How to protect my aunt's property.

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My 82 year old aunt is currently in a nursing home facility for rehabilitation. She also has a mild case of demetia. We do not expect her to be returning to her apartment. At this point we are still paying rent for her apartment and will continue to do so through December. I am her niece and she has granted me POA. She has a granddaughter that has not been very involved in the process since she became ill. When the time comes to clean out her unit, I am not sure who has right to what items? She has a lot of antiques and I do not just want those items be donated to charity. She does have a will so I do not want people to just stake claims on items. I want to put her things in storage until we can figure out a plan to make sure all her things are taken well care.

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I just heard from a lawyer (general statements -- not specific advice for a particular situation) that furnishings are generally not considered assets by Medicaid. The exception would be antiques bought for investment purposes. But an antique rocker that Auntie actually sat in or had available for guests to use would not be considered an asset. So these might be given away or kept in storage and not impact the Medicaid application or the Recovery after death. Naturally you would need to consult an attorney for legal advice about a particular situation, but I think that general advice is useful.
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This article on this site provides helpful information on wills and dementia: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/elder-cant-sign-will-trust-power-of-attorney-153521.htm

I don't think that furniture is generally considered "assets" but perhaps very valuable antiques would be. Maybe there is someone here who is knowledgeable o that point.

IF they are assets, they would probably need to be liquidating and the money spent before Aunt would qualify for Medicaid.

If they are not technically assets then Medicaid would have no interest in them.
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Arlene, I would make sure if she will not be able to live alone before getting rid of her apartment. Can she afford a Home Health Aid to come to her apartment if the physicians thinks she is capable of leaving NH facility? One of my parents has alcohol dementia n went to a Rehab center too n was released to live with someone after they helped him build his muscle n got him to eating healthy. Hopefully, she had updated her Will with you on the Will beings her granddaughter has not been around to help her n before her AD started to take affect. Grant you that when her times comes it is amazing how all these kin folks just appear trying to get their greedy paws n the little cookie jar. You r thoughtful Niece for her to have while caring n trying to keep her belongings from going into the wrong hands when the time comes. I hope u get all the answers that u need.

Is a 'Last Will & Testament' any good if the person with dementia signed it before her dementia started to show signs n only has one grown son? Can the property be taking away by Medicade if say, later she needs to go into a NH n passes away n was able to go on Medicaid?
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I get free legal since I am in the business so I am not so worried about that. I just need to know what needs to be done now so we don't lose the house and we don't become responsible for her debts.
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Proceed cautiously. As POA you can be SUED, and anything you may get out of the estate may pale in comparison to your personal legal bills. Too bad she didn't give away her things while she still could have made the decisions.
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The house is paid for, so there is no mortgage and I don't believe they have a joint checking account. If he does, should he close it? We were wiped out by Katrina and the Road Home Program (what a joke that was), have had our house foreclosed on and don't want to lose his childhood home which we have worked our fingers to the bone getting back together. We are still working on in a little at a time. So somehow, I want to make sure we don't lose this house and we are not responsible for the debts in her name.
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i do not believe he is responsible for her debt unless it is a joint account/joint mortage etc etc. I know I was also worried about this as it relates to my mom...I had visions of losing all of my $$ to pay her things...
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Perhaps a little off topic, but along the same lines, my mother-in-law to be is now 86 and has been suffering from Alzheimer's for about 2 years now. She has incurred debt in rebuilding her home after Katrina. It was a total loss and had to be rebuilt from the studs up and down. All new electric, all new ac and heating all new roof, all new floors all new walls, etc. The question is her son, my fiancee, is the only heir, and will inherit the house, which is the only asset of the estate. My question is will he be responsible for her debt as well?
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Are you absolutely sure that your aunt will not be returning to her apartment to live or visit? If so, then I'll go along with the above suggestion that you video tape her inventory of personal property and vacate the apartment after all has been taken care of. Is storage considerably less than her rent? Gather the will now, and make copies for the lawyer and anyone else named in the will. No need to distribute until after she passes.
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If you have a DURABLE POA you have few problems, if it is not durable the POA has little value.
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