Have a question about selling Moms house

carrie630April 17, 2013

I know that if we sell her house, it goes into the money to pay for her assisted living, but what if the house doesn't sell?

If it doesn't sell, can we buy it at a price that is not what it's going for?

I have no intentions of doing that, but if we did, I don't want Medicaid to think we were getting "something for nothing"

In other words, can we buy her place if it doesn't sell (at a lower price just to have her stop paying maintenance, etc. every month
and to get something for her place to continue paying for AL



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I think you should ask either/both the tax person and a lawyer specializing in Elder care.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 4:15PM
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yes, you are probably right. I think if we bought it and the price was considered too low, Medicaid would question us. I don't want any problems like that...

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 5:31PM
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Marie is correct. you need to talk with a CPA and an elder care attorney. And you definitely need to get a competent real estate agent who will guide you in pricing the house according to other homes in the neighborhood and its condition.

My mother-in-law and her son living nearby made the mistake many home sellers make. They set their sights too high and expected her small, outdated home to sell at the same price as newer, updated,& larger homes. They got an offer within 3 weeks of putting it on the market but decided to turn it down because it wasn't enough money. (By the way, they got their selling price from their agent, a family friend. We had visited a few months earlier and talked with another real estate agent who gave us a much more realistic selling price. I did research online too, but neither mother-in-law nor son would listen to our advice.) The end result was that my mother-in-law moved into a continuing care retirement community and the house remained on the market for another year. She had to pay property taxes, yard & other maintenance costs, and some utilities in addition to the retirement apartment rent during that time. And, when it finally sold, they got the same amount as the first offer. A year of extra expenses and worry -- just because the house wasn't priced correctly in the first place.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:15PM
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Yes, Shambo - we are very aware of pricing, etc. I am more concerned with how we could buy it from her if it is on the market and no one buys it after a reasonable amount of time.
Yes, prices where she has been have dropped but it is in excellent condition - just too many around just like it.

Reason for this question: When applying for Medicaid, is there a problem if WE bought her house - I guess not if the real estate agent sold it to us at the price that was evident at the time.

Does that make sense? Or are family members looking "suspicious" when buying a house owned by the elderly needing the money to pay for AL or even towards Medicaid...
We are thinking if it doesn't sell, we could buy it and she'd have more money to pay for AL...and not have maintenance fees every month coming out of social security.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:24AM
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Call medicaid and ask them. When I knew I needed to do a division of assets I went to SRS for information.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 9:22AM
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Carrie, in the past year or so, when you've come here for information, you've always been directed to a specialist Elder Law attorney in your (or your mother's) state for specific advice.

Have you ever consulted such an attorney with your questions?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 9:57AM
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No, but I guess that would be the answer.

Honestly, I thought this forum was just helpful and I don't feel like paying a lawyer if I can get some answers here... I am not dealing with a lot of money and don't want to spend what is there on a lawyer.

If I have a REAL legal worry, then of course, I have the sense to consult someone who is the expert... but some of my questions are just asked in case someone else had the same situation as mine.

Thanks for the reminder, though.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 12:48PM
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You don't go to an attorney AFTER you mess up. Go now and avoid costly problems in the future. If you have an concern that your mother will need Medicaid, then you must do the proper planning ahead of time.

None of us are attorneys, we are in all parts of the US and Canada with different local laws.

You know, legal advice is just as good as what you pay for. Our advice is free, which means it's pretty worthless for your mother's specific case.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 7:05PM
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"Amen," to what Sushipup just said. Paying for legal advice from a competent elder care attorney is worthwhile. It's much better to speak with an attorney before complications arise. That way, your attorney will be familiar with all the specifics that are unique to your situation when or if trouble arises. And having a small estate should not be a consideration. Even someone with just a house and a bit of savings can run into difficulties if they or their relatives do not do things properly.

Consider it like insurance. You pay it and maybe nothing ever happens for a while.But when it does, you're glad you have it. When you have to deal with the complexities of Medicaid, etc., you'll be glad you consulted with an attorney and have a good CPA on your side.

My county's Council on Aging provides low cost, sometimes free, services for the elderly. Can you avail yourself of a similar service?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 7:44PM
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Yes, I'm on the local agency's advisory council, and federal money funds legal senior services.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 7:50PM
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Sushipup, sorry if my questioned was awkwardly worded. I know you're actively working with aging agencies and have a lot of knowledge and experience in that area.

I was addressing Carrie. Perhaps she could consult with her local agency that deals with the elderly. They might be able to point her in the direction of low cost legal services that are available for seniors.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:30PM
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Not awkward at all, you said it well; I was just confirming. Yes, the Older Americans Act of 1965 funds senior legal services. But unless the OP is 60 or over (I think that's the age), they won't see her as a client. Her mother would be the client, which means that mother will be the one that the attorney advises. It's not a great solution in this situation, I'm afraid, unless mother is capable of acting on her own behalf.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 11:05PM
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You have sold me! Thanks so much for the wonderful advice...
getting on the phone today... we have a Council on Aging here very close by and they can direct me as to where to go...I forgot all about them...


PS Good luck to all...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 7:06AM
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