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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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