Q: My mother has just been diagnosed with IBC (breast cancer) and is afraid that she will lose her house due to medical expenses. Can she use a quit claim deed to give the house to a family member now and will that prevent hospitals or her medical providers from attaching liens to her house?

Her new job health insurance probationary period is not up yet. Does this make sense?

A: I’m sorry about your mother’s illness. I hope she is successful in her quest to fight this dreadful disease.

Unfortunately, here’s some additional unpleasant news: If your mother quit claims her ownership interest in her house to a family member, knowing that she has breast cancer and is trying to avoid paying medical expenses, the creditors could sue her and ask a judge to unwind the transfer. The house would then be sold and the proceeds attached.

Instead, you or your mom should spend an hour with an estate planner who can give her a sense of what options she does have in the face of this terrible news.

Good luck.

Published: Sep 11, 2008