Q: My inquiry is non-typical, and I am relying on your expertise in the matter: My wife and I own and operate an assisted living facility in Baltimore, MD. One of our residents is 89 years old.
In about 2 months she will have exhausted her financial resources to pay us. However, she owns a home free and clear, that is probably worth about $140,000.
My wife and I do not want to force her to move out because she can no longer afford our care.
So, I’m wondering, based on the above information, if there is a way to transfer the title of her property to our entity/corporation, or perhaps do some sort of assignment of equity that would enable us to keep her as one of our residents as long as she lives, and give us the equity or title to the home that we can use to pay down her debt of care to us.
This client’s daughter and son-in-law are considering moving into her vacant home in order to eliminate their rent costs. If she transfers the title to us, or we set up some sort of other arrangement, we would agree not to sell the home as long as her children live there.
A quick response would be very much appreciated; or if you know of a reputable and expert real estate attorney in the Baltimore area that you could refer me to, that would also be fine.
A: Let’s start with your last question. Unfortunately, I don’t refer my readers to attorneys, mortgage brokers, inspectors, appraisers and other service providers. Nor do I put them in touch with each other. It’s just the column policy.
But I do think that you’ve asked a serious question and it’s clear that you care about your client, and not just the shape of her wallet.
I suggest that you might talk to your patient and her children about her financial condition, her future financial obligations to your assisted living facility and ask them how they wish to handle this situation. They may like your idea of setting up some sort of equity sharing arrangement, based on how much longer their mother stays at your facility.
If they refuse to do anything, and you don’t want to toss her out onto the street (which is commendable), then talk to an attorney about your legal options. One option may be to put a lien against her property for the amount of services she will receive.
To find a good attorney, please contact the Baltimore Bar Association.