Manitowoc, WI asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin

Q: In Wisconsin is it legal to sign your real estate over to a relative prior to your death?

It used to be that it had to be a number of years prior to death. But someone told me that you can not do it at all any more.

1 Lawyer Answer
Daniel J. Krause
Daniel J. Krause
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Madison, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: You can sign your house over to anyone you like at any time. However, if you do this, it will affect your eligibility for Medicaid for 5 years. If you apply for Medicaid benefits (to pay for Nursing Home care, for instance) within 5 years of gifting your home (or anything else), you will incur a penalty period in which you are ineligible for benefits.

The penalty period is calculated by taking the value of the gift (the home) and dividing it by $7,880.35 and that is the number of months you are ineligible. This penalty period does not begin until you are down to under $2,000 in assets, so it is pretty serious.

If you are thinking about doing this, I suggest you consult with an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney who knows the Medicaid rules.

** Disclaimer : Because you are not my client, any answer given to questions is hypothetical, and you cannot rely on them for your specific situation. Answering this hypothetical question does not create an attorney-client relationship, unless we later agree to enter into such a relationship. I would need to know a lot more about your situation before I could answer with any degree of certainty.**

Thomas B. Burton agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.