Search for Elder Law Attorneys
Questions & Answers
When it comes to getting care for the elderly or protecting their interests, many families confront similar issues. Below we have collected questions received over the years from site visitors, along with our answers. Select the subject areas of greatest interest to you and see what others have asked. Chances are you'll find questions or situations that closely parallel your own.
Show me questions about:
After looking through our library of questions and answers first, you still can't find the answer to your question? Click Here
My 89-year-old mother-in-law was cut off from Medicaid because she did not fill out some forms. She has been in and out of the hospital the last few months and is now on her deathbed in the hospital. When we called the Medicaid agency and tried to straighten things out, the agency refused to talk to us, saying they have to talk to my mother-in-law directly. When we explained she can't call them, they still wouldn't talk to us. We faxed them the paperwork, signing her name because my wife has power of attorney, but it hasn't done any good. Meantime the bills are piling up. What can we do?
Is a charitable gift to a community foundation subject to Medicaid look-back? I would like to give some money to a local foundation so they can set up a fund to distribute grants to certain area charities. If I have to apply for Medicaid to pay for a nursing home within five years of donating the money, will the gift affect my application?
My mother-in-law is widowed and has been bedridden for one-and-a-half years. We currently have live-in help to assist her 24/7 in her own home. We have been paying this person in cash without a detailed paper trail of expenditures. If my mother-in-law needs to be placed in a nursing facility, how will the Medicaid look-back regard the cash payments? Will we be held accountable fiscally for the one-and-a-half years of cash payments for her at-home care?
On the advice of my mother's attorney and because of my mom's advanced dementia, we were encouraged to transfer the title of her home to my sister, my brother, and me equally. My sister's son, moved in with mom over two years ago to provide basic in-home care and security for his grandmother. Over the past several months mom's dementia progressed to the point that she could not take care of her personal hygiene or dress herself. At that point we were encouraged to find a nursing facility with an Alzheimer's wing or section. We selected a reputable place for her and have been paying over $4,400 a month out of pocket toward her $6,400 a month nursing home bill. Her income of $2,000 covers the balance. The house has been on the market for five months with no one interested in buying it. Can we transfer the house to her grandson, as he was her live-in caregiver up to that point? Would he qualify as a "child caregiver”? Are we stuck trying to sell the house with no relief until the house is sold? Can we deed the house to the state? How do we proceed? We live in Georgia.
My mother's life insurance policy was purchased to benefit my disabled sister, who receives Social Security disability benefits. My mother is applying for Medicaid and the policy's value is too high. She needs to spend down the policy in order to qualify, but this will leave my sister with nothing. Is it possible to transfer the policy's cash value to my sister so that my mother can qualify for Medicaid?
tags: Special Needs Planning
I own the home my parents live in and I gift to them a combined $26,000 each year. These funds are used to pay their health insurance supplement, long-term care policies, and living expenses. We are looking at moving them to an apartment with services, and if needed they will eventually go into a nursing home. How will this affect their eligibility for Medicaid if and when they ever go into a nursing home? They each receive Social Security, which gives them a combined net income of $1,800 a month. They have no other pension or income and do not own any assets. Because I have been gifting them funds to help support them, will I then be obligated to pay for their nursing home care?
My mother has had financial issues for the past nine years. Over the course of that time, I have: loaned her money (that has yet to be repaid); provided for her room and board for a period of 18 months; and paid for services, supplies, and tools during the renovation of her house. She recently sold the house and purchased a condo. The original understanding was that the condo would be deeded to me to repay me for my expenditures on her behalf. After learning more about the Medicaid look-back, we're concerned that this may jeopardize this plan, as she is starting to get to an age when she could need extended care at any time. Could this repayment bypass the look-back considering it's to satisfy a debt instead of a being a gift?
If we pay our child's bills, is that the same thing as gifting her $14,000 [the current annual gift tax exclusion]? Do we have to fill out a form 709? What if only one parent paid the bills and it's more than $14,000? Can we claim that each of us gave her the money and, therefore, be within the law if it's more than $14,000 total?
If a person has two power of attorney (POA) forms dated at different times to two different people and neither has anything in it regarding voiding the prior POA, is the more recent one valid? Both were drawn up by an attorney.
A husband and wife sold their condo. The husband is a Medicaid recipient who moved into a nursing home a month before the sale. Can the husband transfer his share from the sale to his wife and still be eligible for Medicaid?
My father-in-law lives in Indiana and has contracted with a home care agency to provide daily home care. We learned yesterday that he gave $3,000 to one of the women who cares for him so that she could buy herself a car. He has also bought her some clothes. He is 82 years old and in bad health. We also learned that there were some inappropriate texts from the caregiver.
Are there laws against caregivers accepting large gifts? Should that be in the contract that he signed with the home care agency? Does he have recourse to recoup the money he gave the caregiver to purchase a car? The caregiver is not related to him or the family and is an employee hired to provide care.
I received money from a lawsuit and have not transferred it to anyone else. I haven't saved receipts for what I have spent it on. Now I have to go into a nursing home. Will Medicaid penalize me through the five-year look back?
Husband was placed in a nursing home and received Medicaid benefits five years ago. When he went into the nursing home, the husband and wife jointly owned a home. Two years ago, while the husband was still alive, they deeded the house into the wife's name only. The husband died six months ago in the nursing home. The wife now wants to sell the house because she is 89, in poor health, and can no longer maintain it. She has no assets other than the house equity. When she sells the house, will Medicaid recoup half of the sales price? She is very concerned about having enough money to live on.
My father-in-law passed away unexpectedly, and my mother-in-law has dementia and is in a nursing home. My husband has a durable power of attorney for his father. Does my father-in-law's power of attorney allow my husband to access his mother and father's joint checking account so we can pay the nursing home bill?
tags: Power of Attorney
I know that transfers made to a trust for the sole benefit of anyone under age 65 who is permanently disabled are exempt from the Medicaid penalty period. What is considered a "disability" in regard to gift transfers?
In spending down assets to qualify for Medicaid, are investments that are the “separate property” of a wife from a previous marriage exempt from inclusion of the assets of the nursing home resident husband? (This is in Colorado, a non-community property state.) Secondly, if the wife transfers money from joint accounts to her own separate accounts, how is that treated? My stepmother transferred $100,000 from her and my dad's joint accounts to her separate account.
If I'm currently drawing Social Security disability benefits and have both Medicare and Medicaid, can I still get all these benefits if I move to Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or the Mariana Islands?
My mother established a qualified 529 College Savings program for her two grandchildren. She has terminal brain cancer but lives in assisted living for now. The expectation is that she will eventually require nursing home care. The account owner is my mother, the beneficiaries are her grandchildren, and I, her son, am the successor owner upon her death. If I leave everything the way things are, would Medicaid consider these funds to be countable assets that would put my mother over the $2,000 asset limit? My financial adviser believes I should transfer ownership to me, leaving my kids the beneficiaries. Is the 529 plan a protected asset and exempt from the spend-down and or the look-back period?
We hired a geriatric care manager (GCM) to give us recommendations about caring for our mother. We were very unhappy with the product and service and filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) asking for a refund of the fee (the GCM is a BBB member). The GCM's response to the BBB included information that we believe violated our privacy. A personal injury lawyer told us that because the GCM was responding to our complaint, what he/she said would likely be “protected” and thus not a violation of privacy law (we are in California). The GCM wants us to sign away our right to say anything to anyone about this before giving the refund, and says that if we don't sign, he/she might consider suing us for defamation.
My 85-year-old mother lives in Iowa and is in assisted living and on Medicaid after a major stroke four years ago. She has been a widow raising seven children alone since 1966, and has never had any money to speak of in all that time. Her brother recently passed away and left her and her sisters money. It is an amount Mom cannot spend within a month. She does not need anything for her apartment or herself and she cannot travel. She has paid for her funeral arrangements, etc. What can she do so she doesn't lose her Medicaid?
My disabled father is currently in a nursing home but wants to move in with my husband and me. He needs constant care -- he is on a feeding tube, his colostomy must be regularly changed, he needs bathing and he can't walk and has limited movement of his arms. My husband and I are barely home and would not be able to properly care for him. We have told him this but he is hard-headed and says he will be fine alone. I am searching for some kind of rules or regulations to prove to him that we could get arrested for elderly neglect. Meanwhile, he is doing everything in his power to get kicked out of the nursing home so that I have no choice but to take him in. Please help!!!!
Can a person apply for Medicaid before assets are spent down to below $2,000? Once assets are down to $2,000, who is responsible for paying the nursing home costs while waiting for Medicaid approval -- the wife, the children?
My sister holds the power of attorney (POA) for our mother, but I think she is stealing from my mother. How do I go about getting the POA transferred to me? What documents do I need?
My mother has been in a nursing home for the past three years. When she went to the home I had control of her funds through a power of attorney and have spent almost all of about $350,000 on her care. I did also make an investment that she and I had planned before she became incapacitated that did not work out. We lost roughly $80,000 between the two of us. Will this be held against her for Medicaid purposes? And if she has no money other than Social Security and two small retirement payments, what happens?
When a person enters a nursing home, who signs the legal documents? Themselves, the wife, the children, the stepchildren? Does signing make the person financially responsible for the nursing home costs?
Georgia Medicaid put a lien on my mother's home and property as a way to recover the costs incurred by my father's nursing home stay. Will she lose her property? If she leaves the home and property to a child or grandchild, will they inherit the lien as well upon her death? If the property is jointly owned with her child or grandchildren, can Medicaid still take the home and property?
An 87-year-old woman with dementia is in a Medicaid-approved nursing home in Ohio, which allows only $45 a month for personal care. This barely covers hair care. If she needs clothing replaced, does she have to skip hair care? Or hope for gifts?
My mother, who is 79, recently moved out of her home and into an apartment closer to me so I can help care for her. She receives both Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. When her house sells, will her benefits stop until all the money is gone? Does she need to report it to someone?
My father made a revocable trust seven years ago. However, he did not transfer or give his money to me until seven months ago, and I put the money into an annuity. Now my father is facing nursing home placement but he will not be entitled to Medicaid assistance for approximately four and a half years. Is that correct? And the monthly income he has from his pension and Social Security -- should he transfer that to me, his daughter who is his agent under a power of attorney? I am going to take him into my house for now, and hopefully be able to care for him until his death. (We live in Wisconsin.)
My father is in a nursing home and I am starting the Medicaid application process. My sister lent him about $19,000 to help him out of a financial situation prior to 2007. She has documentation to support the loan. Can I repay her from his assets during the Medicaid process or is that considered a gift that would affect his eligibility? He has $20,000 in liquid assets after the funeral benefit, and the nursing home wants him to private pay $16,000. I would rather repay my sister for the loan before the nursing home gets their piece. Can I do this?
We entered into a written contract with a retirement community and added a verbal condition. They originally told us the condition was met and I have evidence of them saying so. This turned out not to be the case and I have evidence of this as well. The failure to live up to the agreement affected our health. We have been here one year and it's been nothing but a nightmare. We wish to leave, but they only want to return 76 percent of our entry fee. Is that fair?
My aunt gave me $35,000 to help me buy my house. She lives with me and participates in the payments of bills, maintenance, etc. What do I need to do to help her not to lose her benefits if needed down the road? How will this affect her if she needs services later?
My husband suffers from dementia. He is currently on Medicaid and Medicare and receives $1,800 a month in disability payments. I retired at 62 to take care of him and receive $1,049 a month. He is now in Stage 3 renal failure and will probably need nursing home care in the next year or so. I have two questions: 1) If the nursing home cost exceeds his disability, will I be liable for the difference? and 2) Will I be able to retain any of his disability in order to meet my living expenses?
My mother-in-law is in an assisted living facility. Her funds are diminishing and it is necessary to sell her home to meet her expenses. Her grandchild is interested in purchasing it. If the agreed-upon purchase price is less than the appraised value (due to needed upgrades -- septic and furnace are outdated) and in approximately two years her funds run out and we have to apply for Medicaid, will this be a problem? Since the sale was to a family member, could Medicaid force us to pay the difference between the selling price and the actual appraised value of the home?
My husband was in an Illinois nursing home and had applied for Medicaid but died before he received notification of his eligibility. What happens now regarding eligibility and the payments I made during the “pending” period?
The nursing home has initiated a Medicaid application for my mother but I have not yet been contacted. Her life insurance policy's cash value exceeds Medicaid's $1,500 resource limit. Can I still transfer ownership of the policy?
My husband is in the hospital for assessment with eventual placement in a nursing home. We have $5,180 in checking and no other assets. I see he can have only $2,000 in assets to qualify for Medicaid. To get the amount closer to $2,000, can I buy a portable oxygen concentrator for my own health needs? The concentrator costs $2,695.
tags: Medicaid Rules , Medicare
Can My Ex and I Remarry in Order to Make Social Security's 10-Year Marriage Requirement for Benefits?
I was married for nine years but now I'm divorced from my ex. Social Security says you have to be married at least 10 years in order to receive benefits on a former spouse’s Social Security record, meaning that we're short one year. If we were to get remarried for a year or more, would that count as at least 10 years?
My mom would like to sell her house and move to a different state near family or possibly even move in with family. Unbeknownst to her, her son who had power of attorney at a time when she was ill, put the house into a Medicaid qualifying trust. She would like to take the money from the sale with her when she moves, perhaps using some of it to help her daughter with a downpayment. Is this possible?
I live in a nursing home in New Jersey. I left the facility to visit family approximately 18 days this year. Now nursing home officials say I can't leave anymore this year. Is that possible?
My mother-in-law is on the deed to my wife's and my home. If she moves into a nursing home, will Medicaid try to claim an interest in my home? How can I prevent them from doing this? Must I transfer the interest in the property prior to her moving? She no longer earns an income and does not pay anything towards the mortgage at this point.
My elderly parents would like to sell their home and use some of that money to build a small house on our property to live in. If, down the road, one of them needs to be in a nursing home or starts to run up medical bills, could Medicaid put a lien on our home?
As the agent under a power of attorney for an elderly parent with progressive dementia, is it allowable to move any or all the parent's assets to a fund in my name or my siblings' names with the intent of paying for all costs associated with care until the five-year look back period for Medicaid has passed, with the remainder being protected by the move? Is this considered gifting, and prohibited under the provisions of the power of attorney, if it is consistent with all intents described in the will and revocable trust, and the agent under the power of attorney is also named trustee?
tags: Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Rules, Estate Planning
I am applying for Medicaid for mom, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Medicaid officials are doing a five-year look back at her finances and they want an explanation and verification for a $2,200 withdrawal three years ago, way before she applied for Medicaid and way before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Can I say she gave the money to her grandchildren as gifts or should I say she bought a bed, mattress and dresser from an estate sale but I have no receipts? She has no money to hire an attorney so I am lost.
My wife and I jointly own my inherited mineral rights and currently receive less than $2,000 a month in royalty income from these properties. If one of us needs to file for Medicaid, how would this asset be treated? How can we protect these assets?
My mom is being told that she needs 24-hour in-home care. She has never applied for Medicaid but she does not have the money to pay for long-term home care. What are her options?
tags: Medicaid Rules, Senior Living
My sister lives with my mom, who has reached the stage where she needs to be in a full-time care facility. My mom owns the house. Will the house have to be sold to cover the costs of her care?
My mother was involved in a car crash caused by an uninsured driver and has been awarded a reasonable sum by her own car insurance. Currently she is on Medicaid and needs daily care due to the accident. But if she recieves any of the insurance money, she will lose her coverage and daily care. Do you have any advice on how to deal with this situation? Ideally she would receive the money to buy a low-cost property to reduce her monthly expenses and move to a more hospitable environment.
tags: Special Needs Planning, Medicaid Rules
My father was killed in 1965. My mother remarried in 1984. Is she entitled to my father's Social Security benefits? She is 83 years old.
My 80-year-old mother recently moved from New Mexico to Texas because of ongoing health and care issues. She needs to to be in a skilled nursing facility. Since she is not a Texas resident, how will Medicaid work if she requires extended care?
My wife is the owner of a life insurance policy on our daughter. Will the cash value of the life insurance be exempt from our countable assets if I go on Medicaid long-term care?
My mom lives with me. Can she pay her fair share of living expenses without this being considered a transfer should she apply for Medicaid down the road?
My mother has dementia and lives at home with my stepfather. He will not let two out of my mother's three children see or visit her. I want to know if I have legal rights to see my mother and, if so, how do I go about doing it?
Can My Parents Sell Their Home and Pay for Upgrades to Our Home Without Triggering Medicaid's Transfer Rules?
Both my elderly parents need extra help. We are going to sell their house and move them onto my property. We will need to build an addition in order to have space for them. Can they pay for these renovations out of profit from the sale of their home and not have it be subject to the Medicaid laws? The property will be in my name.
My mother-in-law gave $10,000 in savings bonds to each of her children in 2010. She is now confined to a nursing home and is being told the money given for the savings bonds needs to be returned into her account to be used for her care. Does that money need to be returned or can the recipients keep the money?
In 2000, my mother and I purchased a home and we own it as joint tenants with right of survivorship. She needs to go into a nursing facility soon and I am planning to apply for Medicaid for her. What will happen to her house? Will I lose 50 percent of it? I have never lived in the house but my husband and I intend to move there in the next five to seven years. I live in Arizona.
I have a mortgage and a home equity loan outstanding. If I put the house in an irrevocable trust, can I still withdraw from my home equity loan, or will only the trustee be able to make withdrawals?
tags: Estate Planning, Medicaid Rules, Senior Living
At age 62, my mother was diagnosed cancer and began receiving Medicaid from the state of Virginia, including the services of a home caretaker. She is now 66 and in the final stretch of her cancer battle. My father, who is 70, was diagnosed with dementia five years ago. We will apply for a Medicaid caretaker in the coming weeks to help with his needs. Mother and father own a single-family home and the only income they have is my father’s SSI. Will my father’s Medicaid eligibility be affected when he becomes the sole owner of the home? Can I do anything at this point to stop Medicaid from placing a lien on the house that my parents currently own? Is the money spent on my mother's care a debt that Medicaid holds against her?
I am a single woman and wish to add my daughter's name on the title of my home with right of survivorship. What are the pros and cons?
My father is in a nursing home in Tennessee and was approved for Medicaid. My mother is in an assisted living facility. Their total income for a month is $4,909. From this income, $2,033 will go to my father's nursing facility and Medicaid will pay the balance. Mom's spousal allotment will be $2,931. Her monthy rent at the assisted living facility is $2,800, which leaves $131 for all her other expenses. Her bills alone total $939 a month. I was given the impression that she would be taken care of. What can I do now for her? I cannot take care of her myself because I work a full-time job and am raising a granddaughter. Are there other benefits I could get for her? Or has Medicaid figured incorrectly?
Can I rent out my condo while Medicaid is paying for my long-term health care? I pay a monthly maintenance fee, but have no mortgage. The nursing home already receives my Social Security, Teamster's pension and VA monthly benefit. Will the condo rent be condidered income as well? (I live in Florida.)
My sister-in-law is 61, my mother-in-law is 91. If my sister-in-law leaves her job and becomes the full-time caregiver to her mom, and draws a salary, are there any penalties to the estate?
tags: Medicaid Rules, Senior Living
Does having gone through bankruptcy disqualify someone from serving as an an agent under a durable power of attorney?
My father is very ill and may have to be placed in a residential home or long-term psychiatric facility. Will my mother lose his pension and Social Security checks? Without them she will not be able to afford her home, as her own Social Security benefit is only about $500 a month.
tags: Medicaid Rules, Social Security
My mother-in-law is in a nursing home and is mentally and physically incapacitated. She has run out of funds and needs to apply for Medicaid. We do not have a power of attorney or guardianship. We are supplying the information requested by Medicaid for the application. Is it necessary to have a guardianship for her before she can receive Medicaid?
tags: Guardianship/Conservatorship, Medicaid Rules, Estate Planning
My uncle has no children of his own, only three nieces. He is considering gifting each of us $14,000, the maximum amount in 2014 that the IRS allows a taxpayer to gift to another individual without reporting the gift. If my uncle were to enter a nursing home within five years, would we be responsible to pay back the gifts?
My father has been married to his second wife for over 20 years. She has dementia and is going into a nursing home. The home they have been living in is in her name from a previous marriage. Her adult children are trying to get my dad to sign papers that he will vacate the house and it will be theirs as soon as she enters the nursing home. They are saying that the house is willed to them. Does he have to vacate the house or is he entitled to stay there?
My husband, who was in a nursing home, died a few weeks ago. All his medical bills were paid for by Medicaid. Yesterday I recieved a letter from the state about Medicaid repayment. He and I have no property. My only income is from Social Security and I live in HUD assisted senior apartments. Can the state take my Social Security checks? That is the only asset I have to live on.
I am planning on selling my house and buying a smaller and cheaper one. I am married and have been in my home for 40 years. Its sale price will be close to $2.5 million. I paid $358,000 and I have made approximately $250,000 in improvements. My new purchase will be about $1 million. What capital gains taxes will I be paying on the sale of my primary residence. (I live in California.)
My mother is currently receiving home care services under New York's Medicaid program. If she takes out a reverse mortgage on her home and gives me some of the money to help me with the downpayment to buy myself a home, will she be disqualified from Medicaid when she recertifies?
My father will go on Medicaid long-term care assistance soon. He will receive only $95 a month in income; the state will take everything else for the nursing home. What is he to do with all his medical hospital and credit card bills? Does he need to file for bankruptcy? Does he do nothing since he has nothing to take. He has no assets and nothing of importance or value.
tags: Estate Planning, Senior Living
If my husband goes into a nursing home and enrolls in Medicaid, will I lose all of his Social Security check?
My sister-in-law has a considerable amount in her IRA. Her husband is in an assisted living facility and she is concerned that he will ultimately require a nursing home. Her main concern is that the state will take away her funds from the IRA if her husband applies for Medicaid. The IRA is only in her name. Can the state attach her money in the IRA?
More than five years ago my mother and I set up a joint bank account. Three years ago I moved the funds to an account in my name only. My mother recently entered a nursing home and applied for Medicaid (in Rhode Island). Would any of this account be subject to clawback?
I have moved my 93-year-old grandmother into my home. Neither my aunt nor my father wanted to take care of her. She is not at the point where she needs full-time medical care, but she needs someone to watch over her on a daily basis. My aunt has been paying me $100 a week for food and essentials, but now is saying that she is cutting off all money to me/my grandmother until she speaks with an elder lawyer. My grandmother, father, and aunt are all on her checking account. Do I have any rights to protect my grandmother and myself financially at this point?
tags: Senior Living, , Medicaid Rules
Can the state sue my elderly mother in the nursing home for guardianship of her Down syndrome child?
My mother-in-law passed away recently. She was a permanent resident of a nursing home and was receiving Medicaid and Social Security benefits. At her death, she had no assets other than a small checking account (less than $200, and no one else is listed on the account). There was no will and no named executor. Can Medicaid try to recover funds paid in such a situation?
My father gave his grandson, my son, a total of $20,000 for college tuition over the last four years. Will this money need to be repaid in order for my dad to qualify for Medicaid?
My dad passed away about a month ago. My brother and I are listed on his will as executors. We were both listed as power of attorneys (which I understand is void since he is deceased). My brother has no interest in following the will, which says to split everything between us. My brother has admitted taking all of the valuables out of the house, but I have no way to prove anything. The house/property was put in our names in 2002 and our parents retained a "life estate." Now my brother wants to let his son live on the property. I want to sell it and split that amount fairly. How should I handle this?
My father-in-law is in a nursing home and is receiving Medicaid benefits. When we had his taxes done this year, he had a refund of $3,000. I know he cannot have more that $2,000 in his account and remain eligible for Medicaid. What do we do at this point?
I have been caring for both my mother and father for about four years. I live in their home in Alabama. My mother has severe COPD and my father has dementia. My concern is how would it affect their jointly owned home if one of them has to be placed in a nursing home (they still have a mortgage). What needs to be done to protect the home if one or both of them have to be placed in a nursing home?
Can a Pennsylvania resident applying for Medicaid be billed for medical and prescription services while the application is pending? Is there a difference if the original Medicaid application was denied and the patient is waiting for a determination on her appeal?
My aunt was in a nursing home and exceeded the 100 days covered by Medicare. She was later admitted to the hospital, and then returned to the nursing home. Should Medicare coverage have started over, paying for her nursing home costs again?
My mom, who has Alzheimer's, keeps getting kicked out of nursing homes because she is bothering other patients. What do I do?
Will a Spouse's Monetary Gift Jeopardize the Medicaid Eligibility of the Spouse in the Nursing Home?
If the spouse of a nursing home resident gives a monetary gift to her children/grandchildren from her own monthly income, will it jeopardize the Medicaid eligibility of the spouse in the nursing home?
My mom needs to go on Medicaid and has a substantial sum of money in her bank account. What can we legally spend this money on in order for her to still qualify for Medicaid coverage of her nursing home care?
I am 65 1/2 years old, and as a homemaker I have never been employed. Am I eligible for some Social Security benefits while my 65-year-old husband is still employed?
My husband has Alzheimer's disease. I would like to sell our home and downsize to a continuing-care condominimium residence. Can I do this without his consent?
I've been taking care of my grandma for the past two years. She pays me $200 every week. She was recently placed in a nursing home after a fall and may need to file for Medicaid. If she does, will I need to pay back the money I received?
Due to availability, I have been the person to take both parents to all of their doctor/dentist appointments over the past years. I am the eldest of five, and two of my younger siblings are currently agents under my father's power of attorney (POA). Recently, the doctors' offices and the VA have asked for the agent to be present and this is necessary to facilitate pursuing my father's pension and his VA Aid and Attendance benefits. My father wants me to be an agent under his POA, although my mother is not in favor. My father is still of sound mind; however, the siblings who are agents under the existing POA are saying otherwise. How do I resolve this? How do I ensure that the other agents are abiding by their fiduciary responsibilities?
My son has a CD with his Social Security number on it, but my name is on it as well in case something happens to him. I am 70, and if I have to go into a nursing home and apply for Medicaid, can the government take those funds for my care, or is my son safe to leave me on the account? I live in Texas.
If I give my daughter power of attorney over my finances and property, can I maintain a separate account not controlled by my agent to purchase food and clothing items for myself?
I am getting ready to apply for Medicaid for my mother for assisted living. I just read that when she passes away, Medicaid will force me to sell her home to recover their payments to her. Is that true, and if so, is there any way to protect that asset from Medicaid?
My friend has moved in with her father because he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He owns his home and she has been told it would be better for him to gift the house to her than for her to inherit it in his trust. She wonders if this is true, both for tax purposes and to protect the home from liens.
Can I borrow money from my family while receiving Medicaid assistance to pay upfront attorney fees and court fees to probate inherited property on a small estate? I would subsequently pay back the loan upon sale of the property and give the remainder to Medicaid to remain qualified for assistance.
We have parents in Florida. The husband is in a nursing home and the wife is still in the house, which is paid off. Can we move them to Indiana and still have Medicaid pay for the nursing home?
My husband is in a nursing home and is on Medicaid. All his income is going to the nursing home except for a small sum to pay for his portion of health insurance and for personal needs. I have a pension and Social Security of my own and my assets are less than the $115,000 resource allowance at the time he applied for Medicaid. My question is: If I have more income and lower expenses, can I save the surplus monies in a savings account even if I eventually have more than $115,000?
Many years ago my mother borrowed money from me – a couple times. She kept notes of what she borrowed. I also helped her pay down a credit card debt. Two years ago I asked her for repayment and she wrote me a check for $2,000 to pay off this debt. Now she is applying for Medicaid. Do I need to pay back this money? We have no paperwork except for the check.
I (50 years old) own one-half of a Florida condominium with my parents, who are residents of Illinois. I live in the condo full time and, up until this year, they were living here part time. This property is not income-producing. How does Medicaid view this asset? Will my parents be able to continue to utilize their income to pay 50 percent of the expenses and will my parents be required to liquidate the asset in order for my father to receive Medicaid benefits? I currently cannot afford to buy them out, so that would mean I would lose my home.
Can you tell me what a "Medicaid-qualifying annuity" is?
If I were approved for Medicaid coverage of my nursing home care, I know they would keep my Social Security and my small pension, but what would happen to the $6,500 balance on my credit card? I have no other assets. Could the credit card company make my children pay?
tags: Senior Living, Medicaid Rules, Estate Planning
Father is in a nursing home with Medicaid paying. Mom is still at home. If my father dies and mom is still in the home, will Medicaid place a lien on the home? Should we have a new will drawn up for my mother changing the beneficiary from my father to her children? Would the house then be hers when my father passes away, since they are co-owners, or would Medicaid be able to take all of the assets if sold, or would they only be able to take his half from the estate?
My mother gave me money in 2009. Now (2013) she is in a nursing home and needs to get Mediciad. Does that money need to go back in her account because of Medicaid's five-year lookback?
I own a house with my 79-year-old mother. Both our names are on the loan that we have had for 15 years. She now is in need of a nursing home, but we still have a mortgage together and I depend on receiving payment for her half of the mortgage -- $600 each month. If she goes into a nursing home, will they leave that amount to pay for her half of the mortgage each month?
My husband and I are considering setting up a trust for our estate. However, we will probably be moving to another state for his job in the next five years. Are trusts transferable to another state or would we have to re-set up everything?
My mother went from private pay to Medicaid pay in her nursing home January 1, 2013. She now has zero money and all of her Social Security goes to the nursing home. She has a modest, unoccupied home that I maintain and for which I pay all bills. She gave me power of attorney, so legally I can sell the home. Should I sell the home and effectively turn all of the assets over for her care or wait until her death, at which point Medicaid will take the proceeds from the sale of the home anyway? Also, she is 85 and has late-stage dementia/Alzhheimer's.
I am 75 and my fiance is 82. We would like to get married, but he is afraid that if I would need to be in a nursing home down the road, he might not have enough left to cover the cost of a nursing home if he needed one as well. He is a physician and worth a little over $1 million. This potential problem is keeping us from going ahead with our wedding plans. Is there a solution for us?
My mother is the primary beneficiary of a trust left by my grandfather. She is not a trustee, and my sister and I are secondary beneficiaries. Are the assets in this trust counted as assets by Medicaid?
tags: Medicaid Rules, Estate Planning
Mom is an unsafe driver but will not give up driving. If she has an accident, can her children be sued for not stopping her from driving?
tags: Grandchildren, Estate Planning
tags: Veterans Benefits
tags: Veterans Benefits
I am in the position where I have to decide whether to put my father in a nursing home or not. I have found a facility that seems appropriate and costs $4,500 per month. My brother has said he would like to keep him out but they don't have the space. Could my father pay my brother the $4,500 per month instead of paying it to a nursing home? What are the legal/tax implications, if any? It would be great solution for all as my brother has had some financial difficulties over the last few years and it would keep my father out of the nursing home.
I recently put my daughter on my bank accounts. I did this in the event that I took ill and could not pay my bills. I felt it was the easist way for her to handle things if this event occurred, as I am living in another state. Her husband is adamant that I remove her, as he is afraid that it will affect thier credit. Also, if I should have any issues with creditors, will they come after them? Are his concerns valid? I have excellent credit, and have never bounced a check in my life.
Currently, my father is living at home and cared for by myself and my mother. But my mother is panic-stricken about the what ifs of nursing home care and the community spouse. My parents still owe $94,000 on their home. Both are retired teachers. My mother is afraid that if my father ends up in a nursing home, she won't be left with enough to keep the house and enough to live on. She also refuses to contact an elder law attorney because she's afraid it will cost too much. We live in Indiana. Oh, I am also on SSDI myself so I think there is some recourse there too, but I neither understand enough to direct her nor can I afford legal assistance.
My mother is currently on Medicaid. She has Alzheimer's Disease. We have been informed that she will be receiving a inheritance from a recently deceased family member. How does this work with Medicaid? I know that she will no longer will be eligible for Medicaid. But what happens with this money? Do they have the right to monitor her money? Tell us how this money can be used?
We added one of my children to the deed on our property via a quitclaim deed. We signed at home with no witnesses or notary. My husband died in 2006 of cancer. I want to sell the farm and move, but my daughter wants it all. Do I have any recourse to get my farm back? I will sell it to her, but she says it is already hers.
Can I Gift My Father Money to Pay His Nursing Home Bills Until the Five-Year Lookback Period Is Over?
My father gifted some rental real estate to me in the neighborhood of $350,000. I have come across the rules on the five-year lookback for Medicaid. My father has had some health problems in the past but he is doing well for now. If he should need to go into a nursing home before the five-year lookback period has ended, could I gift him the money to pay his nursing home bills until the five-year period has ended and then after the five years has ended, he could apply for Medicaid coverage?
I am hoping to buy a home and use some of the funds from the equity of my mother's home as down payment My mother would also live there and have her name on title. My question is this: Can she still receive Medicaid coverage and do the full funds of the home need to be transferred into a new primary residence for her? Also, will Medicaid try to recover the medical funds that have been used for her when her house is sold or upon her death?
My mom died in Massachusetts without a will while she was on Medicaid. My sister's name is on the deed to my mom's house, and she filed probate. Now the state wants my mother's house for reimbursement. Can they take the house if my sister's name is on the deed?
My father-in-law gifted the family home to his daughter retaining lifetime living rights. He has not lived in the house for more than five years, nor does he contribute to the upkeep or maintenance of the house or property. At the father's request, the daughter took out a mortgage on the house and gave him a little more than double the price he originally paid for the property. The father now wants the daughter to "sell" the house and is demanding $50,000. What are the daughter's rights?
We live in NJ. My dad broke his hip from a car accident, went through therapy, came home to his house, and fell down his steps and broke it again. His house had too many steps so he could no longer live there. We sold my dad's house and used the money as a downpayment on a new ranch style house for myself, my wife, and my dad. We went though an eldercare lawyer who created the deed giving my dad a life estate and my wife and myself ownership after my father's death. My name is the only name on the mortgage. My Dad lived with us for one year and four months. His dementia has really increased, and we had to put him in a nursing home. We are applying him for Medicaid. Any ideas on how Medicaid will treat the life estate?
What are my rights as a daughter to information regarding my mother's medical and financial information? Approximately two years ago, my nephew had the power of attorney changed to him without my knowledge. She was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, and I feel she did not understand what she was doing. I never received a revocation. He now refuses to give me any information regarding my mother. The locks have been changed on her home. I have had the Office on Aging check into this and since then it has become even more difficult to get information. I only want to know what the condition of my Mom is and what is best for her. Do you have any suggestions?
tags: Estate Planning, Health Care Decisions
My widowed father-in-law quickdeeded his house to my wife as co-owner in Tennessee. Is there a downside to this? I've heard it can add costs. However, the house is now worth much less than when he purchased it a few years ago.
Mom has Alzheimer's Disease, and I am on her checking account. Mom is living with family, but she will eventually go to a nursing home. I am paying her bills from her checking account. My question regarding the checking account: What does Medicaid look for? Do they check every written check for past five years? What makes them stop and question something? Is it the amount?
I am planning to use a company to help get me through the Medicaid application process for my mother. Any opinion on using an organization like that versus a lawyer? They are very reasonable -- much less than a lawyer would charge.
Although my siblings and I are not in favor, my parents have health issues that might require one or both to go into a nursing home down the road. My parents have been giving us money for birthdays and Christmas (as much as $1,000 per child) and we are concerned that if they have to go to a nursing home in less than five years from now we might have to pay back this money. Are our concerns justified?
Sister has Mom living with her, charging Mom rent, etc. Problem is she thinks she has a free for all with all of Mom's money. I take care of all the finances, taxes, billing, bank, etc. She charges Mom $600 a month plus, and wants to charge even if Mom is not staying there, because that is what any place else would do. My husband and I never charged Mom in the 17 years we helped and took care of her. During the past months, I needed a break from helping Mom to take care of my own health. Unfortunately, sister is not fair with anything concerning Mom. I want to protect Mom's money for her, especially because she is almost 90 years old and has health problems. She is not in any facility, but we (my husband and I) are thinking of an apartment with the three of us, and hiring help for her and me. I need legal answers before I confront Mom with this mess.
Mom went in nursing home three years ago and has been private pay. Her son has lived with her since 1992. She became unable to care for herself about two years before entering the nursing home, and her son cared for her in the home. The deed is currently in her name. Assuming she eventually qualifies for Medicaid, will her home be subject to recovery? Can she deed the home to her son? She has Alzheimer's Disease.
What are the acceptable ways of spending money for someone who is applying for Medicaid? Can it be on clothing, home furnishings or appliances? Can funeral arrangements be pre-paid? What other ways can be used without Medicaid seeing it as a cash value or asset that they can cash in on?
My father-in-law is in a nursing home in our small community. Of course he gets social security and a pension. He has had his former employer take out taxes (federal) since his retirement. The nursing home gets all his money (around $2,430), and Medicaid picks up the balance. Medicaid is now telling my husband, that his dad will have to not have the money taken out for taxes, because they want it. We have asked them why, and they tell us his dad doesn't have to pay taxes because he is in a nursing home. Well the federal government is telling us he does have to pay taxes. What can we do?
My wife and I are in our 60's and have had to deal with aging parents who made some poor financial decisions later in life. How can we protect our assets from being given away by us should our mental capacities diminish? If we put them all in our children's names and they are sued, would we lose our assets?
Son put $150,000 of renovations into home of his parents . Home is now valued at $875,000. A year ago, parents changed the deed to the house so it's owned by the parents and the son jointly with rights of survivorship. How would Medicaid handle this? Wouldn't it make sense to transfer outright to son now to start five-year look back?
tags: Medicaid Planning, Estate Planning
My parents are getting older and they want to make sure their home is not taken from them if they should end up in a nursing home and need Medicaid. I have heard they should put the house in a trust but I have also heard that gifting the house to their children is the way to go. Can you please clear up this question for me?
Can a family member or agent under a power of attorney prohibit the community spouse from visiting the nursing home spouse when there has been no abuse or any substantiating reason for withholding visitation?
My brother recently died in Texas and at the time of death he was on state aid and had no money. My mother who lives in Arizona has recently received a few bills. Is she obligated to pay his debts? There is no estate. What does she do with these bills?
tags: Estate Planning, Senior Living
I am getting to that age where I need to start thinking about my assets and estate planning. Just wondering what the steps are and is it really necessary to see a lawyer? Thanks for the help or suggestions!
My aunt lives with my husband and me, having moved up here to Indiana from Texas where she and my uncle had no family down there to take care of them. My uncle is in a nursing home. My question is that I came across their wills that are about four years old and I need to have them changed because their living conditions have changed and I am now the full-time caregiver, power of attorney and whatever. Do I have to take them both to a lawyer to change this or can I just take my aunt who generally signs for my uncle?
My mother is 93, healthy, takes care of herself, does her own laundry, cleans her condo, fixes her own food and does her own grocery shopping. My sister, who lives an hour away, behind her back moved all of her furniture and belongings out of her condo and over to an assisted living facility where she does not want to be. They took her cell phone so she could not call me, and are now lying to everyone about her "memory" problems. She is heartsickened and devastated by the betrayal. She feels trapped and in prison. Can I move her back home, and if necessary pay for in-home care (or someone to check on her daily)? I went to my mother's doctor appointment with her and her doctor recommended assisted living because of her age. My sister has threatened to call protective services if I move her. Can I move her back into the area that she wants to live in -- either in her own home with "home care" or an "assisted living" -- without my sister turning me in to protective services? Does my mother have any rights?
tags: Senior Living, Estate Planning, Guardianship/Conservatorship
My mother is in a non-profit nursing home and the nursing home wants my stepfather's pension of less than $100, which I use to pay my travel costs for visiting my mother. My stepfather died before my mother was admitted to the nursing home. Can I refuse to give it to them?
My father and mother executed a co-durable power of attorney naming my brother and me as joint attorneys-in-fact. My father is now deceased. My mother is owner of an investment portfolio with monthly dividends being automatically reinvested. My brother and I wish to have the dividends placed into my mother's checking account so that I may utilize the funds for monthly fees at a 'memory-care center.' A large investment firm/bank doing business in our state of Washington will not honor the 'power of attorney' because it is a 'joint' power of attorney. Apparently the bank would honor the power of attorney if the document specified that my brother or I were able to act alone. My mother can no longer sign her name in order to modify the existing power of attorney. What legal grounds does a bank have to deny us using a power of attorney?
tags: Estate Planning,
My mother's (second) husband has been back and forth between hospitals and a nursing home for the past month. All of their assets -- home and stocks/bonds/annuities -- are in his name only. We contacted a recommended elder care attorney for the Medicaid application/asset transfer and preservation. I understand it's a rather complicated and time-consuming process. Can you please give me a ballpark figure for these services on Long Island, and also how is the attorney's fee collected, i.e., total upfront, payment in thirds, one half, etc. Thank you!
Can a nursing home refuse to allow my family to transfer my father to another facility if I have power of attorney? We were told because my sister placed him there I could not have him transferred until she approved it.
tags: Estate Planning, Senior Living, Guardianship/Conservatorship
tags: Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning, Senior Living
My mother just turned 60, and in trying to be prepared for her future I discovered long-term care insurance. Can I buy this insurance for my mother since she cannot pay for it herself? Should I buy this product in the state where she is living or in my state? She has no income, no insurance, no savings and no assets. Oh yeah, and she doesn't drive and she has fibromyalgia, and she was just turned down for disability.
What Are the Medicaid Implications of Sheltering an Alzheimer's Victim's Savings in a Separate Account?
In the case of an elder diagnosed with Alzheimer's, is it acceptable to transfer their savings into a separate account with the names of their children to safeguard the funds? The concern is the possibility of the elder with Alzheimer's having access to withdraw and/or gift the funds without realizing the consequences. Can the funds be maintained in this separate account and only withdrawn and transfered to the elder's normal account for paying their bills, personal needs, care, etc.? If the time should come for nursing home care and Medicaid application, and trackable documented transactions are maintained showing the funds were used for the elder's needs, would the full original transfered amount be considered available funds when determining Medicaid eligibility, or would it be the balance remaining in the account?
I have a question regarding moving my husband's 87-yr-old grandmother to Maryland from Florida since the passing of my father-in-law. We have already purchased a 55+ community condo for her, and will be moving her up in 3 weeks. She does not own a home, and it is my understanding that she only receives a small pension and Social Security. So, thankfully, there are no assets to fight over that we know of. She has one living son in NY with whom we have no contact. Other than ensuring she has a new medical power of attorney drawn up after the move, should we be addressing anything else?
My mother gave $30,000 away in 2008. She is now in a nursing home and will apply for Medicaid in about 12 months. Can we "give back" the money? If so, how is it done so as not to appear as a gift? She does not have the funds to cover a disqualification period.
An elder law attorney told me that a $9,000 gift from my father made in 2008 would have to be paid back. His assets will run out soon and so I want to apply for Medicaid on his behalf. Would the gift of $9,000, which falls within the look-back period, disqualify him from receiving Medicaid for roughly two months?
If my daughter pays me for 1% of the value of my property and I make a deed as joint tenant with her -- me as 99% owner and her as 1% owner -- would Medicaid consider that a transfer? Would the property be protected that way?
Suppose a person has an immediate annuity with 10-year term certain. If after 5 years, the annuitant dies and has been in a nursing home covered by Medicaid, will the second beneficiary be able to receive the next 5 years of annuity payments or do they become the property of the state?
I am age 87, retired-disabled; my wife is 78 and working part-time but looks forward to retiring soon. We own a home with a substantial mortgage, have a modest IRA, and about $70,000 in savings. We are being hit by excessive, crushing health insurance costs and our resources and SS income now are not quite enough to maintain a decent living standard. Our daughter has offered to help and we have discussed lending our savings to her business long term at 10% interest, which would be taxable income to us. Daughter is also willing and able to donate some gift money to parents if needed. Any alternate ideas; can I structure a plan where there will be no tax on the interest income? Or some kind of gift arrangement that would be better?
tags: Estate Planning, Retirement Planning