As indicated, a formal Will must have two witnesses. In Michigan Law, you can have a self-proving attestation - this requires two witnesses and a notary.
Finally, you can have a Holographic Will - a hand-written will that does not require any witnesses, but it must be written in the persons own hand-writing. I do not recommend this approach. I have rarely seen a Holographic Will that was through enough.
Trusts must be notarized.
Michigan Estate Planning Attorney
Is this property in Michigan? If not, you need to check with an attorney in the state where the property is located.
If this is in Michigan, then I do not think you have all of the relevant information, yet. The nursing home itself would not be able to place a lien on the house without first filing a lawsuit. The Medicaid office (State of Michigan), also does not put a lien on the house, but they can file a claim against the estate in Probate. Has a Decedent's Estate in Probate been...
You answered your own question. If they are required to file and they do not, it is illegal.
Are you certain that they are required to file? If the decedent died in 2011 or 2012, they most likely would not need to file a federal estate tax return if there is less than $5 Million in assets. Even if there is more than $5 Million in assets, many people complete estate tax planning before they die, which could result in no federal estate tax return.
Is your Dad already approved for Medicaid? If so, your Mom can sell the house and put the money in her account. (Not an account that is joint with Dad). This is based on Michigan law, so if Mom and Dad are not in Michigan, different rules might apply. The worst thing you could do is put you or your sisters name on the house. That would be viewed as a gift and would cause a penalty period to your Dad. You should discuss this with an elder law attorney.
You need to immediately see an qualified elder law / Medicaid attorney. You have options, but these options are not well known by most attorneys, accountants, friends, neighbors, barber shop customers. In other words, only rely on experienced advice from an experience Medicaid / Elder Law attorney.
This is one of the more complicated areas of the law, and it is not a do-it-yourself project. However, a good, experienced Medicaid attorney could significantly improve your mother-in-law's and...
Yes. This is a very complicated area of law. You need to see a quailed elder law attorney.
Bob Mannor, CELA*
* Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation
In addition to Mr. Vader's excellent answer, there are two other important things to consider:
1) if the house is in a trust it will most likely need to be deeded out of the trust. A house in a trust is not an exempt asset.
2) with proper advice from a qualified elder law attorney, you may be able to protect additional assets, legally, and still qualify for Medicaid.
I strongly recommend you consult an experienced Elder Law attorney.
Michigan Elder Law Attorney
You need an attorney that will come out to the nursing home to meet your grandmother. "Elder Law" attorneys frequently expect to visit nursing homes to meet their clients. Therefore, you should seek out an elder law attorney.
There are other issues that an elder law attorney can help her with, including how to find assistance for paying for continuing care.
There are 2 good reasons why the attorney must meet your grandmother and not just give you the form. The first is to make sure that...
Yes. Unfortunately information on how to protect the assets is hard to come by. As stated you need to speak with a experienced elder law attorney. Some attorneys call themselves elder law attorneys, but do not file many Medicaid applications. You want to make sure the attorney you work with frequently files successful Medicaid applications.
If you would like to discuss this with a free telephone consultation, feel free to call my office at 1-800-990-6030. I can explain your options....
You are smart to ask about this. The issue for the Aid and Attendance benefit is not going to be income from the sale of the house, but instead the resulting countable asset.
The home is exempt from countable assets when applying for Veteran benefits. When you sell the house you convert it from non-countable exempt home to a countable cash asset.
The Veteran's Administration considers both income for VA purposes and Assets. The sale of the house will not make her income ineligible,...