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She is 101 years old and her expenses are more than her income. and savings. My sister and I are our mother's caregivers. She lives alone in her own place and has a lady come in morning and evening to take care of her. Her expenses are currently eating into her savings and she may run out of money in the next year or so. She and I jointly on her home. I own most of it. My sister and I think we should start paying some of her monthly expenses to extend her savings. Should we do this or allow her to spend all her money and then hope she will be helped by medicare?

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Carla - Medicaid recovery program aka MERP is state specific as it was set up to be done within the probate process & then also how a lien or claim can be placed on assets & property ownership is also state specific. Some states allow from the get-go for a lien to be placed on Medicaid receipients property while other states have this limited to a claim against the estate after death.

Then fold onto this the probate issue. Many die intestate so no will therefore no probate. States seem to have interstate deaths done so all assets escheat to the state, which means state in control. Plus many folks are probate adverse and don't do it and then find the state has placed a claim or lien by default.
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Discuss the best way to set up her finances with an Elder Law attorney.
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I believe (somebody correct me if I'm wrong) that the disposition of the house under Medicaid is also state-specific. At least is someone else has a survivorship right that wasn't transferred during the lookback period.
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Wow, 101 years old and still living at home. That is amazing, and just think about all the things your Mom had witness throughout her life that we all take for granted today, that were first invented during her life.

What are your Mom's medical issues or is it just routine age decline? Depending on her health, that will be your guide to take one day at a time, or to think about a year from now.

As for home ownership, if you and Mom own her house jointly, then it is 50-50 split. Thus, if Mom does need Medicaid next year, Medicaid could put a lien on the house, thus when the time comes to sell, they would want your Mom's 50% share on the house, or much less depending on Medicaid's bill.
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Medicare doesn't pay for long term care expenses, or home care (except for a few visits immediately following a hospitalization). Medicaid pays for long term care for indigent seniors, but you need to look carefully into exactly how that would work for her in her state. She'd need to qualify medically and financially, first of all. And, she may need to enter a nursing home to receive benefits. That depends on how Medicaid is administered in your state. If she's eligible, there are programs that allow care to be provided at home (such as PACE, or Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) but that's not available everywhere. You need to investigate what's available in your mother's state and location. Also if there have been transfers of money during the lookback period she could be disqualified, so you need to know that too.

In my state (Florida) you can ask Medicaid for an eligibility assessment for a senior. Maybe you can try that out and use the opportunity to learn about what benefits would be available in your state. Good luck!
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