There are many Long-Term Care Medicaid Rules in place which help pay for senior’s care costs. However, it is important for those receiving Medicaid to understand that there is a five year “look back” period where the state can actually penalize an individual from Medicaid eligibility, if there was an uncompensated transfer during this time. This can prevent your application from getting approved.
The good news is, there are ways to transfer your property to someone else, without risking your Medicaid eligibility. These exceptions on home transfers can help you and your family during this time. Here are the primary ways to transfer your property while maintaining your Medicaid eligibility.
Transfer the Home to the Right Family Member
There are a few types of family members you can transfer your property to:
- You can transfer it to your spouse who already lives in the home.
- You can transfer the property to a child under the age of 21 or a child who has been determined disabled by the Social Security Administration.
- You can transfer the property to an adult child who has lived in the home for at least two years before you were institutionalized and provided care that prevented institutionalization. This requires proof by your doctor or social worker that the care was essential.
- You can transfer the property to a sibling with equity interest in the home and who has lived in the property for one year before your institutionalization.
These transfers will not impact your eligibility for Medicaid. Be prepared to provide proof of residence in these situations.
Transfer Through Deeds
The primary deed we recommend for transfer after death is the Lady Bird Deed. This is an enhanced life estate deed that also avoids Medicaid Estate Recovery. In these situations, the person maintains control of their property during their lifetime, including the power to sell and retain proceeds assuming the Medicaid applicant signs a document stating they intend to return home.
There are also a number of tax issues that you need to be considered first before going with this type of transfer. Depending on your individual situation, the deeds may or may not be the best choice.
If you have questions about how you can transfer your property to a loved one, without risking your Medicaid eligibility, give the attorneys at Hegwood Law Firm a call at (281) 845-8538 to discover your best Medicaid options.