Legal Question in Elder Law in Oregon

change title on real estate

My husband has been diagnosed with a medical condition that will require long-term nursing home care in the future. I would like to remove his name from three properties that we hold jointly so that he is more likely to qualify for medicaid in the future. Can I simply remove him from the titles or do we need to rewrite mortages in my name only?

Asked on 9/17/08, 9:34 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Todd Hammond Todd S. Hammond, P.C.

Re: change title on real estate

Medicaid planning is more complex than just changing the title. Congress has established a period of ineligibility for Medicaid for those who transfer assets. This period of ineligibility is determined by dividing the amount transferred by what Medicaid determines to be the average private pay cost of a nursing home in your state. The DRA significantly changed rules governing the treatment of asset transfers.

For transfers made prior to enactment of the DRA on February 8, 2006, state Medicaid officials will look only at transfers made within the 36 months prior to the Medicaid application (or 60 months if the transfer was made to or from certain kinds of trusts). But for transfers made after passage of the DRA the so-called “lookback” period for all transfers is 60 months.

Another significant change in the treatment of

transfers made by the DRA has to do with when

the penalty period created by the transfer begins.

Under the prior law, the 20-month penalty period

created by a transfer of $100,000 in the example

described above would begin either on the first

day of the month during which the transfer

occurred, or on the first day of the following

month, depending on the state. Under the DRA,

the 20-month period will not begin until (1) the

transferor has moved to a nursing home, (2) he

has spent down to the asset limit for Medicaid

eligibility, (3) has applied for Medicaid coverage, and (4) has been approved for coverage but for the transfer.

Our office would be honored to assist you with your family's medicaid planning needs. Feel free to contact me at my office in my Salem to schedule an appointment.

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Answered on 9/18/08, 11:55 am

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