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Thanks, all.

Is Medicaid national or state based?

Both. It appears Florida does allow a mechanism for a patient to leave his primary residence to an heir:

But I don't see how this would apply to a 2nd home.

After discussing the pros and cons, DH has agreed that he doesn't want to be on the title. As a first step, he sent SIL an email peppering her with questions, specifically why, if real estate is protected, they don't just title the house in FIL's name. We hope (assuming they do go ahead with the purchase) they just do that. If push comes to shove, he'll have to tell her point-blank he doesn't want to be a landlord.

All qualms aside about the ethical questions involved in these manipulations, I would prefer to get the stepped up basis in the property upon inheritance.

Technically, yes, but in this case I doubt FIL will live long enough for the property to appreciate. We'll be lucky if it doesn't get seriously damaged in a hurricane.

It's quite one thing to be sticking your nose in how SIL is taking care of FIL, it's quite another valid thing to be protecting your joint assets.

Exactly. We've been very hands-off until now, because it doesn't affect us, but DH agrees that if he's "going to be signing stuff,"* he wants to know exactly what's going on and all the ramifications. The more we look into it, the less he likes it.

* She could possibly put him on the title without his knowledge and consent, but since he has been informed (albeit on very short notice), at least he has a chance to object.
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