Q: My Dad passed away recently. My Mom is living but has dementia. They both have wills that state the property goes to the surviving spouse or if incompetent (Mom is) to me, the only child. I want to make sure the family property can never be taken away by medical situations, etc. (Swissvale, PA)
A: This is something that must be done under advice of a lawyer. First, mother needs to be competent to sign a deed. Moreover, there are many questions that must be asked to determine if this is an advisable transfer. The foremost question would be whether there is a possibility of her needing to apply for Medicaid in the five years following the transfer. If so, and you have not lived in this home for the preceding two years as a caretaker, this transfer could render her ineligible for Medicaid to the extent of the value of the transfer. Secondly, if you do not reside in this home, your mother will pay more in real estate taxes in that she will lose her homestead exemption and any senior citizen’s discounts available.
ELDER LAW, REAL ESTATE, TRANSFER, DEED, COMPETENCY, MEDICAID