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Patrick G. Curley

Patrick Curley’s Answers

2 total

  • In january 2014 I sold my home to my daughter for 10.00. I have a life estate so I can live in the home until I die.

    What does in fee simple mean? I did this to keep the nursing home from getting what I worked for all my life.

    Patrick’s Answer

    By transferring your remainder interest in your home to your daughter, and retaining a life interest, you have made a gift of the disqualifying interest to your daughter. If you require long term nursing home care within the next five years, this gift may cause Medicaid to disqualify you from receiving Medicaid nursing home benefits.

    Another point to consider is that if you later wish to sell your home to a third party, you and your daughter must agree upon and participate in the sale. If she refuses to sign the deed, you will need to seek a remedy in your local courts, which can be expensive, stressful, and time-consuming. And your daughter, as the "remainderman" on the life estate deed will owe capital gains taxes on any gains on her remainder interest in the property. Those gains must be carefully calculated by a CPA and/or qualified attorney.

    This answer is general in nature, applies only to MA law, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney/client relationship is created through this answer. I advise that you seek qualified legal counsel prior to taking any actions relating to this matter.

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  • In MASS. is it necessary for someone entering a nursing home to sign over her assets to the home?

    I am recently widowed an have been told that I must put my money in a trust to avoid it being taken by a nursing home, should I need to go into one.

    Patrick’s Answer

    Should you require long term nursing home care, MassHealth (Medicaid in Massachusetts) offers a benefit that can help pay those costs for individuals who qualify clinically (medically) and financially.

    As a general matter, an applicant must have less than $2,000 of countable assets. A well-drafted irrevocable trust may help protect and preserve your assets but there are several important caveats to consider. First, transferring your assets into an irrevocable trust will trigger a five-year MassHealth look back period. This means that MassHealth will not award you nursing home benefits within five years from the date you transfer assets into an irrevocable trust. Second, you give up significant control over assets in an irrevocable trust so you must consider your future needs carefully. And third, MassHealth has recently stepped up its attacks on certain types of irrevocable trusts so there is never an absolute guarantee that the trust will indeed protect your assets.

    I advise that you consult a qualified elder law attorney to advise you regarding your advance planning options.

    My response is for general purposes only - you must work directly with an attorney to secure legal advice based upon your unique circumstances and goals.

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