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Legalease, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16379
Experience:  15 yrs experience: Elder Law, Wills, Social Security Issues
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My question has to do with elder law. My parents sold their

Customer Question

My question has to do with elder law. My parents sold their home 2 yrs ago in order to fund assisted living. As my dad requires more services the cost has increased so we checked into Medicaid and also talked to another resident who recently got his wife on medicaid with the help of an attorney. They were advised to divide assets between parents, get them separate checking accounts, and also advised to split some of the non-medicaid spouse's monies between their children in the event that if the non-medicaid spouse died first, the surviving spouse wouldn't have to spend down to $2000 in order to continue with services. And with the understanding that the monies were set aside strictly for the surviving parent.
Meanwhile my parents surprised me and applied for Medicaid for my dad and were accepted before we had a chance to put any of this in place. They will receive some good aid but our main concern now is for the future. Medicaid says we can still cancel and reapply later, but I don't know if we should or shouldn't do that. I have POA for them. I don't feel I can talk to medicaid about this particular issue as I don't know for sure if it's even legal to do what I'm talking about. We would hire a lawyer to help us with this if it's a beneficial thing to do, but not if it's inadvisable in the first place.
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..Can you tell me what state this is in?.Have they already applied and disclosed all their assets as part of the application process?..thanksBarrister
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.
Hello there ---I am another attorney here at Just Answer. It seems that my colleague who responded earlier had to sign off earlier than he expected this evening. -Can you tell me what kind of assets that your parents still have after selling their house to fund the assisted living? And, have the proceeds of the house been used to pay towards the assisted living since the date it was sold? If the house was the largest asset that your parents had then it is entirely possible that when your father applied to Medicaid recently, your parents may have fallen below the threshold income level to receive Medicaid. My suggestion is that you use the POA and, with a little participation from your Dad, find out why they qualified easily for Medicaid (the case worker or the Medicaid administrator at the assisted living facility should be able to tell you easily what you need to know). It is true that they can apply again at a later date if their assets are spent down and they are no longer disqualified by their income and assets and what is proposed to do in order to make sure they qualify for Medicaid is not illegal (these are some of the methods used by elder law attorneys and estate attorneys to try to protect assets of the elderly from being taken after the elderly person is admitted to a nursing home or later dies). -So, see if you can get a reason for the sudden acceptance of your parents on Medicaid and I am happy to review the reason and assess what they may tell you in these matters. You can leave this question open for several months if it takes you a while to get a true response from them -- but my thought is that your parents are currently in compliance with the rules because they sold their house to comply and they may be hitting into the lower income threshold for a married couple. The proposed actions you mentioned above are perfectly legal if you find yourself in a position where a mistake was made and a new application to Medicaid must be made on behalf of your parents. -Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating above so I will be paid for my time assisting you today. I am paid nothing unless and until you press a positive rating above ( pressing the middle star, or the fourth or fifth star to the right of the middle star is a positive rating). As I said above, I am happy to answer any additional questions that you might have if you get an explanation from the case worker or Medicaid worker -- your question will remain open for several months to that end. THANK YOU VERY MUCH-Mary Legalease