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In Medicaid lingo, that gift of your home causes an uncompensated transfer of assets penalty. The penalty is losing out on coverage for a period of time, based on a formula, equal to the value of the property given away. Unfortunately, your attempt to avoid the loss of your home through giving it away beforehand leads to a loss of Medicaid coverage. Another aspect of the Medicaid rules that can affect your home is Medicaid estate recovery. After your death, the state has the legal right to recover from your probate assets (the assets you owned on the date of death), the expenses paid, but actually that is rare. The recovery occurs through the placement of a lien on the property if it is a probate asset, but there are multiple exceptions. If your spouse or a dependent or handicapped child is still living in the home, it is protected. There are other exceptions that also apply. There is one simple option, available since 2014, which can make a big difference. Consult with an attorney about preparing a transfer on death deed to avoid probate of the property. The deed doesn't change anything about your current ownership but does list the after-death recipients. The transfer on death wording allows the property to pass to heirs, not be in your probate estate, and not be subject to Medicaid estate recovery. Medicaid coverage for nursing home care is a complex area of the law, and reaching out to learn more is important.
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