What to do if my sister wants to put me on the title to her house and living trust so that I can legally accept the house when she passes away?

UPDATED: Dec 27, 2012

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What to do if my sister wants to put me on the title to her house and living trust so that I can legally accept the house when she passes away?

However, my family and I are receiving Medicaid right now since our income is really low (only my husband works for $1,600/month). If she puts my name on the house’s title and living trust, can I still receive benefits? Will the benefits reduce? Will it affect my children if they apply for financial aid when they go to college? My daughter is concerned about the house value would affect the FAFSA application.

Asked on December 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, California


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is a complicated question because Medicaid eligibility is complicated.  If your sister has a lawyer preparing her documents, she should ask her lawyer about your questions.  They are good questions and you are right to ask them.  If she does not have a lawyer, you and she need a lawyer to advise about this.  I do not recommend trying to handle this kind of transaction alone.

There are ways to make sure title to your sister's house is transferred to you upon her death without making this house an asset to you right now.  I do not practice in California.  In Florida, a family's house (the one they live in) is exempt from consideration for Medicaid eligibility.  If that is also true in California, then your family could move into your sister's house after her death and it would be exempt for Medicaid purposes.

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