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Can Medicaid take my home?

Can Medicaid take my home?

Medicaid is not in the market to own people’s houses.  However, that does not mean that the value of your home isn’t exposed without proper Medicaid planning. 

An individual looking to qualify for Medicaid for either Community or Nursing Home services can have a home with an equity value worth up to $955,000.00.  Equity is the value of the home less any outstanding mortgage on the property.  However, if you receive Medicaid services while owning that home, Medicaid can place a lien on your home as reimbursement for your care if you sell the home or upon your passing.  

In an effort to protect the equity value of the home for your legacy, there are a number of planning options.  

  • Transfer your interest to a spouse.
  • Transfers to an exempt individual (i.e. a caretaker child, or a sole benefit trust).
  • Transfer your interest to a Trusts (revocable or irrevocable). Note: transfers to an irrevocable trust may be subject to a Medicaid transfer penalty. 
  • Make sure that the ownership of the property is right of survivorship (subject to a Medicaid transfer penalty – i.e. 5 years on a transfer to a child).
  • Transfer of the home to an individual while retaining a life estate for yourself (subject to a Medicaid transfer penalty).

Advance planning opens up your options when it comes to trying to protect the value of your home.  Understanding your Medicaid eligibility is certainly something that you should seek legal counsel for.  There are so many different rules and exceptions to the rules, that you want to be sure you are maximizing the savings while getting the benefits that you are entitled to.  

So, before you dive into the rabbit hole of the internet and start thinking that Medicaid is going to take your home, have a consultation to discuss your options.  This is the best way to assess your situation. 

When implementing an estate plan, it is important to consult with and retain experienced attorneys. The knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys at Russo Law Group, P.C., can provide professional services and advise you. We invite you to take advantage of our comprehensive website as well as our free seminars and webinars to learn more about how Russo Law Group, P.C. may assist you and provide you with peace of mind. 

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