One of the main concerns faced by families when forced to enter an elderly parent into a nursing facility is coming up with the money to pay for it. Families can apply for Medicaid; however, if the elderly parent still owns a home, Medicaid will not pay until all assets related to that home have been exhausted. This can often mean that the need to sell a home fast is the only option.
Can Medicaid Take Your Elderly Parent’s Home?
Yes and no. While they are still living in it or intend to recover and move back? No. However, if your parent signed a waiver giving Medicaid the right to assume ownership of their home once they moved into permanent long-term, non-private care, it would be possible. The home is liquidated, the funds used to pay for medical care, and once those funds have been exhausted Medicaid would begin to cover payments. Many times, the issue is not so much needing the funds to cover care until Medicaid can take over; the issue is often the need to sell a house that is old, in poor shape, and too expensive to repair it for selling in the conventional retail market.
Is There A Way Around the Medicaid Issue?
Sometimes. There are three exceptions that allow for home ownership to transfer without any type of Medicaid penalty: prior ownership sharing by children or siblings that is longer than five years and that person has lived in the home at least the year prior; there is still a minor or disabled child living in the house; or an adult child lived in the house two years prior in order to care for the elderly parent. As you can see, these are scenarios that are seldom met by most children concerning their parents home. So the choice for family members becomes either to apply for Medicaid – and possibly end up forfeiting the home – or to not apply for Medicaid and sell the house as is to come up with the funds for providing care without the assistance of Medicaid. The answer to this question is not an easy one, and depends on many things, including the value of the home, life expectancy of the parent requiring care, and more.
Even if the need to sell a home fast is required to come up with the funds to provide long-term care to an elderly parent, being in control of that money is a much better option than letting Medicaid liquidate the property and assume all proceeds. Money in the hands of the family when selling property as is works for the family and not for someone else, as it can be invested and used as needed to pay for elderly care.
Selling A House for Cash to Pay for Nursing Homes
Every state has different laws concerning Medicaid’s right to assume ownership of an applicant’s home over someone else. As noted above, the exceptions to this are very limited and seldom met by most families. Likewise, it is uncommon for a parent to know five years ahead of time that they will need to permanently enter a nursing home and sell their house at that earlier time.
In most cases, the need arises unexpectedly and a family faces the need to liquidate a parent’s assets in order to pay for nursing home care. In these situations, selling a home as is regardless of its condition without having to clean or repair it becomes the only solution. It alleviates families of having to deal with getting a home ready for a long sales process, puts all money available for their parent’s care, and avoids Medicaid using all the money that would otherwise go to an estate.
Family members looking at the possibility of having to enter a loved one into a nursing or long-term care facility must consider how to preserve their parent’s investment in a home first. Selling your parent’s home for cash is really the best option that allows children to provide for their parents nursing home needs.