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My aunt (101 yrs) has been in a nursing home(Michigan) past

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My aunt (101 yrs) has...
My aunt (101 yrs) has been in a nursing home(Michigan) for the past 3 years. This nursing home was sold to another organization last fall. When she entered into the home (on Medicaid), we were told she would have a $60/month personal trust account to be used for purchases (which we must keep below the $2000 Medicaid limit). Since the change of owners, we have not been able to get an accounting of how much money remains in her account. They also indicated that not all residents get the $60/month depending on their Social Security/Pension payments paid to nursing home. I thought the $60./month was a State requirement. THey tell us that "Corporate is updating the accounts" but it has been several months. Can you provide any insight on this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Tax
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8/26/2015
Tax Professional: PDtax, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) replied 2 years ago
PDtax
PDtax, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4,711
Experience: 35 years tax experience, including four years at a Big 4 firm.
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Hi from Just Answer. I'm PDtax, and can assist.

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Tax Professional: PDtax, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) replied 2 years ago

Federal law mandates that nursing homes who do this kind of trust fund accounting (nearly all do) meet a few specific requirements:

Mom or her representative had to sign an agreement authorizing the account setup and use.

The $60 per month (used to be $50) is not a mandate, so amounts deposited vary.

There are specific requirements concerning setup of separate accounts, setup of a responsible party to authorize payment and billings, etc.

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Tax Professional: PDtax, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) replied 2 years ago

It is common that these funds could be deposited in one master account, with separate records for client balances maintained by the facility. This is not proper, but is commonly done.

Now to your question:

With the change in ownership comes the responsibility for the new owners to review the trust balances. There could be bookkeeping issues, a change in responsible party (holding up disbursements), change of banks, and a host of other issues.

To start a review that you can support if litigation is needed in the future, I suggest you make your concerns known in a letter sent to the new owners. In it, mention the dates you asked for an accounting, the person(s) you spoke to, and your request for an accounting and account balance. You might also ask for a copy of the original agreement authorizing the withdrawal, and its date. You are entitled to an accounting of the account. Send it with proof of mailing.

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Tax Professional: PDtax, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) replied 2 years ago

Even though your question was sent to the tax group, I was able to shed some light on your inquiry. An elder law attorney would be a better source if you need to follow up later.

Thanks for asking at Just Answer. Positive feedback is appreciated. I'm PDtax.

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