Does Medicare have the right to takean inheritance?

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Does Medicare have the right to takean inheritance?

In 1977, my mother and father bought land “A”. Approximately 21 years later, they divorced. The divorce decree gave my dad ownership of the land and my mother a “life estate” to remain on the property as long as she lived. He then bought land “B”. He died 3 years ago with a Will that left land “A” to me and land “B” to my brother. The Will was probated and the court placed each property in our respected names. Now my mother is about to go on Medicare and into a nursing home. Can Medicare take land “A” from me?

Asked on August 24, 2010 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, they can not.  Your Mother does not own land "A" she is only the holder of a life estate.  It is only an "interest" in land for her lifetime.  She could not mortgage it or sell it.  She could only live there or collect income from it until her death. In this respect it is no different than someone who rents.  You have what is known as the "remainder interest" in the land given you by the only person who could pass the land on after his death: your Father.  Your property should be safe from any attachment that is attempted by any creditor, Medicare or otherwise.  Make sure that all our ownership documents are in place.  Good luck.


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