Should we gift mom’s home to ourselves?

Q: Mom lives with us instead of nursing home. She had several strokes and wants to move back to her home which needs major repairs. How do we this sell her home and not lose it all if she would have need more care. She is 89, she has health insurance. We heard if she gifts it to us we could lose it if there were medical bills. How can we safeguard our investment to the home to make it livable? She has a daughter with power of attorney who also would like this to happen.

A: A gift of the home or transfer of any of her assets without fair consideration (like for a dollar) would likely result in the imposition of a penalty if your mother needs to apply for Medicaid at anytime during the five years following the date of the gift. That does not mean she is without options. It may be possible for her to pay for a caretaker, which could be you, but it should be done carefully, under a contract drafted by an experience elder law attorney, who is versed in Medicaid law. You may also want to consider being her live-in caretaker. To provide an answer to this question, an attorney would need much more consideration including details on her financial estate, her medical condition and health and life expectancy. It would be wise to consult with a local elder law attorney, before you do anything.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.