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My sister-in-law took in my elderly father-in-law several years ago. Together they bought a modest house about two years ago. A year ago he took his name off the deed, so the house is now "hers."

Last week he had a(nother) stroke and is incapacitated. Applying to nursing homes, a question on the application is "In the last 60 months have you transferred significant assets to anyone?"

He has enough money to pay the nursing home for about 18 months to 2 years, depending. After that he would be on medicaid, which pays them less. The nursing homes will take him as "self pay" and then keep him as "medicaid" if it comes to that, but I'm sure they want to find out if someone has impoverished himself so that they get the "reduced" Medicaid rate sooner.

Other facts: The house was bought mostly, but not exclusively with "his" money. The first stroke was 20 years ago and was not incapacitating. This one is. He is 89.

I know what my answer is, but how would you answer the question?
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My sister-in-law took in my elderly father-in-law several years ago. Together they bought a modest house about two years ago. A year ago he took his name off the deed, so the house is now "hers."

Other facts: The house was bought mostly, but not exclusively with "his" money.


That transfer is a gift from father to daughter. I'm guessing that it exceeds the $13k limit for non-reportable gifts. If my guess is correct, a gift tax return is required.

... a question on the application is "In the last 60 months have you transferred significant assets to anyone?"

I would answer that question "yes".

Wait - you asked for an amateur legal opinion. That would require determining the definition of "significant assets". Depending on the definition of that term, you can then answer the question based on that definition.

--Peter
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"In the last 60 months have you transferred significant assets to anyone?"

...

how would you answer the question?


"Yes. I was able to save $100 by not talking to a lawyer. Gift tax return? What's that?"

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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You really have to think about this ?

The answer is "yes" and 60 months is called the look back time period.
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You really have to think about this ?

No, I don't. But because there are many voices in that household, and because I have no "legal" or "actual" authority over anything, and because others closer to the situation disagreed with me, I thought I would ask others here and see if I was crazy.

I am not crazy. However some of "them" are.
 
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My sister-in-law took in my elderly father-in-law several years ago.

Make sure SIL keeps copious documentation of her initial investment. If lookback time does come she may be able to protect that if she can prove it. OTOH, it might be in her best interest to sell the house now and get her share while she can. Unless an aversion to seeking professional help runs in the family, it might behoove her to talk to a lawyer now, before she puts more money into the place.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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Google "Medicaid lookback" for them

Not good to defraud the Federal government.
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Unless an aversion to seeking professional help runs in the family

It does. It always does. And if there are three possible courses of action: right, wrong, and seriously idiotic, they will dither and then select from either of the last two.

For the record, the vote from the family was 2 that "it matters" (me/Mrs. Goofy and one SIL who spend her life with SSA), and 4 that "it doesn't" including the daughter who took him in, another, himself, and an elderly sister.

Finally, I would only note that while the gift tax does apply, it's irrelevant (except for paperwork), given that the house is "manufactured", sits in what used to be called "a trailer park", and isn't worth much anyway. So by my reading it will easily fall within the lifetime exclusion for that particular issue. I remind myself that most people never get, nor give "gifts" of any real size and are unfamiliar with the concept at all - which is not to excuse the behavior of not having a lawyer involved when changing names on a deed (how would you go about that without a lawyer?), but there you have it. The dark side of the family.

Frankly, we didn't even know about the deed or much else until it was a fair accompli. That's how things usually roll over there, and they never seem to learn. Ah well.

The issue now is the "look back" period for Medicaid, given that this all happened so recently, and he will be out of money (best case) in 18 months or (worst) in a year. Then what? I'm seriously tempted to turn off the phone and say 'Not my problem', but then it's the Mrs.' family, and I don't think that's really an option.
 
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Finally, I would only note that while the gift tax does apply, it's irrelevant (except for paperwork), given that the house is "manufactured", sits in what used to be called "a trailer park", and isn't worth much anyway.

The look back period is now 5 years.

Legal advice could still help minimize the damage, but those who are determined not to pay won't listen.
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The issue now is the "look back" period for Medicaid, given that this all happened so recently, and he will be out of money (best case) in 18 months or (worst) in a year. Then what?

Beats me. Maybe they'll prosecute FIL for Medicaid fraud and send him up for three hots and a cot. My father's ace in the hole for when he ran out of money was to set a mailbox on fire, then wait to get arrested.

My best advice would be to hope for the best and expect the worst so that any surprises are pleasant. In my case the worst would be that the family would suddenly be staring at me expecting me to house him or support him. You and Mrs. Goofy must define your own worst and be ready with your response.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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And if there are three possible courses of action: right, wrong, and seriously idiotic, they will dither and then select from either of the last two.

Goofy, your wife and I must be related through my dad's side of the family. Whatever the right thing to do is, he'll do different just to prove that he is in control of his life.

I hope this issue gets resolved smoothly with little stress for you and Mrs. Hoofy.

Foolish regards,

Vic
ancora imparo
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The answer may depend on the state. I would not be surprised if some treat transfer of a home, or a joint interest in a home to a resident/caretaker child, as exempt. Probably should get professional legal advice on something like this, though.
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Hey loopholes,

HAPPY FOOLIVERSARY !

Rich
Arizona
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The answer may depend on the state.

If it doesn't matter, then reporting it doesn't matter. Half interest in an older mobile home isn't going to be much.

I doubt that the transfer is exempt. States are very aggressive about equity in a primary residence. The claim is often deferred until the surviving spouse no longer lives in the house, but that is it.
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Half interest in an older mobile home isn't going to be much.

He did say "manufactured" which is different and you might be surprised by the possible value.
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He did say "manufactured" which is different and you might be surprised by the possible value.

Not given the rest of the statement:

given that the house is "manufactured", sits in what used to be called "a trailer park", and isn't worth much anyway.

"Manufactured" homes in nice mobile home parks can have significant value. I don't believe that is true in this case.
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Hey loopholes,

HAPPY FOOLIVERSARY !

Rich
Arizona


why, thanks! I hadn't realized...I'd have dressed up for the occasion. :)
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stockmover wrote:
Hey loopholes,

HAPPY FOOLIVERSARY
________________________________

Thanks! I hadn't realized...I'd have dressed for the occasion. :)
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I hope I would answer yes under the circumstances described. It just isn't worth getting in trouble over. Alternatively, tell the folks at the nursing home the truth, then ask them how to fill it out. You might be surprised at what they say.
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Just to wrap up the thread. Mrs. Goofy got an appointment with an elder care attorney; he was on vacation but made an exception because he handled some issues for Mrs. Goofy's mother many years ago, and because of exigent circumstance.

Anyway, much of the discussion revolved around whether we could "make him stay" in the assisted living home, or whether - as he wants - he can return home, even though he is incompetent to care for himself in any way. (Can't walk, can't get out of bed, can't chew without gagging, etc.) I'll leave that to the Parents boards, but on the question relevant here:

The attorney says the house will not be an issue, because the title wasn't moved to protect it from Medicaid. (The stroke came after, although not well after the change.) If it were some degenerative disease, maybe, but he is confident he could win and exclude the house from the look back requirement.

Since the thread began with my asking about the application form for the nursing home which asked about the "60 months", I will only say that he also happens to be the attorney for that particular home, and made a phone call and Mrs. Goofy's father was accepted without documentation of any kind, including bank statements, tax statements, or signed documentation about the "60 months." (He says that he has an agreement with the home that he may also represent individual clients in such matters, although if something came to adjudication then there would have to be a split. Mrs. Goofy specifically asked about "conflict of interest" and he waved it away.)

Of course that's ony 10% of the battle. The father is still determined to go home, and he will fire the home health aides (a requirement from the hospital to discharge him) within days, leaving himself to fester in his bed while the sister, who works two jobs, will come home to a rotten mess every night and her life will be a living hell. But no, he can't be declared "incompetent" because he still has his faculties, and making bad decisions, even terrible decisions, isn't enough, they have to be actually dangerous decisions or total incompetence, neither of which fits this situation.

Tragic stuff going on, but what are you going to do? (This is Pennsylvania, in case I hadn't mentioned it.)

Anyway, an actual lawyer; money well spent. He doesn't know about it, but others in the family do and are amazed at the concept.
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if both of their names were on the deed than he gifted 1/2 to her. that is the amount the look back can go for. She should be prepared to pay off 1/2 the value of the place. not sure if they will want the fair market price of 2 years ago or now.

if he had given her the place 6 years ago it would have been a non event for look back. too bad.

good luck.
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