How it Works when Medicaid “Takes” your House

 In Long-Term Care Planning

Question:

My father’s house will become subject to Medicaid estate recovery when he passes. My question is when Medicaid recovers the estate, how will they sell it? Meaning, will the house go up for sale, or will it be auctioned off? I’m trying to determine if it will be possible to buy it back and how to do it.

Answer:

In general, states don’t want to take possession of property. Instead, they make a claim against the probate estate. So the estate can’t be settled without paying them back for what they paid out for your father’s health care. If the family tries to avoid this by not probating the estate, then the state may well step in and probate the estate themselves, meaning a loss of control for the family. In that case, you may be able to make a deal with the state to buy back the property or certainly will be able make a bid like any other buyer. But, to be sure about how this works in your state, you’ll need to consult with a local elder law attorney. There may be avenues to avoid the state’s claim all together. You can find an elder law attorney at www.elderlawanswers.com.

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