Is it a Good Idea to Sell the Family Home for Long Term Care Or Are There Better Options?

I'm often asked if the family home should be sold so that the proceeds can be used to pay for long term care. I think you should really think hard about this before you do that. The family home is an exempt asset for Medicaid and Veterans' Administration Programs. So, this means it doesn't count against you. However, the proceeds from the sale of the home do count. That means it's been converted to cash in the bank and that makes it a little harder to become eligible.

So, what can you do? If you have the luxury of time you can transfer the home to an irrevocable trust but that takes five years for that transfer to have needed to incur before you can apply for Medicaid for this strategy to work. If you don't have this kind of time, consider using some of the home equity by getting a line of credit on the house. The bank will give you a checkbook. You write a check as needed to pay for care and you're using a little bit of the equity each time.

These are just a couple strategies to help you think about the family home. For more individualized attention for me to understand all the issues in your case, please call our office and schedule an appointment.

Walt Shurden
Board Certified Elder Law Attorney