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FLACORPLAWYER, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4633
Experience:  23 Years as attorney, licensed NY and FL. Former US ATTY.
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I am very worried about a situaiton that I have involving my

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I am very worried about a situaiton that I have involving my elderly aunt and myself. She lived in her own house for over 45 years and she is currently 95 years old. She fell last March (2010) and since her house has only one bathroom upstairs and she is not able to go up and down the stairs anymore, I had to move her to an Assisted Living home. ( I am her niece, heir and Power of Attorney.) I had to sell her house for her which took only a couple of months, surprisingly enough. She received about $180,000.00 from the sale of the house. I put this in an account for her.

Her Assisted Living apartment cost between $4-6000,00 a month, which we had auto deducted. That all worked well. My husbanfd and I have our own business, which unfortunately due to the economy is not pullling in as much business as it was in previous years. During the time that my aunt fell and I had to sell her house, move her furniture, take care of everything that she would have taken care of had she not been ill, I was not able to take care of my own company as I normally would have if I had not had to do all of this for her. I live in Misissippi and she in New Jersey. The time it took to sell the house, etc. probably took about two full months of almost non-stop work on her behalf. Our business took a serious hit even further while all of this was happenig but she had no one else to do these things for her so it had to be me.

Since that time she has almost died several times. We even had to move her to a Hospice on Easter weekend because we thought the end was near. She recovered and is now at a County run nursing home in New Jersey.

My problem is this. I did use some of her money to help our business make it through some of these harsher times when I was spending so much time doing things for her. I truly thought she was going to die and the money was going to come to me in the end anyway. But she did not die and now she is trying to qualify for Medicaid. I know that the Medicaid people are going to wonder where this money that I used for our business went since it was part of the money from the sale of her house. She is just about out of money and we are running on fumes. I do not have the money to pay her back right now. What will happen if Medicaid says she will be penalized for my taking this money from her? I have spent an amazing amount of time on her behalf, and still do whenever anything happens to her. It has been at great cost for my business to have to stop and do all of this for her, yet it seems as thought that doesn't count or even matter to the Medicaid office. I certainly do not want to lie to them as I know that is very bad, and want to tell them what happened but just wanted to know what recourse they have or if I have any at all? Will they kick my aunt out of this place if it all comes down to that? It is just a very upsetting situation and I am not at all sure what to do here or what to expect.

I appreciate any help you can give me.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FLACORPLAWYER replied 5 years ago.


You had the right to be compensated for the things that you did for her, just as a private contractor would have been compensated if she had to hire people to do those things. Just so you were not compensated more than another person or company would have received. To that extent, the money was "spent" by her and is gone. The balance of anything that you took is, in essence, a loan to you from her. The loan has gone bad because you cannot repay it. So, she has no money and that is that. That is how you address this situation.


Thanks so much! That makes me feel much better and I appreciate your help with this situation.

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