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Sunday, March 27, 2022

What Should You Do With Your House If Moving to a Nursing Home?

Are you or a loved one planning on leaving your home to move to a nursing home? It is a big decision, but one that can be in everyone’s best interests. Nursing homes provide a heightened level of care and comfort that can be difficult for caregivers to provide in the home. After or during the decision making process regarding the nursing home move, the topic of what should be done with the house will probably come up, as it should. There is so much tied up in a home. There are memories, money, and so much more. Should you sell the home? Transfer it to a relative, such as your child? Here we will talk about considerations to take into account when approaching the question of what should be done with your house if you are moving to a nursing home.

What Should You Do With Your House If Moving to a Nursing Home?

There are many important considerations when evaluating what to do with your home when moving into a nursing home. In some cases, a spouse or other dependent family member will remain in the home. In this type of situation, there is nothing that needs to be done with the house. It will not count against the person moving into the nursing home for Medicaid eligibility purposes and it will be occupied.

If there will be no one left in the home, then you may consider keeping the home or even renting it out. This, however, comes with its own challenges. The monthly expense of a mortgage and upkeep of a home can be significant. Renting it out can have its own challenges with property management needed to address any issues a tenant may have with the property. Rental property income may also risk Medicaid eligibility.

Selling a home could be a good thing as the monthly mortgage expense would no longer be an issue and then there would be proceeds from the sale that, when properly managed, could be valuable asset to the person entering long-term care. Depending on when the sale of the home occurred, it could fall within the Medicaid lookback period and would count against the person should they seek Medicaid benefits to help cover the cost of nursing home care. A home when it is occupied by a homeowner or a qualifying relative will be considered an exempt asset for Medicaid purposes, but upon sale, the cash proceeds from the sale will not be considered exempt by Medicaid.

If the home is sold within the Medicaid lookback period, the individual seeking Medicaid benefits might have to use those proceeds to pay for care and other expenses before Medicaid benefits kick in. Regardless of when the home sells, however, the proceeds should be handled with care and a qualified elder law attorney should be consulted to explore options for what should be done with them.

Florida Estate Planning Attorney

If you or a loved one plans on moving to a nursing home now or in the near future, talk to the team at Verras Law about the unique issues you will likely need to confront in the process. Contact Verras Law today.


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