Can Your Durable Power of Attorney Save Your Home From Medicaid?
If you require nursing home care, your home can be transferred to certain relatives without disqualifying you from Medicaid. The New York five-year look-back period does not apply to transfers of your primary residence to:
(1) your spouse and minor, disabled or blind children;
(2) your sibling with an equity interest who has resided in the home for at least one year immediately prior to the date you became institutionalized and who continues to lawfully reside in the home;
(3) to a caretaker child who has resided in your home for at least two years immediately prior to the date you became institutionalized.
If you are unable to sign the deed, only the person designated on your Durable Power of Attorney can make the transfer. That is why it is very important to have a Durable Power of Attorney in place. Keep in mind however that not all powers of attorney authorize such a transfer. In New York all powers of attorney made after September 1, 2009 must have a Gifts Rider attached which must be signed before two witnesses to authorize such a transfer.
For Powers of Attorney signed before September 1, 2009 gifts must be specifically authorized in the Power of Attorney to effectively transfer your home to protect it.