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According to a 2016 Federal Reserve report, “A typical homeowner’s net worth is $231,400 – nearly 45 times that of the average renter’s net worth of $5,200.” Mortgage interest deductions primarily benefit the top 20% of Americans, costing the federal government $66 billion in taxes (2017). The Medicaid Estate Recovery Program gathers a mere $50 million (2016) according to Brian McCabe, “No Place Like Home: Wealth, Community and the Politics of Homeownership.”

But in Texas there is no reason to lose your home to Medicaid or to the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program. In Texas your home is not counted in determining eligibility for Medicaid home health or, as long as you have an intent to return home (and who does not?) for nursing home Medicaid.

Even if your financial assets must largely be expended on your care or diverted to your spouse or a disabled person or used to pay for your childrens’ college before you financially qualify for nursing home Medicaid. The agent in your Durable [Financial] Medical Power of Attorney can sign and record a Lady Bird Deed (formally called a General Warranty Deed Reserving an Extended Life Estate). This passes title on your death, free of probate, free of Medicaid Estate Recovery, and free of claims by other creditors as well. (An elder law attorney can help.)

It’s never too early to plan for your future. Schedule a Consultation. Call us at 800.295.3449.


Elder law attorney, Terry Garrett, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is an Approved Guardianship Attorney. She assists people in elder law, estate and special needs planning, guardianship and settling estates. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.

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