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Can you answer a few questions for me --
1. How long do you expect before your father must fo into a facility or will have to spend his final days in a hospital setting (this is relevant but I am sorry to ask). Best guess on number of years?
2. How long has the house been in your name alone? When did Dad put the deed in your name alone?
3. Can you give me a ballpark idea of how much of your own money has been contributed to the house? From the first time you "pooled" your resources to the mortgages paid and the maintenance paid -- ?
4. Can you tell me the county you are located in there in Washington so I can see if i can get some resources where you may be able to get non interested third parties (such as elder services) to talk to him outside of your brother's pressure.
Thank you ,Mary. The house deed has been solely in my name since we got the loan in 1997. My father is 87 years old and has both diabetes and severe cardiac disease. Anything could happen that he would require round the clock care at an extended facility. I have always been generous with my money (groceries, medical supplies, etc. when needed. I have taken off many days of work to help them. When my mother fell out of bed and broke her sternum I quit my job and was at her bedside for at least a full year. In just the recent months May & April alone I missed at least 10 days of work which equals to 3,000. Driving back home from my ICU work on Whidby Island to our house to help guide them cost me 320.00 in gas alone. For the last 9 months I drove home at least once a week which is estimated at 40.$ for a tank of gas x 4weeks x 9months equates to 1440.00. A few years ago I spent 3000.00 to repair the roof and paint the front porch. Dad did spend minor parts from the hardware store and helped maintain the house, however i spent most of my time cooking suppers for them.Much of the rest of it we split down the middle. Over the last 15 years I frequently bought them many more groceries that they could afford. Our house is in Whatcom county in Wa State, however my father(87 years old) was frequently doing elder care and might be friends with the lawyers and professionals that do elder care. Thanks so much, Linda
Hello again Linda --
This is a BAD idea on your brother's part and not just because it is exposing his greed, but because this could run your father's estate into some issues with medicaid clawback provisions. If you can bear with me for a while longer, I have to go offline for a little bit (doctor appt) and want to do some additional research on this for you and prepare a good response that you can punch back with. Please check back later this evening -- about 6:30 - 7:00 pm PST and I should have an answer posted by that time. If that is not acceptable, then you can ask for another lawyer to assist you immediately and another will be assigned. Please let me know. THANKS
Mary, Certainly I can wait. Go to your appointment and i will check in around 8PM PST. Thanks so much! Linda
I am back and will be online for a while longer tonight and then online all afternoon and evening tomorrow (just FYI -- if you have more questions after reviewing this answer, it sometimes takes a while for me to get back to you if I was waiting on another customer when your follow up response / question posted to the website). I truly apologize for the delays in responding to your question.
Turning to your current situation, medicaid can and will look back for 5 years before he enters into a long term care facility / nursing home and can place a lien on and foreclose on that lien (sell the house ) to pay the cost of the long term care facility. In addition to this, medicaid can also place a lien for any amounts of money that they paid for him in the 5 years leading up to the long term care facility residency date OR the date of his death (in other words, medicaid will now pursue the deceased elderly person's estate for any and all medical payments made on their behalf to any facility or doctor, pharmacy, etc). As part of the pursuit of the "estate" they will look at any and all property transfers involving your father and any family members and any third parties and in the case of any interfamily transfer, medicaid can set aside the transfer and put the property back into your father's name and then sell it to pay for his regular medical bills and/or nursing home expenses incurred in the years leading up to his death and/or entry into the nursing home / long term care facility.
Now, there are some exceptions to these rules -- first, the "child caretaker" exception in order to protect the house from medicaid's reach after entry into a nursing home/long term care facility. It is here that it becomes apparent that it is your brother's probable intention to try to steal the home out from under you and your children. He is trying to set himself up in this caretaker role -- and If you let him push you into signing the house over to your father and then pushing you out of the house with your children, he can set himself up in the "caretaker child" role and your father is permitted to transfer the property to the caretaker child, who is defined under medicaid rules as the child who lived with and cared for the parent for the two years preceding the entry of the parent into the nursing home / long term care facility. As part of this "caretaker child" role, your brother would have to show that he provided a level of care that was more than general in nature (shopping, cooking) -- but that it actually rose to a medical professional type role in your father's life for the 2 years before the nursing home commitment. If the state pursues the house to recover some of the nursing home money paid out to the facility, they could pick apart your brother's role in the caretaking of your father during that period and still be able to claim the house if his caretaking were found to be inadequate under their rules and guidelines (there have been several states where the caretaker role was challenged by the state and the state won). So, at this point it appears to be your brother's long term plan to assume this "caregiver child" role and assuming that he can turn your family against you to get you to move out of the house and then he is found by the state to meet the standard for the caregiver role, he can be awarded the house that you paid for and worked so hard to keep all of these years.
I do not like this one bit for your sake Linda. He has clear ulterior motives here and it is apparent from your description of what is happening that he is a very GOOD manipulator of people around him. He is slowly getting people in your life to turn against you and creating dissension in the ranks regarding a matter of estate planning that was decided a long time ago between your parents and you.
From your descriptions above, the deed to the house is in your name alone and if that is the case, then I strongly suggest that you leave it that way because it is the safest thing to do regarding medicaid. If you desire to retain the home that you paid for and have lived in all of these years (or at least a good portion of it) after your Dad's passing, then you are going to have to dig your heels in here and challenge your brother in everything that he is attempting to do. Your brother has a lawyer in the wings somewhere who is manipulating this entire thing and is telling him exactly what he needs to do in order to get full ownership of the house. If your name is XXXXX XXXXX name on the deed then you have the legal right to have your brother and his trailer removed for trespassing and to run the household as you see fit -- your father may not like it, but you truly need to take matters in to your own hands (a possible solution is to hire an attorney yourself who can take these matters into his own hands and deal with your brother and other relatives when they start trying to challenge your ownership of the house and your monetary contributions to the actual mortgage payments and upkeep, etc. You can find a local attorney who handles estate law and elder law by contacting your local county bar association lawyer referral services -- they will give you several names and you can speak to a few of them and decide which direction that you want to take this matter in at that point. You can find the local attorney referral using an online search with the name of your county, state and "bar association attorney referral service").
Please let me know if you have additional questions and I am happy to answer them for you. Your brother is really playing with fire here -- he is trying to dance around the medicaid issue and if he succeeds in getting the deed signed to your dad then he still has other legal hurdles to retain the house and he is playing with fire.
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Mary, Thank-you so much for your advise. The only thing that confuses me is the Medicaid part. My father is on Medicare and his monthly check is just slightly too much to qualify for Medicaid. I suspect my brother is using some of my father's Medicare checks. My brother goes to the store and separates all their goods from ours. I didn't even do that in college. If my mother was alive she would think that was selfish and absurd. I am appalled at their selfish behavior. I feel nervous to even leave the house.
When would the status of Medicare turn into Medicaid???? Do the same laws about Medicaid apply to someone on Medicare?
Medicare will become medicaid for him if or when he enters a nursing home or long term care facility -- in order for the entire amount of the nursing facility or long term care facility to be paid, that only goes through Medicaid and he must be completely asset less at the time of the switch /change to Medicaid is made (he has to spend down all of his money/assets and then the Medicaid coverage kicks in which pays for 100% of the facility). Medicare does not cover this long term care and so the elderly people who need it are either forced to spend down and become destitute (at least on paper) or they were lucky enough to have purchased long term care contracts for this type of care to be paid for.
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