ALTCS ~ Seniors and the Law



Seniors and the Law is authored by the attorneys at Jackson White Attorneys at Law and addresses legal issues that arise for the elderly and their families.  Questions can be sent to firm@jacksonwhitelaw.com.
Q:        I moved in with my mother about three years ago to provide her with care.  Since that time I have been able to attend to her needs, but I am starting to require some additional help.  I want to help Mom apply for the ALTCS program, but I hear that the state will take her home, which is troubling given that I currently reside in this home.  Is there advice you can offer?
Before I address your question, I want to address a piece of misinformation that seems to be guiding your assessment.  It is important to understand that the state never takes an ALTCS member’s home in exchange for ALTCS eligibility.  Rather, the general rule is that ALTCS can place a lien on an ALTCS member’s home if that ALTCS member’s spouse, minor child, or disabled child does not also live in the home.  The state can only enforce this lien upon the member’s death.
Assuming that you are no longer a minor child, then, ALTCS will likely attach a lien to the home if your mom qualifies for the program and if she is placed in a facility.  However, like most rules of generality, the rule that ALTCS can recover against the equity in its members’ homes does have a few exceptions.  One such exception seems to apply to the facts presented in the question above.
If the child of an ALTCS member has lived in that member’s home for a period of two or more years and has provided care to the ALTCS member that has kept that member from being institutionalized, the ALTCS member can transfer his or her home to the child without penalty.  ALTCS will need to examine the evidence before allowing this type of a transfer, but this is definitely worth exploring given the facts presented here.
           
Richard White is an elder law attorney at JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law.  For more information on Elder Law at JacksonWhite, please visit www.ArizonaSeniorLaw.com.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace individual legal advice.
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