Protect the Family Home by Declaring an Intent to Return Home
This edition of the Koldin Law Center E-Newsletter begins a series reviewing options for how you can protect your family home after you are already ill and even when you are already in a Nursing Home.
In this Newsletter we discuss submitting an “Intent to Return Home.”
In the previous issue, we reviewed Estate Planning options to protect the family home when you are in reasonably good health, including transferring the home to another person and transferring the home to an Irrevocable Trust.
All prior newsletters are saved on our website. You can read them by clicking here.
Under the Medicaid law, the family home is a special asset that has important additional protections in the event of a long term illness.
When a single person (never married, spouse has already died, divorced, or spouse is already in a nursing home) enters a Nursing Home, he/she is entitled to keep $15,900 (2021 figure). The family home is no longer exempt and must be sold and spent towards the cost of care before he/she would become eligible for Medicaid.
Intent to Return Home
There is one important exception where the Medicaid Agency cannot force the sale of the home and that is when the Medicaid applicant signs a statement declaring his/her intent to someday return to his/her home.
When the Medicaid applicant signs an “intent to return home” statement, the Medicaid Agency will not force the sale of the home. The home will not be counted for eligibility purposes, but the Medicaid Agency will place a lien on the home.
If you do not return home, then whenever your home is sold, while you are living or after your death, Medicaid will have the right to be reimbursed from the proceeds of sale for any expenses it paid toward the cost of your care.
If you do return home, then the Medicaid Agency must withdraw the lien.
Submitting an intent to return home does not protect your home unless you actually return home. It is a method to establish Medicaid eligibility without being forced to sell your home.
The advantage of delaying the sale of your home and establishing immediate Medicaid eligibility is that:
(1) it protects you from losing your home in the event you become medically able in the future to return home; and
(2) the cost of care is normally less expensive at the Medicaid rate than the private pay rate which means that the depletion of the equity in your home is at a lower rate.
Depending on how long you remain in a nursing home, your income, the cost of care, and the value of your home, it is possible that there may be some equity remaining for your heirs after the Medicaid lien is paid off at the time of the sale of the home.
For a discussion about how to protect your life savings even if you are already in a nursing home, please visit our website by clicking here.
The Koldin Law Center, P.C. is available to help. We assist families in protecting their life savings even when someone is already in a nursing home.
At the Koldin Law Center, P.C., located in East Syracuse, New York, we have over 50 years of experience helping individuals plan for immediate crisis and long term care. When the Koldin Law Center, P.C. handles a Medicaid case, we not only handle the entire application process, but we also review asset protection options with our clients. We review with our clients who are already in a Nursing Home options to protect some or all of their assets beyond merely establishing Medicaid eligibility. We do not charge a fee for the initial consultation. We welcome your children, family attorney, accountant, and/or financial planner to be present at the initial consultation.
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We appreciate your referrals
We have been told by many clients who are in a crisis that they wish they had known about our firm much sooner. We are proud of the many families we have helped in times of crisis.
We are also proud of the many families we helped avoid financial crisis by doing estate planning in advance.
We all share the responsibility for making our family and friends aware of the planning options available to them.
Your referral to the Koldin Law Center could make a major difference in the lives of your family and friends if they are someday faced with a long term illness.
Remember that the Koldin Law Center offers many services for clients of all ages. Our services range from basic estate planning such as a simple will to complex estate planning including asset preservation planning.
THERE IS NO FEE FOR THE INITIAL CONSULTATION