Would Medicaid take our house?

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Four years ago my FIL signed his house over to my husband with FIL having living rights. Three years ago we moved in to help care for him after a bout of colon cancer and a colostomy. We had to sell our house (which we made no profit on) and move in with dad - his home was bigger. Dad then put his house in both my husband and my name so that we would get the house if something happened to him. Dad's health has diminished since that time, with the onset of dementia and other things. I know there is a 5 year look back for medicaid but if we had to put dad in a facility, would they take the home we have lived in after he uses all his funds and has to go on medicaid? We have put a great deal of money in the home since living here.

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In your question, you mentioned several ownership transfers of your father-in-law's house. Were the deeds that transferred ownership drafted by an attorney? If yes, you could ask the attorney who drafted and filed the deeds to explain how the current ownership fits in with your state's Medicaid eligibility regulations.

You mentioned that you have used your own funds to improve your father-in-law's house. There was a case in my state, Andrews v. Division of Medical Assistance, 68 Mass. App. Ct. 228, 861 N.E.2d 483 (App. Ct. 2007), where the courts decided that an elder's Medicaid application had priority over all the time and money her daughter and son-in-law had put into her house. Of course, this case would not apply in your state, but it does demonstrate the importance of getting good advice from an attorney in your state.

Several agingcare.com community members have mentioned the Caregiver Child exception to Medicaid transfer rules. An attorney advising your father can explain how this very important exception could help in you. In my state (Massachusetts), the Medicaid agency strictly enforces this exception, so you should make sure that your husband and your father comply with the caregiver exception requirements in your state. An elder law attorney in your area could explain how Medicaid would view the current ownership arrangement.

Has your father-inlaw designated a person to act for him under Power of Attorney? This is very important if his capacity declines and decisions must be made on assets and property ownership.
You probably fall under the two year caregiver law.
Cks - your situation has many already done legal layers. Really my suggestion is you are going to need an elder law attorney to review all & do this BEFORE your FIL applies for Medicaid. You can assume that there will be a transfer penalty inquiry on the house done by Medicaid, and you want to be prepared for this. Get in detail all the costs you have spent on the house together before the meeting too to take to law office along with all legal on the home from when dad first bought it.

For the caregiver agreement, each state seems to do this differently. Medicaid although a joint federal & state program is administered by each state uniquely. So you need to find out exactly how caregiver exemption is done for your state. Some states require a letter from a MD or MSW (on letterhead with state license # & signature) as to specific caregiving needed, their involvement with the elder during a period of time, etc. for that exemption to go through. If it (property transfer) can be done before they enter a NH, thats 1 way. But if the caregiver exemption happens after the elder passes away, that's another approach. Either way the caregiver better have the $ to be able to pay for all costs on the house whether in their name of not.

One thing that comes up on this site over & over again is family is taken aback and surprised that their elder once in a NH on Medicaid has to do a required copay to the NH of basically all their income. The SOC - share of cost. So if you want to keep your parents home whether by caregiver exemption or other exclusions or exemptions to estate recovery (MERP) you kinda have to have the $ to pay on all on the home from now through forever and keep documentation on all costs paid.

Whether its feasible depends on your financial situation. And also a pretty good and flexible sense of humor too! If you live at the home being able to pay on all is pretty central. If you have your own home but want to keep your on medicaid NH parents house for whatever reasons, to me is like having a 2nd or 3rd home but without assurance of ownership but with all the costs. It runs a risk of not working out as hoped for. Most of us are risk adverse but if your not then go for it.
Check with your State Medicaid office since you and your husband had been living in the house taking care of his father, thus you had been saving Medicaid money from having FIL in a nursing home for a couple of years.... see what are the current rules and regulations for this case.
See an elder law attorney. Have you used Dad's address on everything? You are very fortunate that he had your names put on the house while he was competent. And most states allow the transfer of a house to a family caregiver after providing care for a period of two years if the care was medically necessary.
I wonder if the 2 year caregiver law can apply to a spouse. I never heard of that.
The house was the FIL's and son and daughter in law have been providing the care.

Spouses are entitled to keep the house if the other one goes into care. Though they may lein the property after death for reasons. Medicaid is not out to impoverish a spouse or cause them to require Medicaid.
Definitely consult a lawyer in your state!
MariettaGirl wrote: "My husband and I put our house and some property in life estate eight years ago he was turn down for Medicaid I wander why."

Because it is an asset with his name on it. Medicaid looks at both income and assets to determine eligibility. I don't know what other "property" was involved, but if you own anything except one primary residence, then you are too affluent for Medicaid. Medicaid was designed for persons at or below the Federal Poverty Level.
Suegirl wrote: "....snip..... Putting the house in a trust for my Brother and I. My Mother could live there as long as she kept the house up and paid taxes. She's now 91 and needs passport? We consulted a Elder Attorney and he said Medicaid, upon our Mothers death would get 1/4 of the sell of house. We're in Ohio."

If you put it in a trust, likely her name was still on the house as trustee, as well as yours as co-trustees. That means it is still an asset in which she has partial ownership. (I'm from Ohio also originally.) So, when the house is sold after her death, Medicaid would be entitled to part of the proceeds.

I don't know what the look-back period currently is in Ohio. Most states are 5 years, but that is not uniform across the country.

The only way you could have avoided this was to completely remove your mother's name from anything associated with the house and had the deed, property taxes, etc. placed in your names only. Then you could have allowed her to "rent" the house from you until she was no longer able to live there.

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