Can Father Give Entire Estate to Kids and Nothing to Mom?

by Bruce
(Nebraska)

Question:


My mother is in assisted living, applying for medicaid. My mother and father split their assets. Mother is below $4000 now. Father passed last wk he had 50,000 cash and I put the house in his name the day before his death. It's notarized and filed with the register of deeds. His will gives everything to the 5 kids; nothing to mom. I'm being told medicaid is going to take all the cash and half the house. What is your opinion on this?

Answer:

One question is whether you had legal authority to transfer the house into your father’s name. In any case, a surviving spouse (that is, your mother) has a legal right to a certain portion of the deceased spouse’s estate regardless of what the deceased spouse’s will says. So if your mother does not demand that portion, Medicaid treats it as a gift from her to the children, resulting in a penalty period during which she will not be entitled to Medicaid. The exact amount that your mother is entitled to from your father’s estate varies from state to state; you would need to check with an attorney in your state to find out the exact amount. Good luck with everything!

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