What to do if the home that my friend inherited was destroyed in a hurricane but in applying for aid, he found out the deed was never properly transferred or the county lost it?

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What to do if the home that my friend inherited was destroyed in a hurricane but in applying for aid, he found out the deed was never properly transferred or the county lost it?

He inherited it from his aunt and he has paid the taxes for the last 28 years. His aunt’s Will listed his father as inheriting the home but it was her wish for him to have it. His father passed away 2 months ago and his Will leaves everything to his mother. His mother is now dying and in hospice care. They want her to apply for Medicaid benefits for her remaining days. Is there any way to protect his shore home from being taken What type of lawyer does he need to consult? He is trying to get power of attorney now before she goes on morphine. He is executor of her Will but she was executor of the dad’s.

Asked on March 27, 2013 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This is complicated.  First, it sounds like your friend did not inherit the house.  It seems that the aunt's will left the house to his father.  His father left the house to the mother.  Therefore, the mother owns the house.

Your next question seems to ask whether the mother must sell the house to pay for Hospice care.  First, MediCARE will pay for Hospice.  The family should do everything they can to place the mother on MEDICARE Hospice, not Medicaid. 

There is a big difference between MediCARE and MediCAID.  Medicare is a Social Security benefit for persons over 65.  Medicaid is welfare - free healthcare for people who cannot afford it.

You should consult an Elder Law attorney in your area as soon as possible.  Elder Law attorneys can help you make the best decision in your specific circumstances and can often help preserve assets and still qualify for Medicaid benefits.

I hope this helps.  Good luck.


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