Nashville, TN asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for North Carolina

Q: I own 1% of my father's house for tax purposes upon death. He wants to transfer house to me now.

Is this allowed? Is there a certain number of years that have to pass for this to be legal and the nursing home not get to claim his house?

2 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: Yes, that is legal but it is either a good idea if done right or a disastrous idea if done wrong. If you try to do this yourself you will most likely do this the wrong way if you yourself are not an experienced elder law attorney.

Regardless of how you accomplish the transfer, this will trigger a Medicaid penalty period if done within five years of the date of any future Medicaid application.

Ben Corcoran agrees with this answer

Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Yadkinville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: I agree with Ms. Whitehurst and would add that unless your family is prepared to pay out of pocket for a nursing home for your father, I would not recommend transferring the remainder of the property now. Provided the deed granting you 1% was done correctly, you should be listed as joint owner with a right of survivorship. If that is the case as it sits right now, you are in a good position to avoid Medicaid, or any other claim on your father's estate, from getting to the house.

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