Warranty Deed for her home (which was her only asset) prepared and issued to her me (daughter) on November 17, 2008. There is still a mortgage to be paid on this property (which I intend to take over). Will this home be excluded from the Texas Medicaid Recovery Program?

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If your mother gave you the house and the transfer was not reported to Medicaid, they could claim fraud against the state with various dire repercussions. If she sold it to you for the full fair market value, and it was properly recorded, then Medicaid cannot come after the house. If she gave you the house and you qualified for the "Caretaker" exception to the transfer rules then you can argue that, and hopefully establish that no transfer penalty should apply.
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If she sold it to you over 5 years from her Medicaid application, then you should be OK for MERP asset recovery. The date will be critical. But the "sale" would have to be done properly and filed so that it was totally in your name on all legal associated with the property since the date of sale. So is the annual county assessor tax bill coming to you in your name? and has been since 2008?

If not, then you might have an issue. Also if the mortgage has stayed in her name, then that might be an issue. Normally when a sale or transfer of ownership is done a mortgage has to cancelled and paid off for a clear, clean transfer of title to be done. If that didn't happen, well, it's odd as a warranty deed usually requires a cancellation of the prior deed of trust for the warranty deed to be issued. The release of the deed of trust would come from the last or latest mortgage holder. I think that warranty deeds have to have clear title to be issued. But I digress, there may be an issue with the mortgage holder on the assumption - because of all the foreclosure issues most mortgage co just won't change the name....they could require that you apply for the remaining mortgage and qualify to do so and at a different payment & %. So keep that in mind, if that seems to be something to be dealt with the mortgage company. TX MERP is now being done by state contract and it seems they are very good and efficient and dogged in asset recovery. You need to keep careful records and sent whatever to MERP either via registered mail or by fax from a Kinko's or other business center that gives you a transmission report on the fax. That way you can document that you sent stuff. Timeframe is mucho importante, too so pay attention to when the documentation is due by.

DId you file for the caregiver exemption? MERP will or should have sent you or whomever was on record for mom's representative a letter from MERP. You should qualify for that exemption, but you have to let MERP know in writing that it is the case. MERP isn't automatic,....they kinda have to evaluate the situation to see if the recovery is without exemptions and cost-efficient. You need to let them know about the mortgage too as that debt is in a Class above MERP for TX probate. When you get the MERP letter, don't ignore it. Good Luck.
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