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Question: My mom with dementia is living with me in my mobile home. She gets $1100 per month.She owns a mobile home and 13 acres of land it sits on. My son and his family lives in the mobile home. She has less than $10,000 to her name, and her children have very little money at all. Her will states I get the property when she dies. What will happen to the mobile home and land if she goes to a nursing home? We are in Georgia.

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If mom lives with you at your address and rents out her property in order for medicaid not to find the property to be an non-exempt asset, she would need to continue to have it in her name and file any homestead paperwork on it. The rent on it from your son, as others have said, will need to go towards her co-pay to the NH. Also the $ 1,100 a month she gets as income, will need to go to her co-pay to the NH. If between her $ 1,100 & FMV rent, it goes over GA monthly income limit it will be a problem for Medicaid eligibility.

Medicaid requites a co-pay or their SOC (Share of Cost) of all their monthly income to the NH less a small personal care allowance (runs from $ 35 - 105 a month and depends on your state as to amount). So this poses all sorts of additional issues for Medicaid compliance and costs to family: her income and fair market rent cannot exceed the monthly maximum set by Medicaid. The costs on the property has to be paid in some way, you can choose to pay all costs for mom without compensation; or ask for a diversion of her required co-pay to the NH to pay for taxes, maintenance and with reporting to Medicaid with documentation on all this and for the rest of mom's lifetime.

MERP is very much interdependent on your state laws for probate & property. Some states allow MERP to be a lien on the property. Other states have it as a claim on the property. Some states in order for heirs to be most effective with MERP will require that the heirs are able to clearly document their exemptions to the claim &/or the elder has a valid will, then the executor does probate process with an attorney and the executor is able to document to the penny all costs or other items needed in court for exclusions or exemptions to MERP's claim or lien.

GA has HMS as the outside contractor for MERP and they are very very good at what they do. Really for states that have gone with outside contractors - like HMS & PCG - they seem to approach recovery as a debt collection process and get a % of the recovery (16% / 12.5%) plus fees.

If the property is of nominal value and family cannot afford what is needed to keep it both now and till the rest of mom's life and then though the probate process, it may be best to sell the property and use whatever she gets for a fair market price to be her spend-down. Keep in mind that all real property (land & homes) sales are recorded by the local tax assessor and then dovetailed to the state database. So when the sale happened and the price will be known. If any of the funds are not used in mom's spend-down, mom will have a transfer penalty by Medicaid.

Your state should have a list of the exclusions and exemptions to MERP - review them to see if any would apply. The income amounts for low income are pretty well set in stone. There was someone on this site who was $ 200 a month over the low-income limit and that was that.

You may find that in order to sell the property, you need to hire an independent appraiser licensed by the state and a home inspectors (also licensed) to get FMV on the property and your son buys it for that amount from grandma with all the $ going to her care as a spend-down. Look at her last tax assessor bill to see just what the land value is on the property as a starting point in all this. Good luck.
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Too late. MERP is also Medicaid Estate Recovery Program, I think they in effect are the same thing
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MERP - medical expense repayment plan. If she owns property, which she is permitted to do under Medicaid, when she passes Medicaid has the first claim to her property, they will put a lien on the property for repayment of expenses they paid for her care.

If she has 10,000 to her name she has to spend 8,000 on her own needs prior to becoming eligible for medicaid coverage in a nursing home. She can prepay funeral expenses and such. Rent from her property will go to the nursing home, and remainder covered by Medicaid.

Your best bet is to call Medicaid and talk to them about the process or a nursing home that you may be considering.
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MERP is Medicaid Estate Recovery Program.
OK he pays rent---so all the rent goes to the nursing home to pay her bills. As long as the rent is fair market-- same as similar properties-- I don't think she will be forced to sell it. But if he's paying $100 a month for a place that is worth $800 a month, it's going to be sold. When the government forecloses, it turns around and sells to the highest bidder. If a mobile home is more than 20 years old, it has no loan value. Often the property is sold for cash at half value.
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At the top right, there is a bar marked Money and Legal. Read Paying for Care and Medicare and Medicaid so that you will understand what mom's options are.
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What is MERP?
He does not 'farm' the 13 acres. Most of it is flood plain and floods several times a year, AND to farm that much property would require a tractor, which costs money he doesn't have. He has a job and pays rent.
They have a garden on the property. Does that count, or does it have to be a 'business' that sells vegetables and pays taxes?
I don't know what 'spend down' means.
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She would have to sell the mobile home, or apply the rent your son pays to her nursing home bill. He cannot live there for free. Hopefully he is farming those 13 acres to get a farming exemption. If the asset to be recovered is an income producing farm of one or more of the HEIRS and the annual gross income is limited to $25,000 or less, MERP will grant an exemption.
She has to spend down the $10,000 on her own care and not give it away.
As for the Will, please note that all Wills state that AFTER all debts are paid, the heirs are given things, not before debts are paid. So MERP has a claim before any heirs.
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