Mom wants to leave me her home. What happens with Medicaid?


Q. My mom owns a mobile home that is nearly 30 years old. She is leaving it to me in her will, which was written 20 years ago. What will it mean for Medicaid? She’s 91.
— Trying to understand

A. Medicaid rules can be complicated, so we’re glad you asked.

When a person applies for Medicaid, they must qualify both financially and medically.

When determining whether a person qualifies financially, that person’s income and resources are considered, said Naomi Becker Collier, an attorney and partner with Pashman Stein Walder Hayden in Hackensack.

She said if the mobile home is titled in the name of the person seeking Medicaid and it’s their primary residence — and community Medicaid is being sought — assuming they would otherwise qualify for Medicaid, the ownership of that mobile home should not negatively impact the ability to qualify for Medicaid.

If, however, the individual seeking to qualify for Medicaid is not living in the mobile home and/or is not seeking community Medicaid — for instance, if they are in a long term care facility and require Medicaid for its payment — then the value of the mobile home will be considered when determining whether they qualify financially, Collier said.

“Specifically, the current value of the mobile home will generally be included in that person’s available resources for qualification purposes — unless some exception applies — and if that individual’s total resources is above the allowable amount for qualification, then they will not qualify for Medicaid,” she said.

Your mom’s will is only effective when she passes away and only controls how the asset is to be distributed at that time, assuming the mobile home was still owned at the time of death. The will would not impact the current ownership of the asset, which is what is important when applying for Medicaid, she said.

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This story was originally published on July 14, 2021. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.