Legal Question in Elder Law in North Carolina

And Elder Law question. My mother, of who I am Legal Guardian, has recently been placed into skilled nursing facility with 75% private pay, and 25% coming from Medicaid. We have to sell her residence due to a reverse mortgage, but when the house is sold we have been advised that will be an asset, and thus Medicaid would stop, until the house sale assets are elimated, then back to Medicaid. Can I transfer the house to my name, as Guardian, and not risk her Medicaid status? House is worth $170K. Also, she is due to get a VA pension payment for $10K for past pension due to her, can that be gifted vs falling into the Medicaid Asset status? thanks!

Asked on 3/15/12, 9:42 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

No. You cannot just "give" away assets. That will screw up your mother's Medicare. Whether it makes sense or not requires a lot more information. I don't do any Medicaid planning but you need to see an elder law attorney right away. And if your mother has a reverse mortgage, why would you want to sell the home? The bank is paying her money! If and when she dies, they will take the house or will have to be repaid. Medicaid is also mandated to seek recovery if there are any assets. It might be more beneficial to let the reverse mortgage continue and see what happens to your mother. Depending on what benefits she has received, at that point you can decide if it makes more sense to sell the home and pay back the bank and Medicare or just let the bank have the home. Receipt of the VA pension may be enough to kick your mother off of Medicare for awhile. That is why you need to see an expert in this.

The time for Medicaid planning was long ago - its very hard to plan now that your mother is on it.

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Answered on 3/15/12, 4:02 pm

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