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  1. #1

    Default Quit Claim Deed and Medicare or Medicaid

    My parents divorced in 1992. My father had the house signed over to me and my mom. She is and has been in the hospital since May with a severe COPD exacerbation, as well as a few other medical problems. She has no insurance, and we are in the process of trying to get disability for her. We are currently waiting to recieve her birth certificate in the mail.

    My question is, should I have a quick claim deed done to have her sign over her ownership of the house to me. Because I am afraid that if she should pass away or never be able to return home, that Medicare or Medicaid could request half of the value of the home and force me to sell the house?

    Thank you in advance for your response.

    Paulette

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Practicing in Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    411

    Default Re: Quick deed claim question

    Quote Quoting radiant angel
    My parents divorced in 1992. My father had the house signed over to me and my mom. She is and has been in the hospital since May with a severe COPD exacerbation, as well as a few other medical problems. She has no insurance, and we are in the process of trying to get disability for her. We are currently waiting to recieve her birth certificate in the mail.

    My question is, should I have a quick claim deed done to have her sign over her ownership of the house to me. Because I am afraid that if she should pass away or never be able to return home, that Medicare or Medicaid could request half of the value of the home and force me to sell the house?

    Thank you in advance for your response.

    Paulette

    My response:

    Unfortunately, this is type of gambit is typical of debtors who owe large sums of money, and who attempt to transfer their ownership of property, for example, to someone else in order to avoid payment.

    This type of transfer (in order to avoid a debt) can be reversed under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA). There is always a paper trail of such transfer; e.g., the Quit Claim Deed, and the proximity of "time" when the property was transferred. The debt involved will more that surely trigger an action against you and the home under the UFTA - - and it's a guarantee that Medi-Cal and Medicaid would start such an action. Remember, those funds are taxpayer funds, and those entities have a duty to the taxpayers to obtain reimbursement from the debtors assets, where available.

    There is also a better-than-even chance that the hospital would do the same when Med-cal and Medicaid do not pay the entire amounts owed to the hospital.

    So, it doesn't matter whether your Mom survives or not - - the creditors will still look for assets, and if you transfer the property as you suggest, those creditors will see that it was a recent transfer and go after the property under the UFTA.

    You may want to consult with a Bankruptcy attorney for your Mom to determine if that avenue is best for your Mom, and the impact it may have on her ownership interest to the property.

    Good luck to you.

    IAAL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    985

    Default Re: Quit Claim Deed and Medicare or Medicaid

    Since your mother is already in the hospital, you are already 2-5 years past the time when you could have transferred the house as IAAAL said.

    HOWEVER, there may be things that you can do to minimize your financial obligations.

    In what state do you live?
    Wat is the value of the home, at least the tax value?
    How old is your mother?
    Does she smoke? If she smoked in the past, when did she quit?
    when did she originally receive the diagnosis of COPD?
    What are her other health problems?
    Have both you and your mother been tested for Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, if so what is her phenotype? Serum testing is not enough, it must be genetic testing which is available FREE through
    http://www.alphaone.org/news/archive...ing_trial.html

    Why do I ask these quesitons? COPD is the most expensive form of death because it takes on the average 20 years to die from it. Depending on when your mother received her diagnosis of COPD and if she has increased genetic risks, it is possible that if and or when she is qualified for disability, it might be backdated, that may qualify her for Medicare more quickly as there is a 27 month waiting period from the onsett of disability benefits to eligibility for medicare, and if her disability is backdated there would be a back payment some or all might go to offset her hospital bills. If she is applying for SSA disability get assistance from your local independent resource living center as SSA routinely rejects most applications on the first application requiring an appeals process, so it is best to have help. There are medicare limits on length of hospital stays.

    It is best to get mom home from the hospital ASAP to minimize the financial obligations, if she is in the final stages of COPD hospice may be in order.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Quit Claim Deed and Medicare or Medicaid

    Thank you for replying. However, we are not trying to get out of paying for her care. My husband and I would be more than willing to make payments of her bills no matter what her outcome.

    My parents had this house built many years ago, and my mom wanted me to have it in the event that she were to pass. Of course, she has no will. So, she and my father had the home put in my name as well as hers. I just don't want someone taking the home away in the event that we cannot get the medical bills paid ASAP.

    Thank you again, and you have helped me greatly!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,620

    Default Re: Quit Claim Deed and Medicare or Medicaid

    I'm going to pontificate a bit... please excuse me.

    Lawyers often have clients come into their offices, trying to deal with the consequences of "kitchen table" estate planning - that is, the result of family members sitting down at the kitchen table and trying to form their own estate plans through quitclaim deeds or other similar means, with no real appreciation of the legal or tax consequences of their actions.

    Typical problem scenarios include a parent who is being forced out of her home by a child, after the child was made owner of the house, or where the child has squandered a parent's assets after being made a joint holder of banking and financial accounts. More commonly, I see children receiving an asset with zero basis, rather than inheriting the asset with a stepped-up basis, such that they have significant capital gains tax exposure when the asset is sold.

    There are situations where in the hope of "avoiding" having to contribute to medical costs, a kitchen table transaction relating to a home which was otherwise subject to a Medicaid or Medicare exemption eliminates the exemption. That is, the transfer of title makes the asset subject to Medicare and Medicaid spend-down provisions.

    In most cases, the cost of an estate plan is relatively modest. (It tends to be higher, in my experience, through an accounting firm than through a law firm.) Most people who are concerned about their assets, or who may be facing significant medical bills in their elder years, will benefit from having an estate plan created by a lawyer who is well-versed in their state's laws of inheritance as well as state and federal tax law. And the cost of an estate plan is almost always far less than the cost of a mistake made between family members at the kitchen table.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    985

    Default Re: Quit Claim Deed and Medicare or Medicaid

    Quote Quoting radiant angel
    Thank you for replying. However, we are not trying to get out of paying for her care. My husband and I would be more than willing to make payments of her bills no matter what her outcome.

    My parents had this house built many years ago, and my mom wanted me to have it in the event that she were to pass. Of course, she has no will. So, she and my father had the home put in my name as well as hers. I just don't want someone taking the home away in the event that we cannot get the medical bills paid ASAP.

    Thank you again, and you have helped me greatly!
    It is more complicated than paying her bills and you really need an attorney for the estate planning and someone competent to assist with the SSDI application. The informaiton I gave re A1AD is for YOUR benefit as well and that test is FREE!

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