Ask the Experts!
Here’s the question of the day.
Question: My client’s mother has a life estate interest in the place where she lives. The remainder interest is earmarked for my client. Is the mother’s interest in the property an asset that counts against her financial eligibility for Medicaid?
Answer: Generally no. An ownership interest in the Medicaid applicant’s primary residence—including a life estate interest—is usually an exempt asset for Medicaid purposes.
A gift transfer of a remainder interest in real estate to a child is a transfer subject to the Medicaid five year look-back. So if the client’s mother gave the remainder interest in real estate to her daughter within five years of applying for Medicaid, the transfer might impair the mother’s eligibility for benefits.
If the gift transfer of the remainder interest was more than five years prior to application for Medicaid, the property would not be counted.
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