tranmkp Asked July 2011

If I have Power of Attorney should I use both my mother's assets and mine to purchase a property to take of her?

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Having POA, I am thinking about pooling my mothers assets with ours and purchasing a property to better take of her. Or, should the assets be kept separate? We can borrow the money to buy. She could pay us rent for her quarters. What would be the best way from a tax /estate standpoint?

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ROXANNE Jul 2011
NEVER co-mingle accounts ever....especially for property. My attorney told me this a long time ago when she was getting low and it was taking along tome to liquidate one of her annuities. I was going to pay a few bills with my money and then reimburse myself....he said, "NO, never, ever co-mingle accounts", and this was not for property.
You need an attorney for what you want to do....get it done legally or you could be in serious trouble. I agree with "Coach", and all the others in this thread.
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coach Jul 2011
This can become a very sticky situation. Please contact an Elder Law Attorney for guidence.
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I would not use your mother's money at all without legal advice. Believe me, using a parent's money can get you in alot of hot water Power of Attorney or not. I am speakig from experience for the past year and a half of fighting with my sister. Please don't do it alone. Get an Elder attorney to answer your questions. I would personally purchase the property on your own and then you can collect compensation from your mother to help you pay for you home. Much easier that way than to have both of you on a mortage. This way the house is yours and if you have siblings, you don't have to answer to anyone about the property and it is yours when your mom passes without any probate or legal ramifications.
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igloo572 Jul 2011
All these issues are sticky, you'll need to hire an experienced lawyer to help. To begin your search for the best lawyer for the job, contact the local bar association and ask whether it has a lawyer referral service that includes those who specialize in conservatorships or elder law. You can also contact the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys for a referral to its members in your area.

Keep in mind the lookback for Medicaid eligibility is 5 years. If you think that will be needed for your mom, you should gear your decisions to have her at the Medicaid compliant asset level by 2017.

If you don't have the following done, then while your at the attorney's get:
- Durable Power of Attorney (a Financial Power of Attorney) not just POA
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Living Will &/or Advance Directives
- Declaration of Guardian in Event of Incapacity
- HIPAA Waiver
- Will or codicil to the Will if it needs to be updated

I'm a firm believer in having an elder care attorney take care of all this. It will not be expensive as most of this is done by the paralegals. You do want to go in prepared with what the information is for the documents (e.g. the residence located at 123 ABC street, aka parcel #5678; Ann Smith, wife of John Smith, with the info on all the births & prior marriages) as well as valid ID for the elder. If you have the stuff together, this is all simple, straightforward paperwork, it should take 1 - 2 hrs for the intake and then 1 hr a couple of days later for the signatures to be done.

If mom has assets, then all this should be paid from her assets. This also is important if you ever get challenged. If you pay for all, and you benefit, then other family could go to court to find it a coerced document. Good luck.
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jeannegibbs Jul 2011
I'm sure you'll get advice from folks more up on the tax/estate aspect.

Are you thinking of purchasing this property to live in jointly? In the event that Mother might some day need more care and require a long term care facility, how would joint ownership of the house impact that? I hope a financial planning expert can tell us.

Also, does mother have assets beyond what would go into the house? Would she be able to pay her way for long-term care (or professional in-home care) should that become necessary? I think that might have a bearing on what is best to do now.

I'll be watching for expert answers, because I'd like to know this, too.
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