The Elrod Firm


Does a Beneficiary Deed Protect the House from Medicaid?

Melissa, in 2010, my mom went to a lawyer, did a Beneficiary Deed on her home to us kids, and the deed was recorded at the courthouse.  Now Mom is going into a nursing home, and my friend told me that the government will take Mom’s house when she dies.  However, since Mom signed the Beneficiary Deed more than 5 years ago, I thought the house was protected.  What is going to happen to Mom’s house?  – Jack

Jack, Beneficiary Deeds can be great tools to avoid Probate Court in Arkansas.  However, unfortunately for your Mom’s situation, Beneficiary Deeds are not asset protection tools.  In other words, even though the Beneficiary Deed was signed and recorded more than 5 years ago, Mom is still the legal owner of her home, and the Beneficiary Deed will not keep the government from putting a lien on Mom’s home at her death. 

If there is a silver lining here, it is that Mom can still obtain Medicaid benefits to pay for her nursing home care.  The Medicaid rules allow a person to own one home and still qualify for Medicaid.  The bad news is that if Medicaid pays for Mom’s nursing home care from now until she passes away, each month that Medicaid pays for is added together to determine the amount of the Medicaid lien that will be filed against the home at Mom’s death. 

Some families are not concerned about losing the home when a parent dies as long as the parent receives Medicaid to pay for the nursing home.  On the other hand, some families want to know if there are options to protect the home and still obtain Medicaid to pay for their parent’s care. 

If you or your family would like to know more about your options, call today to set up a no-charge strategy session to find out how we can help with issues like this.  To learn more, check out our website,

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