Can the State Seize My Mother-in-Law’s Home?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

My mother-in-law owns her home in Florida (Palm Beach County) and upon her death wants to leave the house to her son and myself. We have looked into the Ladybird deed, which seems okay and would avoid any probate. The question we have is if she were to get sick and have to go to a nursing home, how can the house be protected if she had to get state medicade to cover healthcare expenses? She has medicare and a supplement but medicare does not cover a nursing home. She wants to be ensured that the state could not take the house away from her son.

This is a good question to be asking early, while your mother is still healthy and can take steps to address the issue. Unfortunately, it is a very complicated question, the answer to which differs substantially from state to state, and even county to county within a state. Therefore, the only advice I can give is to consult with a local attorney who is experienced in elder law, and can let you know the options in that area.