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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37862
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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Elder law JA: The Estate Lawyer will need to help you with

Customer Question

Elder law
JA: The Estate Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Estate Lawyer can help you best.
Customer: My 91 yr old mother has lived with me for the past 15 years. I have a sitter that stays with her during the day while I work. She has about 65,000 in CD's. Both my name and her name are on the CD's but the $ is actually hers since I did not contribute to the CD's. She has Medicare and I'm wondering how she can spend down in order to qualify for Medicaid. The home is in my name (no mortgage). I take her to all her dr's appts in my car (she does not have one). She buys the groceries and I pay for the gas, cable, electric, etc. She paid off the mortgage.
JA: Is there anything else the Estate Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: Should I start letting her pay for all of the bills she she lives with me and I'm her caregiver (except when the sitter is with her while I'm working during the day). The sitter is paid with my mother's money
JA: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.
Customer: Okay
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Estate Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..This is a common problem that more people are running into lately as they try to conserve assets for their family instead of giving them to the govt..One way that you can legally transfer some of her assets would be to enter into a personal care contract. This is where she pays you for providing care for her while she is living with you. You would contact a few home care companies or assisted living homes and find out how much they charge per month and then have mother enter into a written personal care contract for a little less than what they are charging. That way she can pay you for taking care of her and serve to reduce her assets at the same time until she reaches the $2K level where she would be eligible for Medicaid benefits..And yes, if she paid all the bills and you saved your money, that would be another acceptable way to spend down her assets and effectively transfer some of them to you by allowing you to conserve your money..Another allowable expense is one vehicle if it is used for the person. So some people will buy a new car with their money so they can be transported to the doctors, or the grocery, or hair and nail appointments, etc. and this is an allowable way to spend down assets and then give the vehicle to a family member when it is not needed any longer if the person goes into long term care..Prepaid funeral plans are also allowable expenses as well as paying off any debts that she might have..So there are a few ways to legally spend down her assets so as to not have to use them in paying for her own care during the spend down period....thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I use some of her $$ to pay off my car since I provide all her transportation and I pay for all the gas. Is that correct?
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
That wouldn't be allowable, but she could pay you for taking her places, just like a taxi.. Or she could buy your car from you for the payoff amount and then gift it back to you if she went into long term care... They are kind of picky on how you go about these things....thanksBarrister
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, .Did you have any further questions that I can help with?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One more question, can some of her money be used to make impovements to the house. The house is in my name, but she lives there
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
That is probably going to run afoul of their rules since she doesn't own the house as it will look like a gift to you. If she owned it, it would be different. But then the house could be subject to a Medicaid lien, so that wouldn't be good either...If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided so I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me...thanks muchBarrister