What to Do with Your House when Entering a Nursing Home

June 29, 2021  

You don’t necessarily have to sell your beloved abode so that you can enjoy Medicaid coverage for your nursing home costs. That being said, there’s a chance that the state could file a claim against your home upon your death, so you must take the necessary steps now to protect your home in the future. Also, you should keep in mind that Medicaid is actually a loan program and not a welfare program. With this in mind, advanced and proper estate planning with help from a reputable Ohio estate planning attorney is key to avoid any issues with your home and Medicaid nursing home coverage. 

To Sell or Transfer Your House?

While you can certainly sell your home, this might disqualify you from Medicaid coverage. You might also be legally obligated to use the sale proceeds for your nursing home expenses. On the other hand, you might be imposed a penalty period by Medicaid if you transfer your home. During this penalty period, Medicaid won’t cover your nursing home expenses. 

Fortunately, there are certain circumstances wherein you can legally transfer your home. For instance, you may be able to transfer your house to these individuals without incurring the Medicaid penalty: 

  • A child who’s disabled, blind, and/or under 21 years old
  • A legal spouse
  • A caretaker child, who is your child that lived in your home for a minimum of two years before you entered the nursing home and stayed in your house to care for you and delay your transfer to a nursing home
  • A sibling who has been living in your house the year before you entered a nursing home and has an equity interest in your house

You can likewise conduct a legal transfer of your home into a trust to solely benefit a disabled person below 65 years old.

Prevent Medicaid Estate Recovery

If qualified individuals, those eligible for a house transfer, as mentioned above, reside in your home, the state can’t file a claim against your home to recover Medicaid nursing home coverage. But once the qualified individual living in your house moves out or passes away, Medicaid may attempt to collect. Fortunately, there are certain situations under which you can protect your house from recovery. An experienced Ohio estate planning attorney can help you determine all the options that may apply to your case. 

Avoid a Lien on Your Home

Medicaid might place a lien on your home to recover the amount spent on your nursing home costs, except under certain situations. The exceptions will apply if eligible individuals, those who qualify for a house transfer, as mentioned above, live in your house. However, if you sell your home while you’re still alive, you’d need to satisfy the lien by repaying the state. 

Consult with an Experienced Ohio Estate Planning Attorney Now

If possible, reach out to a reputable Ohio estate planning attorney as soon as you can before you enter a nursing home or even right after, so you explore ways to safeguard your house. Each case is different, and you’ll need advice that’s specific to your case. Arrange a consultation with one of our Ohio estate planning lawyers here at Kryszak & Associates by phone or online today.