• Elder Law Answers

CAN MY MOM TAKE OUT A HOME EQUITY LOAN IN HER NAME WITHOUT AFFECTING MY DAD’S MEDICAID BENEFITS?

My dad is in a nursing home and qualified for Medicaid nearly three years ago. My mom still lives in their home. The deed was transferred into her name alone during medicaid’s “spend down” period. She was planning to take out a home equity loan, but she has been told it might jeopardize my dad’s medicaid eligibility. Is this true?


It should not. The state Medicaid agency should not look at your mother’s assets after the spend down has occurred. But this is a general rule, so we recommend consulting with a local elder law attorney to make certain there is no local trap for the unwary. Also, if she hasn’t done so already, your mother should make sure to update her estate plan so the house doesn’t pass back to your father if she were to die before him.