Home Transfers and Retained Life Estates

Home transfers and retained life estates in New York State are valid options to look at when planning your estate. Estate planning is critical when planning for the future. Establishing a retained life estate could be the best option for you. It is important to understand what home transfers and retained life estates in New York State look like. Once you know more about the process, it will be easier to decide the best course of action. Furthermore, an attorney can help you navigate these decisions.

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important things you should know

Questions And Answers

A retained life estate in New York State is a type of property that is part of a joint ownership. When the primary owner of the property dies the property then goes to the remaining owner. This is known as the transfer of the life estate.

A joint ownership is a type of ownership where an asset or property is owned by more than one person.

The life tenant is the primary owner of the life estate. They are entitled to live in their house until the day they die.

The remainderman is the secondary owner of the life estate. This is the person to whom the property would pass to upon the death of the life tenant. Additionally, the life tenant cannot make decisions on the property without the approval of the remainderman.

A life estate is created in New York State by creating a deed for the property where you are the life tenant and a remainderman is selected to inherit the property upon the life tenant’s death.

Yes, there are benefits to home transfers and retained life estates in New York State. The biggest benefit to a home transfer and retained life estate is that you have the right to live in the house until you die. You do not have to move unless you want to. Furthermore, it allows your remainderman, which could be a child or a spouse, to also reside in the house and to come into ownership of the property. Furthermore, a life estate does not have to enter probate.

No, the life tenant cannot sell the retained life estate property unless first obtaining the permission of the remainderman.

The life tenant has several rights to their life estate. These rights include the right to live in the house as long as they live, to collect any rent money during their time on the property, and they retain their real property tax breaks.

When the life tenant dies in New York State, the retained life estate transfers to the remainderman of the estate, which is the beneficiary.

Yes, a retained life estate can be used for Medicaid eligibility in New York State. Furthermore, the retained life estate can help protect against Medicaid recovery methods. Since the property is transferred to the remainderman, the life estate is not subject to probate and therefore cannot be recovered by the state.

Yes, a home transfer of a life estate will trigger Medicaid’s five-year look back period. If you transfer your home, you will become eligible for Medicaid coverage in a nursing home.

Yes, a home transfer of a retained life estate has a shorter penalty period than a trust. Moreover, this is because the total value is subtracted from the gift.

Yes, it can be a good alternative in New York State. However, it is important to understand all your options before you commit to one versus the other as both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Yes, a retained life estate is considered a gift by law in New York State.  A retained life estate also requires gift taxes to be filed. However, the transfer within the life estate is considered a completed gift, which means it requires gift taxes to be paid.

As with any legal proceeding, there are going to be disadvantages. If your home is transferred to a beneficiary, then the property is now under their control. Therefore, you must make sure they will properly take care of the property and assets.

No, after a home transfer in New York State, you do not have control over the property. The control of the property falls under the authority of the remainderman. Of course, this is only if the home transfer happens before you die.

Yes, the home transfer of a life estate in New York can affect the Medicaid and SSI eligibility of the beneficiaries. The life estate becomes the asset of the beneficiary. It also becomes available to creditors and can negatively impact government benefits.

No, you would not still be eligible for the $250,000 exclusion of capital gain tax. Instead, you would only quality for part of it.

No, Medicaid cannot use any recovery methods against the retained life estate.

No, a life estate does not go into probate. Since the property is transferred upon the death of the life tenant, it is no longer the asset of the decedent.

Yes, an attorney can help with home transfers and retained life estates in New York State. They will be able to guide you through the process, and they will also give you legal advice so that you may avoid issues that may arise from home transfers and retained life estates.