Should I buy Mom a house near me with her money should she be able to leave the nursing home or go for broke paying for her care and hope for Medicaid?

1 answer | Last updated: Jul 06, 2010
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mom has been in a nursing home since August of 2009. She is on Medicare so we are now paying out of pocked. They do not know if my Mom can ever leave a nursing home. She has too much money to apply for Medicaid, but my question is can I buy her a house here in Texas with some of the money she does have or will she have to go broke and take her chances if she gets out of the nursing home? I do not have room in my house and no other family member will take her in or have anything to do with this. I do have a full power of attorney, she was diagnosed with viral encephalitis.

Expert Answers

Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City and KRLA in Los Angeles. He is a practicing lawyer specializing in estate planning and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He's a public speaker and commentator who has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country, and he's the legal editor of Talkers magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. His latest book is The Truth About Avoiding Scams.

Medicaid law differs somewhat from state to state so it is important that you consult with a lawyer in her homestate.

Although, a home is a non-countable asset when determining Medicaid eligibility, buying a home for a person who is already in a nursing home would most likely not be considered by Medicaid authorities as effective for making the asset non-countable. However, there are a number of strategies that may be employed to shelter assets from Medicaid consideration and still have her eligible for Medicaid. Some of these include the purchase of business property and the purchase of certain types of annuities. Again, however, it is important to note that these laws vary considerably from state to state as to the countability of assets for Medicaid eligibility determinations so it is important to consult with a Medicaid lawyer in your mother's home state.