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Is an over-65-senior's house in a PA nursing home protected from asset seizure?

Philadelphia, PA |

An over-65-senior in PA, with a house worth under $500,000 with no other assets goes into a nursing home and will likely be there for years (if not more). Said senior has an over 21 child who lives at the said senior's house. The house deed is solely in said senior's name. Since the senior's nursing home bills are surely going to be greater than the value of their home, will this home be seized by the state of PA or can the senior's adult child hope to transfer the property over to her name thus not loosing a place to live?

Attorney Answers 2


You need to consult with an elder law attorney in your area. Generally, a home is a non-countable asset which the state will lien. The state collects against the lien if the home is sold during the elder's life or during the probate process after the elder's death. There are very few allowable transfers once the elder has entered the nursing home. Once exception is the care taker child exception for which you may qualify. Did the child provide care to the elder which delayed the elder's entry into the home? Did the child live in the property two years before the elder's entry into the nursing home? If so, he may qualify. I would not delay. Once the elder passes away, the care taker child exception no longer is available.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice. Circular 230 Disclaimer: Any information in this answer may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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I absolutely agree with my colleague.

The specifics of your situation determine what, if, any options are available to protect the home. However, any options available at this point are complex and require the guidance of an experienced Elder Law Attorney.

I encourage you to contact a Certified Elder Law Attorney in your area. You can find one by visiting

This is NOT legal advice. The information contained herein is observational and for reference only. These posts are in no way intended as legal advice or counsel. Further, I am not your attorney and you are not my client. I bear no duty to provide counsel, representation or advice to you in any way. The statements I provide in this posting on Avvo do not in any way constitute an attorney-client relationship. Further, these statements are general in nature and made based on the limited facts presented by you, the Poster. Nothing I've written here should be relied upon when making legal decisions. It is your responsibility to consult an appropriately qualified attorney to seek legal advice.

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