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Can a Spouse Sell a Home After the Medicaid Recipient Has Died?

  • April 26th, 2017
Q
My mom and dad jointly owned a home in Arkansas. My dad just passed away after having to spend some time in a long-term care facility that required him to sign up for Medicaid. The house is falling into disrepair and I would like my mom to move somewhere that requires less maintenance and is closer to family. She can't afford to move without selling her current home. Is she allowed to sell the home or is the state waiting to take it?
A

While we can’t give you a definite answer because there may be quirks in Arkansas law we don't know about, here's the general rule: If your parents owned the house as tenants by the entirety or as joint tenants, then the house belongs to your mother free and clear. She can sell the house and use the proceeds as she sees fit. But to be sure, you’ll need to consult with an Arkansas elder law attorney. To find an attorney near you, go here: http://www.elderlawanswers.com/arkansas-elder-law-attorneys.

For information about Medicaid estate recovery, click here.

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Last Modified: 04/26/2017
Medicaid 101
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In addition to nursing home care, Medicaid may cover home care and some care in an assisted living facility. Coverage in your state may depend on waivers of federal rules.

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Medicaid’s Eligibility and Transfer Rules

To be eligible for Medicaid long-term care, recipients must have limited incomes and no more than $2,000 (in most states). Special rules apply for the home and other assets.

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If steps aren't taken to protect the Medicaid recipient's house from the state’s attempts to recover benefits paid, the house may need to be sold.

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Learn about grandparents’ visitation rights and how to avoid tax and public benefit issues when making gifts to grandchildren.

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Understand when and how a court appoints a guardian or conservator for an adult who becomes incapacitated, and how to avoid guardianship.

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