Q: My mother is an 86-year old widow. I have power of attorney over her financial matters.
I need to execute a quit claim deed to her property so if she goes into a nursing home they cannot take her property.
She does not understand why I want to do this and is paranoid about signing the papers. I only want to make sure I get the house, as she wishes, when she dies. She doesn’t seem to understand that if she keeps her house, it will be sold and used to pay her nursing home bills.
Will a notary accept me signing for her if I show them power of attorney?
A: I’m concerned about your motives. It sounds as though you want to shelter your mother’s assets so that you’ll inherit them intact. The problem I have with that is that the house is your mother’s and its value is for her health and welfare — not yours.
But to your question: Even if your mother did use a quitclaim deed to sign over her property to you, the government can go back a number of years and claim that the sale to you was done solely to avoid using the proceeds of the property to pay for nursing home care and force you to pay back the funds to pay for the medical expenses.
The government considers this fraud and can prosecute you.
What you should do is to seek the advice of a competent estate attorney who can assist you in figuring out if there is a way for you to structure the transaction that not only avoids taxes (deeding the property to you could trigger a gift event that would necessitate filing certain forms with the IRS) but can accomplish the goal that you and your mother seek.
If your mother really wants to do this. It sounds as though you have power of attorney for financial matters, but she is unwilling to follow the course you are suggesting.
A word of warning: If your use your power of attorney to do execute a quit claim deed against her wishes (even if you think she is paranoid), there could be legal ramifications.
For more details, consult with an estate attorney.