How Will ALTCS Affect Your Home?

Question: I have lived with my elderly mother for several years, doing everything in my power to care for her. We finally reached a point at which I can no longer provide her with the care that she needs, so we are exploring the Arizona Long Term Care System. If we pursue ALTCS, however, I am concerned that ALTCS will take my mother’s house, which would deprive me of my living situation. Is there anything I can do to help my mom and protect my living arrangements? 

Answer:
 ALTCS will never take the home from an ALTCS applicant who is approved for the benefit. It can, however, seek recovery against home equity belonging to an ALTCS member once that member passes away. As with most legal rules, however, there are certain exceptions to ALTCS’ ability to recover against home equity, and it sounds like you might fit neatly into just such an exception. 

In a typical case, if an ALTCS applicant transfers a home to his or her child, ALTCS will impose a penalty period, during which time it won’t pay for care. However, where an ALTCS applicant transfers a home to his or her child who has been living in that home for two or more years, and who has been providing care that has kept the applicant from being institutionalized, ALTCS will forego imposing the penalty. 

As you can imagine, ALTCS will not simply take your word for this — there is an evidentiary standard that must be met, but with proper direction, you could potentially accomplish your twin goals of helping mom and protecting the home. 
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.
Aging and the Law is authored by the attorneys at JacksonWhite and addresses legal issues that arise for the elderly and their families. Questions can be sent to firm@jacksonwhitelaw.com.