Lake Geneva, WI asked in Elder Law for Wisconsin

Q: I am disabled per Social Security, own a home with my mother - tenants in common, and we want to sell it.

She has been in nursing home since April, on medicaid since May,

and plan to move back to CA after the house is sold. Will this cause any problems with medicaid?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
  • Elder Law Lawyer
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: If your Mother is currently receiving Medicaid benefits, you should examine the Medicaid application she submitted when she first qualified for Medicaid. The application should list the home in which she owns an interest as a tenant in common. If you and your Mother own it together and if your names are the only names listed on the deed, then it appears you each own an undivided one-half interest in the home. However, if the deed lists some other ownership allocation between you, such as 1/3 your and 2/3 your Mother etc. then this would be the corresponding ownership interests of each owner.

Your mother could likely qualify for Medicaid while owning the home, but if you sell it while she is on Medicaid benefits, she will be entitled to her portion of the proceeds from the home sale. If your Mother is unmarried, and she is receiving Medicaid benefits, she is only entitled to keep less than $2,000 in liquid assets (cash and bank accounts) in any given month. Therefore if her portion of the home is more than this amount, it would make her ineligible for Medicaid in that month. You should consult with a qualified estate planning and medicaid planning attorney who can examine all of the facts here and help you come up with a plan before you sell the house. You may be able to fund a special needs trust, like a WisPACT trust for your mother in the month the home is sold, which allows her to remain eligible for Medicaid. Additionally, there may be other options to spend the money for you Mother's care that keeps her eligible for Medicaid. I would explore all of your options before you sell the home.

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