Being at home is often the most comfortable place to be. And owning a home can give people a great sense of stability and safety. However, a home can take on different meanings as a person gets older and starts thinking about their long-term care needs.
In this context, a home can be a valuable or asset or an expensive headache, depending on whether you take steps to protect it. Below, we examine how your home can affect your care options and financial future.
Whether you will receive in-home care
If your home is safe and accessible for someone with physical limitations, it can be a suitable place for you to stay while receiving in-home care. However, if living there would create more problems than it would solve, staying there may not be realistic.
Whether you qualify for Medicaid
In most cases, your home is a non-countable asset in terms of qualifying for Medicaid. However, certain decisions can change this.
For instance, you might decide to pass your home on to a beneficiary with a transfer-on-death or beneficiary deed. Doing so allows you to transfer property to someone without it going through probate.
Under Colorado law, though, having a beneficiary deed can make you ineligible for Medicaid as it makes your home a countable asset. Therefore, you may want to reconsider beneficiary deeds or make sure you have a power of attorney in place who can revoke the deed if you become incapacitated.
Whether it will benefit your family
As mentioned above, people often examine strategies like beneficiary deeds or trusts to keep their home in the family and make transfers smoother. However, this can become more challenging if you require long-term care or use Medicaid and do not take steps to protect your home.
After a person dies, Medicaid and creditors can attempt to recover money owed from the estate. Unless you have taken measures to protect it, your loved ones may have to sell your home to pay these parties. These strategies have consequences so be sure to use an attorney with experience in Medicaid related matters.
Your house can either be an asset or hindrance in your long-term plans, depending on your goals and wishes regarding care and estate administration. As such, you should know how the details of a plan affect the big picture.