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Should my parents deed their fully paid house to me and my siblings or to our family corporation (made up of only the children)?

Chattanooga, TN |

My mother is 76 and has decided she wants to deed her house to me and my four siblings in case she needs to go to a nursing home in the next 5 years. With our family history, odds are she won't need to go until her mid 90s. She says under Medicaid she can't have any assets if she and Dad need to go to a nursing home. She did the same with her mother some years ago. I am concerned because one sibling has filed for bankruptcy twice and the other may get a divorce in the future (and is unemployed.) What is the best way to deed the house now but where an individual sibling can't hurt the home in the meantime? Would deeding to our family corporation keep a sibling's creditors away and prevent detrimental decisions (i.e. borrow against equity) made w/o corporation's consent? Tax consequences?

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Attorney answers 2


You need to find an estate planning attorney for your mother to discuss her situation. Depending on other assets, her desires, prior gifts made, and the current state of federal and state estate taxation, some options may be better than others.

The look back period for transfers of property is 5 years so if she needed nursing home coverage in the next 5 years, the house transfer could cause problems. If her nursing home arises after 5 years it might prove to be a wise move.

This answer does not constitute legal advice nor form an attorney client relationship. I am not your lawyer. If you have a legal issue in Tennessee you may contact me for a free consult.



Thanks for the non-answer. You can get better info from a legal zoom or nolo article.


I agree with Attorney Long. I have seen this work before. I have also seen it end in disaster. An attorney can help you try to set this up in such a way that it will work out best for your mother.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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