Q: My friend had 2 place her daddy in a facility, SHE asked me 2 move in her daddys place , in order to keep her
homestead exemption going.. ? she hired a lawyer for his estate & THEY SAID no one can rent or live there. because it , would not meet medicare restrictions , she would not recieve payments for her daddys care in the facility ?... IS THIS TRUE OR FALSE ?
A: It is true that her father would lose his homestead exemption and the value of his home would then be a countable asset for Medicaid purposes (not Medicare) and be subject to claims after his death if the home is rented to an unrelated third party. A child or grandchild can reside in the home and pay expenses and her father could still keep his homestead exemption even though he is unable to return home due to his medical needs. When a home loses its exemption for Medicaid purposes, then the home is counted as an asset. If the home is rented, then the net rental income is counted as income available to pay for nursing home case and would need to be paid each month to the nursing home together with all the rest of the father's income except $130 personal needs allowance which the father gets to keep for his personal needs. With Medicaid, the State of Florida pays the difference between the elder's income (minus $130) and the cost of the nursing home; however, once the elder has passed away, the State will file a claim to be repaid for the costs the State has paid, and if the homestead exemption has been lost, then the home could be forced to be sold to pay the State. Instead, people let family members such as children or grandchildren live in the home and pay for home expenses until the elder passes away. If there is a mortgage, it is important that the family members continue to pay it, because the father's income (except for $130) will no longer be available for any expenses other than the nursing home bill. If the family takes these steps to preserve the homestead exemption, then the home will pass to the heirs someday even if the State has paid for the father to have nursing home care. If she has any questions about her father's Medicaid application and what assets and income are countable and how to protect the homestead, she should consult with an elder law attorney.
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