Will I have to leave this home if my mom needs long term care and moves out?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 13, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I am disabled with 2 teens. I live with my mom and take care of her 24hr. a day. My dad died 2 yrs ago.This old home is all I ever wanted. I will inherit the house when both parents pass away.  Will they take my home if  my mom gets sick and has to have long term care in a facility? It's where I lived all my life, I am 41,and on ssi.

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.

Fortunately, if your mother requires long-term care in a nursing home through Medicaid, the law does provide for your mother to be able to transfer the home to you without affecting her Medicaid eligibility if you qualify, as it appears you do for the caretaker child exception.  This rule is an exception to the rule that transfers of the home would be a disqualifying transfer and it applies when you have resided in the home with your mother for at least two years immediately prior to her going into a nursing home.  In addition, you must have provided care during that time that enabled your parent to stay at home rather than in a nursing home.  A statement from your mother's physician would be sufficient to prove that you have been taking care of her.  It is important to remember, however, that if your mother waits until just before going into a nursing home to transfer her interest in the home to you, she may not be mentally competent at that time to make the transfer.  Therefore it is important that she have a Durable Power of Attorney in place to permit her agent under the Durable Power of Attorney to make the transfer on her behalf if she is mentally unable to do it herself.  You should see an elder planning lawyer soon to discuss these possibilities.