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Do We Have to Report My Father's House on a Medicaid Estate Recovery Form If He Transferred It to His Wife?

  • September 26th, 2018
Q
My father went into a nursing home in Pennsylvania in December 2005. He immediately applied for Medicaid and had to cash in all his assets. His spouse was allowed to keep all her assets, their home, and one vehicle. In January 2005, my father transferred their home into his spouse's name only. My father lived in a nursing home until his death in April 2018. His spouse is still living in the home. We got a Pennsylvania estate recovery program questionnaire asking my father's spouse to list all of his assets and properties. Does the home have to be reported if the spouse's name is the only name on the deed?
A

We cannot answer your question with certainty because we do not practice in Pennsylvania and haven’t seen the questionnaire. That said, we don’t think you have to report the house. A state’s right to recover its Medicaid expenses paid out on behalf of someone who has died only extends to that individual’s own property, not to his spouse's. And it only applies to the property he owned at death, not to what he owned when he entered the nursing home. Since under the Medicaid rules, there are no restrictions on transferring property between spouses, that change does not need to be reported now. In short, if Pennsylvania is like most (or all?) states, you don’t need to report the house. A Pennsylvania elder law attorney could confirm this. To find an attorney near you, go here: https://www.elderlawanswers.com/pennsylvania-elder-law-attorneys

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Last Modified: 09/26/2018

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