Question: My husband has dementia and needs nursing home care. Can he get Medicaid benefits if I deed our home to our daughter? It’s worth about $200,000. I need to continue living there. I get $850 in Social Security each month, he gets $2,200.
Answer: Your home is an “exempt” asset under Georgia Medicaid rules. But, if you deed it to your daughter, Medicaid will consider it a “transfer” and impose a 34 month period of ineligibility.
If the only thing the two of you own is your home, and your husband qualifies medically, he is eligible for Medicaid. Because your income is less than the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance of $2,980, the law will “divert” some of his income to you. He will be allowed to keep $50 as his “Personal Needs Allowance”. The rest of his income must be paid to the nursing home; Medicaid will pay the balance of the nursing home bill.
It appears you don’t need legal help to qualify for Medicaid. The nursing home can help you with the application. But, you should talk with an experienced Elder Law Attorney to review your estate planning documents to be sure they take into account your husband’s dementia. You don’t want to leave your husband all your money if you die before him, since that would disqualify him from Medicaid. Also, he should not be named as your “Agent” to make medical and financial decisions.
To learn more, please attend one of our Senior Survival workshops at the Broadway Diner in Fayetteville on the 3rd Tuesday of each month or the Loft at Due South on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Call Erica for details on this month’s topic, times, and to register.
Bob Goldberg, has practiced law for 24 years, specializing in Estate planning and Elder Law since 1999. His firm has assisted over 2,500 clients with wills, trusts, Medicaid and VA benefits planning, asset preservation, and probate/trust administration.
Robert M. Goldberg & Associates