. How Does New Jersey Medicaid Treat the Home?
The home is very often the biggest single asset our clients own and in some cases the only asset. Many of the Medicaid rules apply specifically to the home that don’t apply to any other asset so it is a focal point of our guidance as elder law attorneys. Additionally, the home is treated differently from a tax standpoint (capital gains and estate tax) so we must consider taxes when advising our clients on the best course of action.
Many people tend to initiate a “do it yourself” strategy in trying to protect the home by transferring it to a child or selling it “for $1”. This strategy is dangerous on a number of levels. There isn’t a one size fits all solution, which is to say it isn’t always the right choice or always the wrong one. The answer is “it depends”. Many wrongfully assume that a transfer is “OK” because the home is an exempt asset under Medicaid rules but even a transfer of an exempt asset is subject to a New Jersey Medicaid penalty.