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Medicaid Liens on Real Property


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I am a New York resident.  19 years ago my wife and father-in-law purchased a home as Joint Tenants with Survivor Rights with him living downstairs from us.  My credit wasn't the best so it was agreed that my name not appear on the deed.  Three years later my wife died from cancer.  Therefore my father-in-law became the sole owner.  Since day one we each paid 50% of the mortgage and I paid utilities which were in my name.  There is still a mortgage on the house.  My father-in-law, the homeowner, is now in a nursing home and will be applying for Medicaid.  Since there is a 5 year look back, the house will be subject to a Medicaid lien.  I still live in the house with my son and continue to pay as I have been.  As long as I continue to pay the mortgage, can I still live here?

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The legal arrangement you have is that the FIL is the landlord and you are the tenant. Beyond that, you have no legal rights to the property while he is alive, unless you were to join the mortgage with him.

There are a couple possibilities for what happens after he passes away, most of which depend on language within the original contract. The GSGDIA may permit you to assume the mortgage, but it depends on how close of a relative they would consider a father-in-law, and if living with that person for 10 years or whatever would make that relationship "closer" than someone you typically only see on holidays. 

As far as the Medicaid lien, you probably won't be able to transfer the property into your name until the lien is satisfied. 


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