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Can I Sell My Parent's House with Power of Attorney While They're in a Nursing Home? Guidance from a New Haven Elder Lawyer

  • By Franklin Drazen
  • |
  • Posted March 28, 2024

Making financial decisions when a parent requires long-term care in a nursing home must always be done carefully. If selling their house becomes a consideration, the potential involvement of a nursing home or government agency like Medicaid adds complexity. The following are general guidelines for selling property under Power of Attorney (POA). For personalized guidance, consulting with a qualified New Haven, CT elder lawyer is vital.

Understanding Power of Attorney

A POA is a legal document where your parent (the principal) designates you (the agent) to handle their affairs. Its power depends on two main types:

  • General POA: Grants broad decision-making abilities, often with limits.
  • Durable POA: Remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. Selling real estate typically requires this type.

Even with a durable POA, your authority to sell property rests on it being expressly stated within the document's language. However, other factors influencing a sale include:

  • Your Parent's Mental Capacity: If your parents can no longer handle their affairs, selling a home likely involves your fiduciary duty to act in their best interests.
  • Medicaid Considerations: Medicaid can offset nursing home costs, but asset disposition rules can be strict, depending on the state where your parent resides. This is where the expertise of an elder law attorney is invaluable.

Fulfilling Your Fiduciary Duty

When acting as an agent under POA, you’re legally bound to financially and emotionally uphold your parent's best interests. This means getting a fair market appraisal of the home, managing the sale responsibly, and transparently documenting all process aspects.

The Essential Role of a New Haven Elder Lawyer

Every family's situation is unique. A knowledgeable New Haven elder lawyer ensures you thoroughly understand the specific powers the POA grants. An attorney provides crucial guidance about:

  • Navigating the sale within your authority and responsibility as an agent.
  • Exploring alternatives and understanding relevant tax considerations.
  • Addressing complex Medicaid qualification rules if applicable.

Answers and Support Throughout the Process

Schedule a consultation with our firm. Our experienced New Haven elder lawyers understand the legal and emotional nuances you're facing. We provide clarity, compassionate counsel, and the resources to ensure the best possible outcome for your loved one. To schedule an appointment at our law firm, simply call 203-877-7511 and ask to schedule a meeting, mentioning this blog post.

Contact our elder law and estate planning lawyers in Milford and New Haven, Connecticut.