Can I Leave the House to my Children instead of my Spouse?
Sara called because her mom, living at home, needed nursing home care and would need Medicaid after spending down her remaining $20,000 of assets. She told me that her dad had died 3 years earlier.
I asked her about what happened since then. Sara explained that Mom’s health had steadily declined after Dad died but they were able to keep her home with aides. She estimated that they had spent about $150,000 during that time. Then she told me that she and her sister actually own the home where Mom lives. That’s because his will left the property to his children and not his wife.
I told Sara that Mom may not yet be eligible for Medicaid, even after spending the remaining $20,000 in her bank account. She was puzzled. “How can that be”, she asked.
“It’s because of the house”, I told her, “and something called the elective share>” Next week I’ll fill you in on what I told Sara.