Can my mom keep the profit from the sale of her house if the state has been paying for my dad’s care?

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Can my mom keep the profit from the sale of her house if the state has been paying for my dad’s care?

Mom 82 year-old lives 8 miles out of town-needs to move to senior apartment in town for health reasons. Dad was injured about 20 years ago and has been nursing homes ever since. He was declared incompetent and mom is his guardian. Since Medicaid and Medicare have paid for his care, will she have to give any profit from the sale of her house to the state (she still has a mortgage, so there wouldn’t be a huge profit)? Plus, she has sizeable credit card bills from paying medical bills for him and herself.

Asked on October 20, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I think that you Mom needs to seek help from an elder law attorney in your area on this matter.  Generally speaking, if the house is in your Father's name as well as your Mother's then Medicaid and Medicare have liens on the property for monies paid out.  Is it her house or is it their house?  That was not clear.  His estate would be responsible for the payment and for the lien.  As his guardian she is in a fiduciary capacity to act and she needs to be very careful here. She has a dual role to play and they can cause conflict. She needs to make sure that she protects herself on a bunch of different levels.  Get some advice.  Good luck.


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