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Can a Medicaid Recipient Transfer the Proceeds from the Sale of a House to a Spouse?

  • May 28th, 2015
Q
A husband and wife sold their condo. The husband is a Medicaid recipient who moved into a nursing home a month before the sale. Can the husband transfer his share from the sale to his wife and still be eligible for Medicaid? 
A

The answer depends on the circumstances. The husband could definitely have transferred his interest in the condo to his wife and she would have received all of the proceeds without problem. But in this case, the husband received half of the proceeds. At least technically, this made him ineligible for Medicaid from the moment of the sale. He can transfer his share to his wife, bringing himself under the Medicaid asset limit, but whether or not this puts his wife over her limit as a spouse depends on her other resources. Depending on the situation, she may need to spend down some these funds through permitted means, such as paying for items she needs, purchasing a qualifying annuity, or purchasing another place to live. If this is all done very quickly, Medicaid may or may not disqualify the husband. If it does do so, it will be for a short period of time. As you can see, the answer to this simple question depends on the facts of the situation and the application of the law in the particular state. We strongly recommend that you consult with a local elder law attorney as soon as possible. For a directory of attorneys, click here.  

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Last Modified: 05/28/2015

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