Caretaker Child Exemption

Using a Caretaker Child Exemption to Save Your Parents House from Medicaid and the Nursing Home

Through our [email protected] email service, we receive quite a few letters from caretakers and families who are concerned about their parents home and assets when and if their parents require nursing home care. These families want to preserve the assets that their parents worked hard to obtain, and they’re worried that everyitng will be taken by Medicaid as a result of the expensive nursing home costs. Here’s a letter we received recently from a daughter who is a caretaker for her mom.

Dear Nursing Home Guy,

My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers several years ago. My husband and I are retired, so we sold our house and we moved in with my mother. We have taken care of her for the last four years, but she’s getting more difficult to handle and the situation is causing marital problems. I don’t want to put mom in a nursing home, but I feel I have no choice. She requires 24 hour care and supervision. My mom has a small checking account and her house. I know that Medicaid would put a lien on her house if she goes into the nursing home. Is there anything we can do to protect her home?


Don’t Want To Be Homeless

If you’ve seen some of our other blogs, you might already know that a home is an exempt asset under Medicaid rules. Medicaid cannot put a lien on someone’s house while they are still alive. But a common problem arises with regards to upkeep, maintenance, taxes, and insurance on the home. If someone is in a nursing home, all of their income is likely being used to pay for that nursing home care. As a result, they don’t have any additional income to pay for those above mentioned costs to maintain the home.

So what do you do with the home? It’s quite the catch 22 situation. The home is exempt from Medicaid, so they can’t a put a lien on the home while mom is still alive. But mom can’t afford to maintain the house and pay taxes on it while she’s in the nursing home because all her income is being used to pay for the nursing home care.

Caretaker Child Exemption

But the short answer to the question is absolutely. There is a way to protect your mom’s home. The legal statutes and Medicaid rules, both Federal and State, provide a way to protect the house from the nursing home. This is called a “Caretaker Child Exemption,” and it allows an elderly individual to transfer their home to their children without risk of violating Medicaid’s look back period.

Applying for these types of exemptions can be quite complicated, so it’s best for you to give us a call so we can walk you through it. We’ll be glad to help you in this situation and help protect your mother’s house from the Medicaid lien.

Medicaid only puts a lien on the house after someones passes. This lien is for the amount of money that Medicaid has paid on behalf of the Medicaid recipient. For example, if mom had received $50,000 worth of Medicaid benefits, Medicaid would put a lien for $50,000 against her house after she passes. But there are legal ways to avoid that lien, and we’ll be glad to help you do that.

Contact Us So We Can Help You

If you have loved ones who are in a nursing home or will soon be going into a nursing home, we’ll be glad to talk to you. We’ll answer any questions you have about caretaker child exemptions, protecting your parents assets, or any other related questions you may have. Our goal is to help people protect their independence, safety, and security — not only the person who has to go into the skilled nursing facility, but also the children too. Please send us an email to [email protected], complete this form, or feel free to call us at 229-226-8183.

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