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Tob -you & wife need to get to an elder law attorney & asap. There are a whole host of issues for FIL that will likely be problem if he will ever need Medicaid.

Now whomever is named in the DPOA & MPOA paperwork can & should sign off the hospice paperwork. They do it strictly within their ability as a POA & are not liable for the bill. They sign it as: "Jane Smith Jones as DPOA for Mary Smith" or as "Jane Smith Jones in her limited capacity as DPOA for Mary Smith" on each & every line. Jane Smith Jones needs to get each & every page of the NH agreement / paperwork and do NOT leave the facility without it. If your wife signs her name personally then she personally is responsible for whatever for FIL. If yours is a community property state, then what she signs off on becomes your totally liability too. If I was not the sole DPOA with totally good paperwork as DPOA, I would NOT sign. Ever.

Now if FIL qualified for hospice, that is being bill to Medicare. So that is a benefit to him under the federal Medicare program. No cost to FIL. BUT hospice - although really a great program - does NOT pay for the room & board part of their stay @ the NH. The r&b needs to be paid also & this is done either by private pay (somewhere from 5K - 15K a month); long term care insurance or by Medicaid. The NH admissions paperwork should detail the costs and penalties for non-payment too.

How is the NH stay (the r&b) going to be paid?

About 70% of NH is paid by Medicaid. Now Medicaid requires that they qualify for the program both financially & medically by whatever your state has set (Medicare is totally federal but Medicaid is run by the states). For medical its that they need skilled nursing care, FIL is ok on this obviously. But for the financial part, is he impoverished? Like under 2k in non-exempt assets & under whatever your state has as it's ceiling for monthly income? If MIL also impoverished? Medicaid can go back and require 5 years of financial details. If they were married back then (which I bet they were) both FIL & MIL have to provide this. If you cannot get this, then FIL is toast on getting Medicaid. If - for example - by the divorce, MIL got the 50K in their savings account and dad got zero, then that will be a problem for Medicaid. OR if FIL signed off the ownership of the home to MIL, that is a problem for Medicaid as it is a transfer of an asset.

Just who is going to have the job to do the Medicaid application for FIL and get all this info and make sure that it is correct? (Note: The Medicaid application for my mom has a statement as to the details being correct and accurate under penalty. If you find something later on, you have to in writing let the state know of the situation in detail asap too) If something if found to be a penalty say 6 months after FIL goes into the NH and qualifies for Medicaid, the state can retroactively make FIL ineligible for Mediciad. And that my dear will be a lot of money that whomever signed off to be the agent will have to deal with.

If they divorced to avoid doing a spend-down for Medicaid, then the divorce can be viewed as a sham and FIL will be ineligible for Medicaid. If they are still living together and presenting themselves as a couple in any way (like they go to church together, or go to family events together or like sent a wedding gift or Xmas card together, live together, then the divorce is a sham), Medicaid is going to view the divorce as sham. Medicaid - at least in my mom's state - places these sort of applications in for a secondary review to look at for compliance and they can get all sorts of info on the couple (IRS filings, run credit checks, search real property records, etc.). When a secondary review is done, there probably is going to be a transfer penalty placed on the applicant. Transfer penalties are super sticky to deal with & really need an elder lawyer to deal with it.

My gut feeling on when I hear about elderly divorces or right-before-applying property transfers, is that one of the kids browbeats the parents to do this under the misbelief that somehow it will keep the governments paws off of their future inheritance. They get parents to do a quit claim on property or transfer money out of their bank so make the parent now impoverished. Then when parents apply for Medicaid, parents get hit for a transfer penalty for the full tax assessor value of the quit claim property or the full amount of the transfer. For property, they can sign it back to parent so that issue solved (for the present) but for $ transfers usually it's been spent. If they get a transfer penalty issued by Medicaid, the NH will get the letter too. NH will fully expect someone to private pay for care. If you don't, they will go after whomever signed to be the residents agent. They will turn it over to collections too as a couple of months in NH is easily at least 10K and worth going after. Most of the time family take the elder out of the NH asap if they cannot private pay and moves them back to their home to take care of them for the full run of the transfer penalty period.

Really I would not sign anything beyond the hospice paperwork till I met with an elder lawyer asap to figure out what issues the divorce presents and what funds are FIL to be able to pay for his care. Also you should discuss your own situation with a special needs child (I bet legal suggests you get a special needs trust set up for your child for his future and it is almost always a very good thing to do btw).
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My wifes parents are divorced after being married for 47 years. He is in pallitive care and all of the paperwork has been put on my wife. Her seven siblings also are relegating her to gather and sign all paperwork. I have advised against the signing of any paperwork that could lead to financial responsibilitiy. This is very important has we have a special needs son. My wife recently signed hospice agreement. What should we look for ? Should she sign as "reisdents agent "? Nursing home papers are next to be signed.
They told us that a sibling has to sign and not his ex wife. By the way they still live together and have for 60 years.
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I live in Colorado and am the Power of Attorney for Finances and Medical for my father who is 85. He has spent all of his reverse mortgage on literally garbage and has about $20,000 left in cash from it. Other than $1,000 a month in social security he has no other income or assets. However, he has been declared ineligible for medicaid because he owns two timeshares that are not able to be sold because they are a) literally worthless, you cannot give them away, b) a liability in that the HMO payment is $1,800 per year. I have been withholding payment on the HMO payment in hopes that the timeshare will "take back the title" but have not been successful at this point. I was told today that my father must be placed in a nursing home - he is not longer able to care for himself. I agree that this is an appropriate move but my biggest fear is that once his assets run out (which won't be long, surely at nursing home rates) that he will still not qualify for medicaid and he will be "booted out." I do not want to care for him, nor do I havae the financial or time resources available to do so. Yet I have read that some states will go back on the children if they do not qualify for medicaid for the cost of their parent's long term care. Is that true?
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My parents were in an assisted living facility and after my father was hospitalized he was to be placed in a nursing home. When I advised the assisted living facility of this, they advised me that since I signed the contract, of which I do not understand how you can have a contract for an assisted living facility, what happens if the tenant dies, and if they cannot sign for themselves, I was signing on their behalf. now they have put a judgement against my credit bureau and are trying to collect. Is this legal?
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For those caregivers out there who are wondering if you have to pay your parents debt or credit card bills when they die...

"I was recently asked "Am I responsible for my parent's debt? What if as a caregiver, I recently discovered that my father has several thousand of dollars of debt. Are parent debts transferable?"
The answer is ‘No!" ... (find out more information...)

Are Caregivers Responsible for Their Parent's Debt?
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/Are-children-Responsible-for-Their-Parent-s-Debt-133807.htm

And our expert answer:
Am I responsible for my parent's debt?
https://www.agingcare.com/Answers/Are-adult-children-responsible-for-the-medical-bills-of-their-parents--136206.htm

Hope this helps caregivers out there wondering if they will have to pay their parents debt.

Best of Luck Caregivers :)
Keep up the hard work!
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Fortress: You've opened up a hornets' nest......the POA. It can be abused by anyone who gets a hold of it.....doctor's offices, hospitals, banks, credit card companies etc. even H.R departments of corporations.
We do need solutions! My suggestion is to read the document thoroughly. Both signatures are required: 1) ( the donor) and 2) the person receiving power, so both parties must participate in the follow-up.
Mine says: "In the event that I am unable to carry out my wishes ........" etc., so no one can grab it away from me while I'm still coherent.
There are two types of P O A, Financial and Medical ..totally separate instruments. What other suggestions do you have? I care about this issue.
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I am MEDICAL POA for my dad also and even though he is still a person and able to think .... doctor offices, nursing home, collectors etc... keep using the POA as an excuse to harass me. My dad completed his desires for life support etc... when he entered the nursing home (he is still alert, smart, and he is STILL A PERSON) he picked me as his POA because I will be the most likely to obey his wishes of NO life support. Anyway, I never signed anything and I never signed the POA only him. But now the nursing home and ALL places he ever has an appt get MY INFORMATION!!!! And call me. When you get old and go into a residential nursing home or whatever.... they can really change what THEY want POA to mean. My dad has no money and no assets. Only some VA benefits and medicare. As more and more parents are living into very old age... I think everyones 50s, 60s, 70s, etc... are going to be taken up with parent and their own medical problems and harassment. I know of 70-75 year olds taking care of their 90+ old parent. We need solutions.
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If I am a Power of Attorney for my mom...does this mean I can be responsible for credit card debt? I'm a POA for her because she can't see or write well. Her name is in the card.
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AARP has a nice site about the Filial Law. it pertains to nursing home debt. And it goes state by state as to how it affects each state. As for credit card debt, many credit cards can be negotitated down but, they are not your responsibility anyway.

So I guess, it depends on what debts you are talking about.

personally,I wouldn't worry about it. I mentioned the Filial Law because and only because I found it interesting. Not sure if it is ever applied or not, but interesting.
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Not you, Zoey.
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I looked up filial and all I was finding was stuff that didn't make sense. Just referred to a daughter or a son, but nothing else. We never ask my brother in law or sister in law about helping with any debts left behind but I think we will be O. K. Also she does have money to be split between my husband, his sister and brother. I guess her credit card will get paid with that Granted she has any left when she dies.Like you said ,they will take whats theirs 1st. Thanks for answering.She owes 9000.00 on the card.
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The debts are paid out of the estate. When the estate is spend, that's it. The only complication is that if you signed an agreement to pay the debt then you are on the hook. Don't sign anything. Filial laws are not usually enforced. There is a filial law in Utah that has not been enforced. It requires a child to pay debts if the child can but they are not going to transfer poverty from one person to another. Pennsylvannia has attempted to force children to pay bills.
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Ummm . A new deed is in the making.... After a deceased person's Warranty Deed passes to the other "Joint Tenant" as in JTWRofS, my suggestion is to trot on down to the Courthouse and get a new Deed .....not necessary but nice. A lawyer must order this procedure. The house MUST be protected as it is the largest asset (usually).
I'm not sure whether a "Joint Tenant" can be a sibling, an adult child or does it have to be a spouse only.
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KZ - A lot of this will depend on your mom's state law on property rights and how it views "homestead" and how the actual deed to the home is recorded. Also each state sets different limitations on unsecured (e.g. credit card) debt.

You are probably going to need a real estate attorney to unsnarl all this but there are some things you need to get before hand to do this......

Was there really truly a judgement done?
Often the debt collectors send out letters stating "there is a judgement" without that actually being the case. So what's what needs to be determined. Now if there is an actual judgement, then mom should have been served to appear in court to state her "case" before that happened. Did she get served? There should be a filing by the local deputy who served it and to whom got it and signed off. You will need to get a copy of this if you want to fight this.

Is there really & truly a lien on the property?
The judgement would also need to be recorded in the county assessors office or whatever system is in place in her state in order for a lein to be done. You can go down to the tax assessors office or hopefully, go on line to get whatever is listed against the property. This is done all the time for real estate sales and should be cheap to run - usually under $ 10. If there is a lien against your mom and you legally own the house and she does not own it (all done before the judgement), then you can have the lien removed. You really need an attorney to do this.

But get all your paperwork - act of sale, all notarized paperwork, wills, mortgage items, deed of trust, release of deed of trust, etc, together before you see the attorney. Also do a timeline on the property ownership.

Most states have it where judgements have to be renewed and that costs (the collection agency to do) and often it isn't done when it expires.

If your names are kinda similar, this sort of problem happens often. Sometimes there will be a lien on a property put because the name is similar and there is NO relation to the actual debtor and the property. If you know a good real estate agent they can tell you how it works in your county on dealing with this. Sometimes there can be an old lien sitting out there because work done on the house was paid late and the contractor never filed a completed and removal of the lien - I dealt with this with one of my aunts estates. Paperwork is just so important.

One especially FUN thing with cc debt is that they can file a 1099-C to your mom.
1099-C is Cancellation of Debt. This counts as income with the IRS and she will have to pay tax on it unless she is able to show impoverishment. There is a whole formula and IRS forms on how to do this. If she gets 1099-C's, do NOT ignore it as it can trigger removal from Medicaid as her "income" will be above the limit due to this.The cc co can go back more than a decade to send out 1099-c's too.

My mom is in TX & under TX law, a homestead is super well protected from creditors in that a judgement cannot be put as a lien against one's homesteaded or primary residence for unsecured debts. I think this is true for FL law too.
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Creditors will always send letters, threatening telephone calls, perhaps a door knock or two. Ignore them. If your name is not on any of her credit card bills, then pay no heed.
Q.: If she's been in a Nursing Home/Assisted Living Facility for five years and will probably not return home, then why does she need a Life Estate on the house?
If she is the legal owner of the house, if her name is on the current deed, then yes, creditors can put a judgement on the house....... Let the lawyer answer the judgement.
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My mom has been in a Nursing Facility for 5 years and due to lack of assets had to apply for Medicaid. She was unable to pay off her outstanding credit card debts and my attorney advised the creditors of this via numerous letters. The creditors proceeded to send the accounts to the debt collectors and two of them put a judgement against the house which is in my name but mom listed as life use of the house. Is this legal? What happens when mom passes? Is the judgement removed or am I responsible to pay creditors back when the house is sold. Isn't there a statute of limitation? All her credit cards were under her name only.
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Normally, residual bills are paid out of the deceased estate. HOWEVER, No one, and I do mean NO ONE is responsible for another person's debts, billls obligations etc. Exceptions: If more than one name appears on the "account"...such as a spouse or child.
I'll check out "Filial Law" with the great one (my lawyer), and find out what it's all about.
Warning: Be careful of "co-colateralization" with a creditor. They can collect. Example: If a creditor, such as a bank or credit union holds multiple loans on the deceased such as a car loan, mortgage, personal loan, along with a checking account or an IRA, they can pull from whatever they "own" in order to cover the outstanding debt of the deceased. Horror stories abound in estate law.
It makes sense to "cash out" before one dies, doesn't it? .
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ZOEY1ZULU2,

Check out this article.

Are Caregivers Responsible for Their Parent's Debt?
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/Are-children-Responsible-for-Their-Parent-s-Debt-133807.htm

I was recently asked "Am I responsible for my parent's debt? What if as a caregiver, I recently discovered that my father has several thousand of dollars of debt. Are parent debts transferable?"

The answer is ‘No!"

Read more to figure out what you are and are not responsible for.

Karie H.
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Check out something called the Filial Law. It states that in 29 out 50 states children can be held responsible for their parents debts. I was shocked to read this. Just an interesting note. Good luck, however, collecting on this and there is a great deal of controversy about it. Could be a good converstion starter!
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This why each person should have their own credit cards so if the one that dies first and has a problem with overspending will not leave his or her bills for the frugal one to suffer in paying them off.
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They are paid out of the estate. If there is no money in the estate, debts cannot be collected. Children are not responsible for the parents' debts. (A spouse will still be responsible, however.)
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