Sacramento, CA asked in Estate Planning for California

Q: Married, 62 and wife 59. Calif. Me SS, her disability.

Selling house (Sacramento) to downsize to buy Nevada house within 6 months, hopefully. If house cannot be found to buy, can an RV be next step in place of buying house and put into trust. This is an medi-cal recovery situation. Also, would any proceeds that is left, subject to medi-cal recovery?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Shawna Murray
Shawna Murray
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Irvine, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: According to California's Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), a surviving spouse's assets are exempt from Medi-Cal recovery (if the proper forms are filed on time). As of 1/1/2017, Medi-Cal cannot recover from the estate of the surviving spouse, if the survivor did not get the Medi-Cal benefits. Per the same law (SB 833), if a Medi-Cal recipient's estate is not Probated, Medi-Cal will not recover. Therefore, it is highly advisable to put your assets in a trust, so that Medi-Cal does not seek recovery.

As to buying an RV instead of a house, an RV is a vehicle and not a home. Medi-Cal recipients on SSI can have one car if it is used for transportation, regardless of value plus your home (your real property) is exempt.

However, if you become a resident of Nevada, you are no longer eligible for Medi-Cal. I urge you to do your homework about similar type programs in Nevada because each state has their own program and some state's do not have an equivalent of a Medi-Cal program. You might want to start at to research what is available in Nevada.

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