Seniors can easily be convinced to sign over the deed to their house to family members. They are assured that this is a way to hide their assets from Medicare in case if they would need to enter into a nursing home. Generally, grandparents trust their grown children and believe what they are told. Therefore, they could easily be convinced to sign the deed to their home to family members. Grandchildren are well aware of the influence they might have over their grandparents. Some might use this to bilk their elderly grandparents out of money, a car, or even their house.
Keep in mind, that a deed is a very important legal document. It denotes full ownership of the house that you might have lived in for most of your life. Once you sign the home over to another individual, even if it is not a family member, you actually lose all control over the house. The ownership is no longer yours but has now become the family member’s legal residence.You can be tossed out of your home and the new owner can move in. You will have no legal resource to do anything about it. Any lawyer will tell you the very same thing.
The above had happened, in part, to close friend. She had a serious illness that might have forced her to require major surgery and a stay in a nursing home. Her grown daughter had convinced her that it would be financially beneficial for her to sign over the deed to her house to her. She explained to her mother, that this action would make Medicare pay for the bills, and would save her a great deal of money. My friend listened and did as she was told.
It turned out that my friend never needed the surgery. She also never went into a nursing home. Medicare paid all of the bills out of her Medicare policy and Medigap. She ended up by losing her house because it was large, and her daughter needed the extra rooms. My friend and her husband then rented a small apartment. She died about a year later.
Her husband survived. He was broke and close to being homeless. If the house deed were still in his name, he would have had a fully paid for home to live in. Or, he could have put it up for sale, or applied for a reverse mortgage.
There are stories like this, or worse, about grandsons who convince their elderly grandmothers to sign the deed of their home over to them.
Just the other day, there was an article in the news about a grandson who did just that. In return for the deed, he had promised to take care of her. She believed him, trusted him and did as he asked-she signed the house deed over to him.
The story in the newspaper went on to say that she was eventually found tied to her bed, beaten, starved and laying in her own filth and the room was in shambles. A neighbor, who had not seen this woman in a while, called the police. This trusting elderly grandmother was found nearly dead. They rushed her to the hospital in an ambulance and arrested her grandson.
This is not an isolated tale. This is a matter that all seniors should be aware of. I trust my children and my grandchildren. They have never given me any reason not to. However, I will leave my house to them in my ‘Will”, but will never sign the deed over to any of them, while I live.
The same is true if you own a car, motorcycle, boat or a motor home. Speak to a lawyer for advice but know, that once you sign over the deed to anything, you no can claim ownership of it.