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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Enhanced Life Estate Deed vs Living Trust

    My question involves estate planning in the state of: NY

    My elderly mom wants to turn over her condo to me to avoid probate should anything happen to her. She resides in NY and her home is valued at approximately 200k with no liens, judgments or mortgage. Her condo is the only asset she owns. I read various articles where at one point in time it was advisable to use an Enhanced Life Estate Deed and now I am reading that many elder law attorneys advise against it and lean towards setting up a living trust, even though itís more costly and involved. Since the only asset is her condo, I thought it be better to set up an Enhanced Life Estate DeedÖit allows life estate ownership, avoids probate , step-up cost basis, and costs less and simpler process (so Iím told). The only downside I read is the 5 year Medicaid waiting period for NY residence should she need Medicaid assistance. Iím not even sure if she qualifies for Medicaid. She receives $1200 in SS, and $550 pension of which $300 goes to her private medical insurer.

    Questions:

    1. Based on the above information, what would be reasons for setting up a trust over an enhance life estate?
    2. What are known problems/issues with an enhanced life estate?
    3. I do not want to risk letting a few extra dollars stand in the way of possibly receiving Medicaid assistance within the next 5 year waiting period but I also do not want to squander a couple thousand dollars setting up a trust if a life estate deed is adequate. How would I know if she even qualifies for Medicaid based on her income?
    4. Are Quitclaim or Warranty deeds advisable in this situation?


    Any guidance anyone can provide is much appreciated. Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Enhanced Life Estate Deed vs Living Trust

    There are plenty of sites that help someone create a living trust for very little money.

    "Her condo is the only asset she owns."

    I suspect you're not saying that she has no furniture or other personal property or bank accounts, so I'd view this declaration with skepticism.

    "How would I know if she even qualifies for Medicaid based on her income?"

    https://apps.nyhealth.gov/doh2/appli...ingstarted.jsp

    There's also:

    http://www.wny-lawyers.com/wordpress/?p=521

    "Are Quitclaim or Warranty deeds advisable in this situation?"

    The word "advisable" gives this question a particular slant. Strangers wouldn't be in a position to declare what's advisable to your mom. She could use a quit claim deed to transfer her interest to you and retain a life estate. No reason to expect a warranty deed unless it's an arm's length transaction where they're buying the place.

    I suggest that you tell your mom to talk with a local elder law or real estate attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Enhanced Life Estate Deed vs Living Trust

    Thanks for your quick response! I will research the links you provided. Yes, she has other assets but not of much value. I guess I was trying to wiegh the pros and cons and differences of each the enhanced life estate vs. trust and wanted feedback from others with more knoweldge.

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