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John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
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In Florida, Elder Law My fathers has Alzheimers disease and

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In Florida, Elder Law
My fathers has Alzheimers disease and has become paranoid, thinking often I have stolen all his money even though it is all clearly in his same accounts and this has been explained and shown to him etc He has twice called the police and they came to the house but were sympathetic after I showed them his medical and durable POA's.It is an senior community and they are well trained.
He gave me a durable power of attorney seven years ago and I have been paying his bills since this past June when he started needing 24/7 care. i have delivered some of this care at no cost and supervised the rest.I am the only living child, although my sisters son Kevin is a psychiatric nurse and has always been interested in my father's welfare.
My father is very suceptible to manipulation. One unscrupulous caregiver got my Dad to cash in insurance policies he had since WW2 in which I was the beneficiary and deposit the proceeds in an account he thinks I dont know know about and "cant get at". He no longer comprehends the POA lets me use any funds for his benefit.Five years ago he also put both his stock account and personal checking accounts in both our names Joint tenants with right of survivorship.
We are talking $20,000 and $3000 monthly respectively. My nephew is coming to care for my father for three months and help him move into Assisted Living. Assisted Living will then cost $4000 per month. I am committed to paying the extra money should my Dad outlive his assets. He is 93. There is additionally his small house which is also in my mine and my Dads name Joint tenants with right of survivorship.
Yesterday I sold all his remaining stocks and moved the money into a savings account not in my Dad's name but one that has only been used to pay his expenses. i believe I must do this to protect his assets from more manipulation as I live a good distance from him and he does not want to leave his home to live with me. As long as I keep good records of the money only being spent for his benefit can there be any problem with this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  John Legal replied 1 year ago.
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

I am sorry to hear about the struggles with your father. I have worked with hundreds of clients over the years with these same struggles.

With that said, it is pretty risky and you are subject to significant scrutiny by transferring all his assets into your own name. By doing this you are effecting the following:

  1. You are changing who receives his assets upon his death legally. Since that account is yours it will stay in your name upon his death. Legally your nephew has no claim to that account. This takes away the nephew's right to his mother's 1/2 share upon your dad's death unless your father had a will that did something different. The police or other adult services agencies may see this as exploitation.
  2. Since the account is in your sole name, it is subject to your creditors. If you get into a major car accident they can take all that money in a lawsuit along with anything else that is unprotected. The fact that it is your "dad's" money will have not legal effect to prevent a creditor from taking that money.
  3. If you die before your father it could be very complex depending on your estate plan. Your wife or children may not have the same commitment to your father to assure the funds are used for his care.

You could use an Irrevocable Trust that would get the assets out of your father's name but would be protected from your creditors, have a continuous trustee to hold the funds until your father dies and would set out a division of the property upon your father's death similar to his current estate plan. You will need to get an elder law attorney in the area to create the trust and advise you about how to manage it.

 

The elder law attorney may have another benefit. You mentioned something that implies that your father served in WW2. If your father did serve during the War there is a Veterans benefit that he could be entitled called Aid and Attendance benefits. A&A will pay up to $2,000 a month to your father to cover any shortfall in his care expenses. To be eligible for this benefit his assets will have to be out of his name but the trust mentioned above would allow him to qualify.


In short, you are working through a difficult situation with your father. You can navigate this and do well for him and protect yourself. I would recommend you find an elder law attorney in your area to help you. You can find one at www.naela.org. The good news is that if your dad gets A&A benefits then the $2,000 a month will more than pay for any attorney costs.

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

Please show your appreciation for my candid, accurate information by clicking VERY INFORMATIVE, OR the OR and positive feedback. You should only rate me if you are satisfied with the information I provided you. If you cannot rate me GREAT please do not rate. Give me a chance to make it right by clicking REPLY TO EXPERT.

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Thank you,

John

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your response. I am the only heir except for my son for $5000 in my Dads Will. My Dad has already recently given my nephew his money he intended for him after his death and that is understood between us all in writing.


I have seen Elder law attorneys who feel there is not sufficient assets to have a trust established.


I did get him aid and attendance from the VA and that is most of the $3000 I mention. Right now my Dads care costs right about that much and I have been supplementing his income so that he can afford it.


I feel I have no choice but to move his remaining money as a recent caregiver was able to get approx $2000 of it and he is such a soft touch at this point


I have noted what you said in the event of my death. Very helpful, I was not thinking of that. I need to leave written instructions for people in the event of this.


Since I am determined to do this do you have any suggestions for how to avoid other problems?? I have already hired at my expense a professional bonded bill paying service.

Expert:  John Legal replied 1 year ago.
Connie,

You got my concerns in my earlier post. :) Sounds like despite the issues that you have them covered the best you can. Glad you have talked this through with an Elder Law attorney and gotten him the VA benefits.

Leaving instructions for your heirs will be helpful but please remember that they are not legally binding. It could be a little cheaper to add a simple trust for him in your will if you wanted to really assure that he is legally covered.

There is really nothing to do to prevent a creditor from suing you and recovering the account other than a trust or other legal entity like an LLC. Both are about the same cost to establish.

The bonded bill paying company is good if that helps to take some work off of you. However, if this is something you feel comfortable keeping track of using spreadsheets, etc, there is nothing wrong with you paying the bills on your own to save the cost of the bill paying service. You prevent yourself from being questioned legally so long as you have a good, clear, paper trail, bill paying company or not.
John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience: Over 15 years legal experience.
John Legal and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Im going to rate you excellent service in just a moment I just thought Id mention that I am not the most organized person. Even though it is perfectly clear that I have paid my Dads bills and not wasted or taken any- its only perfectly clear after one spends about five hours staring at my records-sigh! so I thought bill payer would be a good idea. Thanks for your help.

Expert:  John Legal replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the Excellent. I agree with your decision about the bill payer. Good that you have the ability to analyze and get assistance with aspects of your father's care that are not your strong suit.

Good luck!

John
John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience: Over 15 years legal experience.
John Legal and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

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