Transferring a home to one’s child as part of Medicaid planning

by | Jun 21, 2018 | Firm News |

To qualify for Medicaid benefits, the combined total of a person’s income and assets cannot surpass a certain threshold, which is relatively low. A person’s home may be counted as an asset for the purpose of Medicaid qualification. However, people in New Jersey need not impoverish themselves to obtain Medicaid benefits. This is because there are exceptions to what counts as an asset when determining whether one is eligible for Medicaid.

For example, it is possible to transfer the house a parent lives in to an adult child who is caring for that parent and has been living with that parent in the parent’s home for at least two years. In this way, the house will not count as an asset for purposes of the five-year look back period when the person applies for Medicaid. The care provided needs to be related to assisting the parent with daily personal care and tasks. In general, an adult child cannot be considered to be a caregiver and also hold down a fulltime job, as the care of the parent is supposed to be a fulltime endeavor.

However, New Jersey rules on this exception are strict. Adult children will need to provide proof that their parent owns the house and they will need to provide a copy of their birth certificate. It may also be necessary to provide documentation of the care the adult child gives to their parent.

When it comes to applying for Medicaid, there are many rules that must be followed. However, there are also exceptions to some of these rules, which could prevent asset depletion. Understanding what is and what is not counted as an asset for the purpose of qualifying for Medicaid is a legal issue that many people may not have much, if any, experience with. Therefore, if a person wants to pursue Medicaid benefits, they will want to make sure they understand the legal requirements, so they can submit a comprehensive application for benefits.