Q: My mother wants to protect the equity in her home from her debts when she passes. We live with her and take care of her.
What's the best way to keep the house when she dies?
A: She can largely protect the equity from non-mortgage debts by executing a transfer on death designation affidavit. Some exceptions exist. But, in practice, this would protect the house from credit card and medical debt.
Mary Ellen Leslie Esq. agrees with this answer
A: That cannot be answered on-line. Each family situation is unique and requires an estate plan that will address the specifics of her situation, including her health, possible need for Medicaid, her other assets, her debts, etc. She should use the Find a Lawyer tab to consult a local estate planning attorney who can assess her situation and give her useful advice.
C. Lawrence Huddleston III agrees with this answer
A: It depends on her assets. It sounds like maybe she is a candidate for Medicaid asset protection planning. Most expert lawyers who do that work charge little or nothing for an initial consultation.
In addition to possible creation of a "Medicaid Trust", there is a provision in law to transfer a residence to caregivers who have lived with the older person for two years and by doing so kept her out of a nursing home.
Medicaid planning is in some ways much more complex that "regular" estate planning and is not something anyone should ever try without expert Elder lawyer or Estate Planning lawyer assistance. Doing it wrong can result in lack of protection for the asset, and in the worst case, loss of Medicaid eligibility if and when it is needed.
A: She can execute a transfer on death designation affidavit to protect against credit card debt claims.
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