If my mom is going through cancer treatments and would like to add my name to the deed of their home, is there a time period in which my name needs to be on the deed before their assets are protected against medical liens, etc.?

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If my mom is going through cancer treatments and would like to add my name to the deed of their home, is there a time period in which my name needs to be on the deed before their assets are protected against medical liens, etc.?

Asked on December 17, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Five years: that's the Medicaid "look-back" period, or the period of time during which Medicaid could potentially reverse any transaction not made for fair market value (that is, where the person acquiring an interest in the home did not pay the fair value of the share or interest in the home) and take the home for Medicaid bills. While that period of time applies only specifically to Medicaid, not, say, a lien from a private hospital or care provider, it would be used as guidance for how long in advance the transaction should be done to show that it was not done to defraud the care provider. (All states have laws that say that non-fair-market value transactions done with any awareness of an actual or likely future debt can be set aside as fraudulent to the creditors.) Unfortunately, "asset protection," like putting a home in a child's name, needs to be done well in advance (years in advance) of when you might need it.


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