The House Is Safe, Right?

Justin, My mom lives in a nursing home, and right now she’s on private pay. She has enough money to last the rest of this year and most of next, but when she runs out of funds we expect her to move to Medicaid. Her only other asset is her house, which she wants to leave to me. That should work, right?  – Joey

Joey, You probably heard that the home is a protected asset under Medicaid rules. That is true. However, the plan you outlined may not work the way you and your mother intend. While in most cases the home of a Medicaid applicant is excluded when determining resource eligibility, that fact does not necessarily mean the home is “safe” in the way I think you mean.

When a single person files for Medicaid, they can own a home, a vehicle, a prepaid burial plan, and up to $2,000 in other assets. That leads many people to conclude the home is completely safe when it comes to Medicaid. What some people don’t realize is that Medicaid has a right to put a lien against the house at the time of death. The house cannot go free and clear to the heirs.

In a case like yours, where your mother realizes she may use up all of her financial resources to pay for care but takes comfort in the fact that she can still leave you her home, this outcome can be devastating. With some planning, though, we might be able to make this happen.

You cannot afford to wait until your mother is out of money to take action. There are some things we must do right now if we’re going to have any hope of getting the home to you free and clear of Medicaid liens the way your mother would want. Call today for a no charge strategy session to get on the right path.

If you’d like to learn more creative ways to deal with difficult Medicaid rules, pick up a copy of my book, You Need A Plan, at YourPlanMatters.com