My mother currently jointly owns a home with my brother. They are selling the house. My brother has bought another home for himself and his new wife. Mom and I are planning on buying a condo together. She will supply the down payment from her part of the house currently owned. Then I plan on getting a Mortgage Loan out for the remaining amount of the condo. If she would need to go to long term nursing care, can I lose my home to Medicaid to pay for nursing care expenses?
Secondly, remember that during your mother's life her primary residence will be exempt for Medicaid eligibility purposes but the state could possibly come after her joint interest upon her death, up to the amount of care it provided for her. However, many states will not go after a joint interest that passes by "right of survivorship" to you (this would be spelled out in the deed). If you live in one of these states--and the deed is worded correctly--then the house will be protected following your mother's death, even if still partially in her name.
If a caregiver did not live with the parent for at least two years or it is determined that their assistance was not crucial, then the state has the right to put a lien on the house to recover money that was spent on Medicaid.
There is now a partnership program between the state government and people that lets them pay into LTC. If LTC is needed, then the person can qualify for Medicaid without spending down all their assets. This is not helpful for people who are already in need of LTC, but it is an idea for people who want insurance, but can't afford the high costs of the usual policy. I wish this had been around when my parents were younger.
If the home is large and really just too much for mom, then you need an attorney to structure how it gets sold so the proceeds can be protected - perhaps in a true living trust.
MsPine - you are dealing with the Louisiana MERP program. You need to see if you or other family qualify for one of the exemptions and get them the paperwork asap on this. If the house has been empty and you have been paying for it's upkeep (taxes, maintenance, etc), they you need to let MERP know that you will be filing a claim/lein against the estate to recover your fair costs. MERP has to decide whether it is worth the time to go after a property, but if you don't contact them, then they figure no one will challenge their claim/lien. Most states have a short window to get the letters in, so time is super important.
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