Holland, MI asked in Elder Law for Michigan

Q: My grandmother recently moved out of her home and into an assisted living facility. Should she sell her house?

My grandmother is in agreement about selling her house but the family wants to make sure that this will not result in any negative outcomes. She is paying out of pocket for the assisted living as it is not otherwise covered. She has SSI and Medicare only. She is not eligible for Medicaid, nor are we applying. Another family member spoke with a lawyer who advised to not sell the home because people would then try to come back and request payment for things. I know this is possible with Medicaid once a person passes but she is paying her own expenses and needs the money from selling her house to pay for assisted living. Is there any other reason we should not sell the home?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Elder Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: This situation is complex enough to warrant a consult with an elder law attorney AND a financial planner to help you all run through various scenarios and outcomes. In fact, there is so many products and strategies out there that you may just want to get at least two solid opinions because there are professionals out there that will sell you on a strategy that ends up costing more to set up than what you risk or save.

A lot will depend on what you all define as your objection and what a "bad outcome" looks like...and how much you're willing to spend to avoid that "bad outcome". Your mother wouldn't be doing anything illegal by selling or holding. If there are creditors out there, I suppose they could put a lien on the property now or in the future so that's certainly something to take into account if that's a realistic concern.

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