Oakland, MD asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Pennsylvania

Q: My brothers and I are owners of our family home with my oldest brother having 5/8 and the others 1/8.

My oldest brother is having serious health problems that could possibly be fatal. He has incurred some medical debt due to having no health insurance. If he signs over his 5/8 share of the property to the rest of us, can we avoid paying his medical bills with the estate if he should pass away?

1 Lawyer Answer
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: PA has a "fraudulent transfer" statute, to defeat the give-away of assets by a debtor or soon-to-be debtor intending to make himself "judgment proof". The reach-back period to recapture transfers of property for insufficient consideration is four years.

You don't say who the potential creditor may be. If it is Medicaid, paying for final expenses for your brother, the reach-back is eight years to recapture transfers "in contemplation of death".

Speak with a PA attorney about your options. Do not attempt to avoid this probable indebtedness without professional help.

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