Q: She has a trust and I am the only beneficiary. She has a life estate that was signed over 5 years ago. She has nursing home insurance but they say she is not currently eligible to receive benefits. We live in Oregon and I am disabled. The cold weather contributes to my pain levels and I want to move to Florida. The house is 64 years old and my husband age 79 has done many repairs and major remodeling to keep the place intact and from deterioting in value.
We would move her to Florida if necessary. The local relatives either work out of town or they are not well and able to help. I wonder if we can sell the house or would we need to rent it out until she passes away? She has some assets in addition to the house but no other real estate.
A: You really should consult with a lawyer. The life estate would need to be reviewed to determine what conditions allow mother to vacate the lease. Trust needs to be examined as well to verify if and when any transfer was made. These need to be known especially if there is any potential that your mother may need to apply for Medicaid funding in the future. If there is any chance that Medicaid will be involved and this house may be subject to a Medicaid lien, you will want to sell the house only at fair market value and nothing less and document the transaction as well as how all the proceeds are spent on your mother’s care. However, review this with an attorney before you do anything. You may also want to consult with a Florida attorney regarding Medicaid.