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Can my uncle sell me his house for a small amount in massachusetts?

Boston, MA |

He might need nursing home care and doesn't want to lose his house

Attorney Answers 5

  1. You should see an elder care/estate planning lawyer in Boston.
    A good lawyer will know how to protect your Uncles assets in this situation.
    Use the AVVO find la lawyer tab.
    I wish you the best in the New Year.

  2. I also recommend that you seek the advice of an estate planner in your area. Many lawyers that practice in this area provide free consultations.

    Good Luck

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  3. A transaction for a small amount of money would be considered a gift of the current value of the property less the amount of money which actually changes hands, and therefore a disqualifying transfer by MassHealth if your uncle should need the state to pay for the cost of long-term care. Under current law, your uncle would face losing one day of benefits for every $279 in value transferred if he were to apply for benefits within five years of the time that the transfer is made.

    Your uncle should seek out an experienced elder law attorney for advice about the various options he may have. An elder law attorney will evaluate his income, assets, medical needs and estate planning goals and help him make an appropriate plan.

    E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.

  4. That would be a really bad idea. He might place himself in a position where he could not get MassHealth to pay for his nursing home care. This might really complicate things for you and him and might even have an adverse effect on the care he receives. There are much better alternatives.

  5. Thank you for your question.

    I also agree that your uncle needs to sit down with an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss his options. Nobody can give you a good answer or recommend an option without understanding your uncle's total financial picture and needs. Any transfer at this point could have unanticipated consequences, and it will be well worth the money to have professional guidance.

    Best of luck.

    Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and the limited facts presented by the questioner. All answers are provided to the general public for educational purposes only and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, and obtain advice and review of your specific legal issue, please call us today at 617-357-4898 or visit us at

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