Contract To Sell a Home Doesn’t Void Intent To Return

According to an appeal before a New York court, a Medicaid applicant who signed an intent to return home but later on sold his/her property (home) is honored to have the property eliminated from his/her available resources for the period and before the property was under been contract. Inglese v. Shah (N.Y. Sup. Ct., App. Div., 2nd Dept., No. 2499/12, Oct. 1, 2014).

Ophelia Inglese was living in a nursing home when her daughter signed a statement wherein Ms. Inglese had decided to return home to an apartment she owned. On January 26,2011 she bound herself into a contract to sell the apartment. Previously, in December 2011, she applied for Medicaid benefits. The state counted her home as a resource and denied benefits.

Ms. Inglese appealed and argued that because of her intention to return to her home, she should be qualified for benefits between  December 2010 up to the date when the contract was signed. The state ruled that the contract for sale negated Ms. Inglese’s intent to return home for the entire three months before she applied for Medicaid.

Ms Inglese was granted a retroactive Medicaid benefits by the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, holding that she was entitled to have her home excluded from her available resources.The court ruled that in light of Ms. Inglese’s statement of intent to return to her home, “the mere existence of the January 26, 2011, contract of sale did not overcome the presumption in favor of recognizing the homestead exemption, nor did the existence of the contract establish that the petitioner did not intend to return home for the period in question.”


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