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I moved into my grandmother's house to take care of her about 12 years ago. I am currently 37 years old. 5 years after I moved in, my grandma had to be placed in long-term care. She would have gone in much sooner, but I delayed her admittance to the nursing home by a few years by taking care of her. (she had diabetes and prosthetic hip)


My grandmother lived at the nursing home for around 5 years before she passed away. I continued to live at the residence, paying for all the utilities and taxes while she was institutionalized, and I continue to live there to this day. I also look after her ex-husband, who is my 85 year old grandfather, and he has also lived here before and after her institutionalization. She passed away a few weeks ago, so I'm wanting to know if I have any possibility of me getting an undo hardship waiver. As I understand it, grandchildren do not count for the exemption, neither would my grandfather because he's no longer married to my grandmother, but perhaps a lenient judge would rule in my favor since I took care of her and am taking care of a elderly person, plus we have lived here for so long. I'm also full-time student in college and finding a new home right now, especially during the pandemic, would be very hard.


If that's not an option, I would also like to know if Medicaid would allow me to buy the home at the PVA value rather than making me compete with people at an auction. My grandmothers real children do not want me to buy the home as they view it as me getting their inheritance, but that's another issue entirely. Can I just call Medicaid's estate recovery line and inquire about buying the home without involving the heirs? or must it be auctioned off. Her medical expenses Medicaid covered were well beyond the value of the home, by a factor of 10. I have been planning for this moment for the past few years and have saved up enough money to buy the home outright for the PVA value, but if it goes to auction, I doubt I could afford the house for what it ultimately sells for, as it's in a good location value wise.


Thanks

Ok, what I meant by permission was did Medicaid give you and Grandad permission to live in the house? It may have been an exempt asset but they determine who is allowed to live in it.

You and Uncles need to understand that the house is no longer an exempt asset. If that house is sold, Medicaid gets their money back. You would have to buy it at market value and that money will go to Medicaid. If grandmom was alive and u bought it, it would have gone to her care. There will be a lean put on that home no matter who is living in it. Its now considered an asset they can recoup from. That Will is null and void at this point. They will not inherit anything. I feel that when they claim hardship for Grandad you should be mentioned as a caregiver. Because Granddad paid the balance of the Mortgage does not give him any rights. You paying the bills, etc gives you no rights. Medicaid may not allow compensation. Only Grandmom was on the deed, only she owned the house.

Your Uncles can claim hardship for granddad. I really think you need to be mentioned too. This is why. Lets say that Grandad is the only one Uncle mentions, if he leaves the house, or dies, then the lean has to be satisfied. If you are mentioned as a caregiver, you may be able to stay in the house. The lean remains on the house. Yes, you can buy it but as I said before, that money will go to Medicaid.

If you really want to buy it at Market Value, I may do it. But Medicaid will get the money. Your grandmom owes more than the house is worth. Yes, its complicated and thats why I suggest a lawyer well versed in Medicaid.
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jasonelmore Mar 19, 2021
Thank you JoAnn for your detailed reply, it was very informative. I can't answer your question about what medicaid knew, my uncle was the only person allowed to handle grandma's case, and he's been less than forthright keeping me informed. What you've said matches up with what the lawyer I talked to today has also said. We will see how the hardship process goes. I agree that my aunt and uncle should have put me on the hardship. It can't hurt us, but she was adamant that we shouldn't "shine the light on two people". /eyeroll

If it fails, my uncle and dad will have to make a decision, sell the house to me and I continue looking after grandpa or sell it to someone else and both me and grandpa find a different place to stay at. Grandpa will most likely need to go to the nursing home, as I'll probably have to move in with my mom for a couple of months until I can buy a suitable home. He won't be able to live on his own. I don't think grandpa has ever lived alone at any point in his 85 year old life. Wish us luck!

The lawyer basically told me the grandson doesn't have any rights, even if they were the caregiver, paid bills or kept up the house. The hardship exemption was strictly written for the son or daughter. Perhaps the medicaid law will be rewritten if this country eventually goes to singlepayer system. It certainly needs to be tweaked to add the more family members to the exemptions, family structures have changed drastically over the years. There are more and more kids living with their parents and grandparents, especially stagnant wages and rising inflation.

Thanks again!
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I'm going to try and answer all of you with one reply :)

As I understand it, my grandmother left a will that gave the home to my Dad and Uncle (the heirs). But, when my grandmother was initially admitted to the nursing home for long-term care, my uncle put the house down as an asset. I think the answer to your question is yes, the house is recoverable in the eyes of Medicaid, but it was legally left to my dad and uncle in the will. I do not think a lien has been placed on the home yet. My grandmother only passed away 3 weeks ago, and COVID is slowing stuff down I would imagine.

Over the years, while she was in the nursing home, Medicaid has been asking us to try and to sell the home, even while she was alive. Every time her Medicaid came up for re-certification, they asked for proof that we are trying to sell the home. We would always write up a classified ad with a picture of the home, and then close the ad a few days later, but that was enough to keep Medicaid off our back and allow us to remain at the home. Medicaid knew the situation and one of the case workers helped us stay in the home by not making a big deal about us not selling.

My grandmother was not ward of county, she was a Medicaid receipt. My father told me last night that neither he nor my uncle could legally sell me the home now. He said that they could have sold me the home when she was still alive (since he was power of attorney), but now that she's deceased, it's up to Medicaid's third party division. (i think the nursing home technically owns the home? i'm not sure. That would be my guess. I'm in KY)

My granddad is the heir's father, so it's been in both my uncle and dad's interest to keep both of us here while my grandmother was in the nursing home. They didn't want to put their 85 year old dad out on the street. My grandfather has little equity in the home. My grandmother had about $10K left on the mortgage when she was admitted to long-term care. Well, the bank found out she had no income since the nursing home was taking all of her social security check, and they recalled the loan/would not renew it. So we either had to pay off the loan or the bank would get involved. So Grandpa paid the $10K loan off (2 years ago), so I suppose that would be considered equity in many people's eyes.

My uncle said her total costs of care came up to $600,000, and the home is only worth about $60-80K.

My uncle is now in the process of writing up a undue hardship waiver in my grandfathers name, rather than using me, the grandson as the primary argument. I'm guessing they are afraid that Medicaid will somehow grant me, the grandson, an un-due hardship instead of my grandfather (they stand to inherit if medicaid gives it to my grandfather, but won't if they grant it to me), and they won't have a chance at recovering some value out of the home. I told them I thought using me, the grandchild, was the better way to go about it since I'm directly related to the deceased, and I took care of her and delayed her from going into the nursing home. I have documentation proving I took care of her as I had to record her blood glucose levels 3x a day for years. My grandfather did not help at all, he was not capable of measuring insulin nor did he care to learn.

But in the end, i'm afraid the grandfather argument won't work. They are depending on his age, and the fact that he paid off a $10,000 mortgage as facts that will work in his favor in the hardship process. As I said, he is no longer married to the deceased

I told the heirs, my dad and uncle, that I could just buy the house right now, but they stay silent everytime I tell them that. I can only assume they don't want me to buy it. Or perhaps they think I will not take care of my grandfather once I own it, which is not true. Either way, they won't give me any information. I'm left in the dark. That's why I posted on this forum, wanting to see if I have options.
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BarbBrooklyn Mar 14, 2021
Did anyone consult a lawyer on the best way to proceed?
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Is there a will? And there may be what is referred to as Lady Bird Deed or transfer upon death that one of her children had done. It means that house transfers to someone at her death and is not part of the probate process. Medicaid can only go after what is left in the estate (house would not be in the estate). And Medicaid does not always go after recovery.

Call a Medicaid office, for elderly and disabled, and ask them if the MERP (the form g'ma signed to agree to recovery) has an exemption for a grandchild who has lived in the home as long as you and delayed her NH care. Medicaid has federal funding but is managed by the state.

The recovery letter may or may not be mailed to your house. Could end up going to one of her kids. You may never even be told the process has started. You should also ask an elder/estate attorney how to go about buying the house or getting it exempt from the recovery.
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I think you are going to need a lawyer well versed in Medicaid to straighten this out for you.

There will be a lean on the house. It may not be placed for a long time. I actually had to contact Medicaid because I was selling the house and I needed to know what lean amount would be. I had called Moms caseworker and he got the amount for me. When I hadn't heard from them concerning the actual lean being placed, I then called and told them if they wanted their money, they needed to place the lean on the house. Mom was in Medicaid from July 1st to Sept 23 and she owed just short of 6k. There was a poster who said Medicaid notified them of the lean 3 years after LOs death. The house had been sold and proceeds distributed by then.

I think the beneficiaries are in for a big surprise. That being that if they plan on selling the house, that lean has to be satisfied at time of sale. They may not get anything. Did you and GrandDad get permission to stay in the home after grandma was placed?

You just have too much going on here. You were Grandma's caregiver. What claim does Granddad have to the house. Is he on the deed. And beneficiaries that seem to want their share.
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jasonelmore Mar 14, 2021
Hey Joann, Thanks for the reply. Yes, we had permission from both my grandmother (the deceased), the heirs (my dad and uncle). We had both been living there for years when she was eventually admitted to long-term care. They did not want to put my grandfather (the heirs dad) out on the street, nor would my grandmother want that for either of us. Please read the extensive reply I just posted up top. To directly answer your question about the deed, My grandfather is/was not on the deed. My grandmother was the only person on the deed.

Thanks again!
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Have you received any letters from the State yet? I'm curious, because I'd imagine it may take some time before the wheels of bureaucracy turn. I may be inclined to not contact the Medicaid estate recovery line and just continue living there, saving money and paying the upkeep and taxes until you hear from them.
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I'm assuming your grandmother was not a ward of the county? This would matter in how her financial affairs are tied up. The guardian would give a documented accounting, most likely to one or all of her adult children. It takes time for them to create the itemized accounting.

If she wasn't a ward of the county and if she was a Medicaid recipient, Medicaid would put a lien on the home, so whoever is the inheritor of the home will need to satisfy the lien to Medicaid. If she didn't leave a will, her estate will need to go through probate, and this can also take time. I think there are people on this forum who can give you a more specific answer. I'm sorry for the loss of your grandmother -- may you receive peace in your heart.
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jasonelmore Mar 14, 2021
Thanks, Geaton, I appreciate your condolences. My grandmother was a Medicaid receipt. My uncle told me that her medical bills totaled to over $600K. It's just been 3 weeks since she passed, so i'm surprised he's been able to get this information this fast. She did leave a will. The house was left to my dad and uncle, but the house was listed as collateral when she entered long-term care, so i'm not sure how that works. I don't think they can change the deed, at least they couldn't when she was in the nursing home. That may be different now that she's deceased.

Thanks for your reply.
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