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How Far Back Can Nursing Home Take your House?

A person’s home would never be taken to finance nursing home expenditures throughout their life; a claim can only be lodged after their passing. The limitation period allows states to start estate proceedings within one year of the individual’s death.

Howbeit, if the deceased individual has a husband or wife, a kid under the age of 21, or a disabled child of any age, this period can be extended.

Notwithstanding all of the advice about eating healthy, getting sufficient sleep, as well as working out, there is a decent possibility that you or a member of your family will require nursing home services at some point. Have it in mind that elderly people are the most vulnerable, with those over the age of 65 possessing a 70% chance of requiring a type of long-term care.

Reports have it that around 20% may spend over half a decade in a nursing home. In 2022, the total value of nursing home residential care was $7,908 for each month for a semi-private room and $9,034 for a private suite.

This translates to about $100,000 per year, which is massive enough that even seniors that have been saving their whole lives might struggle to pay for it themselves.

State governments provide Medicaid coverage for these costs, however, doing so makes it possible for the person’s house to be taken once they die.

Via the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program, the government can file a claim on an individual’s estate to collect assets such as leftover money, a home, investments, vehicles, and anything else of value.

How to Keep a Nursing Home from Taking Over Your House

Fortunately, there are many methods for preventing a nursing home from taking over your property. They include;

  1. Spend your resources

Spend it if you do not wish to risk losing your house, a valuable asset. It might appear to be destructive, but it tends to work if accomplished correctly via a well-thought-out plan. Once you apply for Medicaid, the state examines your expenditure over the previous five years.

This encompasses whatever assets you’ve distributed in the last five years, and when they see a house exchange, they’ll make the assumption you’re financially capable of funding your stay.

Start spending your assets by selling or gifting your home to relatives long before you require Medicaid. The gift, however, must not surpass the annual tax-free threshold, or you will be obligated to pay the full taxes owed to the government.

The five-year look-back timeframe is a Medicaid tactic used to ascertain whether candidates diverted or auctioned their house at a price below its market value in order to be eligible for the program.

If you are found to be guilty, the punishment is calculated by splitting the cumulative assets redistributed by the cost of a private nursing facility near your home. As a matter of fact, Medicare can even decline to finance your nursing home stay.

  1. Stay at home

Data shows that the more time individuals stay at home, the less time they stay in a nursing home before being dismissed or passing away.

  1. Transfer specific assets

You may be capable of transferring specific assets prior to enrolling in Medicaid and saving your residence from nursing home recovery costs. If you handover your resources to the following individuals, you aren’t going to be reprimanded;

  • Give the residence to your husband or wife under clear conditions stating that it is for their gain, not yours.
  • Or offer the residence to a disabled child.
  • Give the residence to a trust for a blind or disabled child.
  • Create a trust for your disabled or blind child

Some exempt individuals you can shift the house to include children under the age of 21 as well as Medicaid beneficiary family members who control a portion of the home shares. You could as well transfer to any dependent kid who has lived in the property for more than 2 years and is lawfully entitled to call it home.

  1. Create a Life Estate

A life estate or life tenancy is the legal term for possessing an underlying asset for the rest of one’s life. Whenever the life tenant dies, the house can shift back to the original purchaser or the next individual named as an heir on the deed. The heir has little or no right to interfere with the property till the life tenant dies. A life estate guarantees that the life tenant retains ownership of their home even if they pass away in a nursing home.

  1. Medicaid Asset Protection Trust

This method is also known as relinquishing power to retake control. While applying for Medicaid, remember to put your money as well as other assets, including your home, in a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust. The trust will have custodial rights of the house while you retain certain control over it.

The revenue from the property will be paid to you, however, the principal goes back to the trust and will not be included in your asset total.

It should be noted that trusts really aren’t foolproof and can be seized in certain states, including Missouri. As a result, you must retain the services of an experienced law attorney when establishing a trust. Keep in mind that the five-year look-back timeframe still applies to this remedy. Make sure to appoint a trustee who isn’t you or your partner.

  1. Give the house to your kids

The reasoning is straightforward. Parents devote a substantial chunk of their lives and assets to rearing their kids, and it is anticipated that the children, as adults, will repay the favor whenever the parents need it most. Many parents are optimistic that their kids will look after them and inherit their estate once they die.

There are multiple options for transferring your property to your children, however, problems occur if they cannot continue and you end up in a nursing home. Several people have been looking after their parents for a while, believing they would possess the property, only to have the nursing home place a lien on the building.

To prevent this, the parent and envisaged custodian child must consult a law attorney to guarantee that the procedures are recorded from the start. Because Mainecare regulations are complex and constantly changing, timing, as well as appropriate legal guidance, are critical for accomplishment.

  1. Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance, the same as life insurance, reimburses adult group homes, and care facilities for patients who suffer from long-term situations or ailments that preclude them from executing basic self-care tasks like showering and getting dressed.

Nevertheless, those very insurance plans are costly since the general public does not see the point in acquiring a product that is only accessible whenever they require it and has no financial value if they are not required to be admitted to a nursing home.


With growing demands for care facilities, the expense of taking care of a loved one has soared significantly in recent years. Several individuals can pay for the facility for a while before giving up, whereas others depend on government programs such as Medicare from the beginning.

The costs add up over time; even before you understand it, the nursing home has placed a lien on your residence. But know that as long as a senior is alive, their residence will not be “taken” or forced to be put up for sale in order to reimburse the nursing home or even the state government. This can only be done upon their death.