Medicaid Tip of the Week: Timeshares

BY ATTORNEY SUSAN I. JEAN

The saying about boats is: the happiest day of a boat owner’s life is when he or she takes the new boat out on the water.  The second happiest day of a boat owner’s life is when he or she sells the boat. 

The same is often true of timeshares.  We buy a timeshare with all good intention of using it, or trading it, or letting our family and friends use it.  Then the fees accumulate.  We are too busy to use the timeshare.  And we can’t find a way to get rid of that timeshare, and we hate to pay that bill.

From a Medicaid perspective, anything that you can sell for cash is a resource.  Some resources are exempt (won’t count against you), others are countable.  A timeshare is a countable resource.  For our usual client, it presents several problems for qualifying for Medicaid, and after qualifying.   

  • How do I (or can I) sell it?
  • How much is it worth? 
  • How do I prove to the Department of Human Services how much it is worth?
  • How do I pay the timeshare fees when I’m receiving Medicaid benefits?

My “tip” here is, don’t buy a timeshare, or if you have one then look for opportunities to sell.  If you do sell, keep your records.  The value at time of sale will be an issue if you file for Medicaid benefits within five years of selling the timeshare. 

If you are filing for Medicaid benefits, you may find that you need help.  Our paralegals and attorneys have over thirty years’ experience helping clients deal with problem resources such as timeshares.