Boston Massachusetts Home and Asset Protection Lawyers
Also Serving Andover and Raynham Massachusetts
For most families their home is their most valuable asset. The elder law attorneys of Cohen & Oalican, LLP have the expertise needed to recommend the best path to a home and asset protection plan.
Primary Residence of a Medicaid Applicant
In most cases, the primary residence of a Medicaid applicant is not counted as an asset in determining eligibility. However, this does not mean that the house is protected. Once the applicant is approved for benefits, MassHealth will place a lien on the primary residence (with some exceptions). This is known as a Medicaid Lien. They will then seek reimbursement if the property is sold during the recipient's lifetime or at the time of death for payments made on the recipient's behalf.
Planning Now Can Protect Your Home from a Medicaid Lien in the Future
For married MassHealth recipients, the solution is relatively straightforward. A couple can transfer the property to the community spouse at the time of application to avoid a Medicaid lien, without penalty. For single people, the situation is more complicated. In a crisis situation, a lien may be unavoidable. With advanced planning, clients can protect their house by transferring the property into an irrevocable trust or transferring a remainder interest in the property to a family member while retaining a life estate.
Both of these strategies protect the elder's right to live in the property during his or her lifetime and also allow for the right to receive income from the property if rented. The main disadvantage to the trust and life estate is that the real estate transfer will make applicants ineligible for up to five years.
To learn more or discuss your options for establishing home and asset protection, contact an estate planning lawyer at the office of Cohen & Oalican, LLP today. We are dedicated to helping individuals and families with their elder law, asset protection, and estate planning matters.