What are the implications of the title of the home not being transferred? 15 Answers as of December 02, 2013

I have an estate question. My mother in law passed away 7 years ago. The home that she and my father in law lived in was in her name only; there was no mortgage on it. My father in law never transferred the title. His health is now failing. He has no insurance or income and his family is trying to put a game plan together for getting Medicaid and disability. He is only 62 years old.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
If he is not on title, he can perhaps qualify for Medicaid. Was there a will? If not, he may be considered to be an heir. Community or separate property? Better have a lawyer take a look.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/2/2013
Durkin Law, P.C.
Durkin Law, P.C. | Roger Durkin
Get the lawyer. The implications are he is the surviving spouse and likely now owns the home; and the state will put a lien on the house if he is nursing home bound paid by medicaid. Better to consult an lawyer NOW.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 12/2/2013
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
Did she have a will? If yes, that changes everything. If no, this is perfect; he doesn't own the house, so it will not be in his estate for purposes of estate recovery if he needs to go on Medicaid. Your mother's heirs can rent the house to him if he is medically able to stay there. If you don't get why I say rent it, then the family, in putting together that game plan, needs the assistance of a good elder law lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 12/2/2013
Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
Please see an attorney. I assume the value of the house is greater than $40,000. You will have to do a petition to determine heirs. If your spouse is a child of your mother and father-in-law, then your father-in-law is entitled to the first $20,000 and then he and the children of the marriage split the remaining assets.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 12/2/2013
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, if title to the house was not transferred at or around the time of death, via operation of law through the deed or through administering the estate, then the property is estate property that should be transferred to the beneficiary under a will or the heirs at law if there is no will bequeathing the asset. If the asset is/was to pass to your father-in-law, then the asset may be considered his for government benefit purposes.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 12/2/2013
    Law Offices of R. Christine Brown | R. Christine Brown
    Your father-in-law (or his nominee) will need to file a petition for probate for your mother-in-law's estate or a spousal property petition depending on whether the house is separate property and/or community property. You need to contact an elder law attorney who specializes in Medi-Cal Long Term Care issues to discuss how his ownership will impact his Medi-Cal eligibility (it won't disqualify him), but if he owns the house (or any interest in it) at the time of his death, then Medi-Cal will demand reimbursement for any Medi-Cal Long Term Care costs (skilled nursing costs) he incurred prior to death.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/26/2013
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    A probate of your mother-in-law's estate would be required in order to vest legal title in your father-in-law. If a Medicare application is made on his behalf, and if the County is aware that your father-in-law is entitled to this property, he may be required to obtain title. The home would not necessarily affect his eligibility immediately but it might be an asset the County would look to for a claim after he died.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/26/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Title can be transferred any time. He needs to sign the appropriate documents. An attorney can help you determine what documents those are after reviewing the title.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/26/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    The fact that the home is not in his name may work in his favor, especially for Medicaid. Medicaid is the health insurance the government grants to those indigent persons that own no real estate or any substantial assets.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/26/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You should see an estate planning/ elder law attorney with the details.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/26/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    Her probate estate will need to be opened to transfer clean title to the property. Contact an attorney who specializes in estates for further information and assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/26/2013
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    The principal residence would not be counted as an asset in determining eligibility anyway. Of course, someday, somebody is going to need to file a spousal property petition and/or a petition for probate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/26/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Seek the services of an estate planning attorney as there are many implications that need to be considered in light of the late stage health problem that is developing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/26/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    The home is an exempt asset for purposes of Medicaid qualification, but could be subject to estate recovery, depending on the estate planning in place. Probate can still be pursued, but you cannot transfer title without it, in all likelihood.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/26/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    The family should consult counsel. In Nevada, it may be construed as a community asset regardless of title. This is not an area to plan without experienced legal counsel. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/26/2013
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney