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My BF takes care of his 96 yr old dad who has stage 5 or 6 alzheimer's. They live in a small house together. My 13 y.o. daughter and I live in a small house together. My BF and I want to get married and be able to have all of us live together in one home. But, his dad's house is too small for 4 people, and my house is too small, also. My BF has property that he plans on building a house on, but he doesn't have the funds at this time because he has had to cut working down to part time to take care of his dad. He doesn't get paid to take care of his dad, and does it by himself, but pretty-much lives with him for free. His name is on his dad's bank account and he is his dad's POA. He has no siblings, so all of his dad's assets willl go to my BF when his dad passes. Can he legally take money out of his dad's bank account to begin building a house on his property that is big enough to accomodate all 4 of us? His dad has convinced himself that he has no money, although he has plenty. His dad has lost most of his short term memory, and can't make rational decisions. To try and explain to him what we want to do would be pointless. He thinks he has no money to begin with. But to do it without his knowledge or approval seems almost like stealing....

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The following is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult appropriate professionals.

Relationship issues aside, be mindful of possible asset transfer consequences with respect to qualifying for Medicaid if it is required in the future.
In general, an agent operating under a Power of Attorney must be acting in a "fiduciary capacity" for the principal. In other words, acting in the best interest of the person who granted the power. If the document permits the activity you are proposing there should be not problem.

With respect to potential Medicaid benefits, simply using father's money to build a new property that is not titled to him could be an issue as it would be considered an uncompensated transfer and therefore create a penalty period before Medicaid benefits will be available.

The uncompensated transfer issue may be solved by father purchasing what is known as a "life estate" in the new property giving him the right to live there for the rest of his life. He must then live in the property for at least one year for the transfer not to be considered subject to penalty.

Rules vary by state. An appointment with an elder law attorney would be beneficial.
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That question can be very complex. The way I see it, your boy friend's father is 96 and in his near final stages of Alzheimer's.... moving someone who has Alzheimer's can be very difficult because they don't like change.

It is wonderful that your BF is caring for his Dad, but there will be a time in the near future where your BF will need to care for his Dad 168 hour a week, quitting work unless he hires professional caregivers to come in to help or he placed his father in a care facility. Paying for 2 or 3 shifts of caregivers can eat through the father's funds rather quickly.

Professional help can be expensive. If I were in your BF's shoes, I would wait to see what this year brings regarding Dad's health. Whatever money his Dad has might be used up for his final years of care.

Then I question having a 13 year old child in the household, as stage 6 of Alzheimer's the patient's personality could change [more the norm than not according to articles I have read], that sweet lovable old guy become combative, sometimes violent... he will forget who you are, and think you are strangers there to hurt him... he will become parodied, thinking everyone is out to get him. He will sleep all day and be up all night trying to get out of the house, etc. Do you want your child to witness that on a daily basis?

Go to the top blue bar near the top of this page... click on SENIOR LIVING... now click on ALZHEIMER'S CARE... now scroll down to the various articles... read through those articles to get a better idea what the family will need to plan ahead.
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I don't know if it's legal or not but the line between what's ethical and what's not ethical is kind of blurry. Your boyfriend needs his dad's money to build a new home but the dad isn't able to give his consent. I'm not sure if using dad's money for a venture he can't consent to is moral. That he'll be living in the house too doesn't really matter. The house is so you two can be married and live together. The dad is 96 years old with a terminal disease. The house isn't for him.

Because the dad can't make rational decisions you might consider just waiting until the money comes to your boyfriend after his dad passes instead of spending it now while the dad isn't able to have any say so over where his money goes. Spending someone's money when they are mentally unable to give consent sounds wrong. I'm sure your boyfriend's motives are good but I can see your point that it might feel like stealing. At the very best it sounds like taking advantage, at the very worst it sounds like stealing. Like I said, the line is blurry.
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I think it would be a little dicey to use dads money to build a house. Having POA doesn't necessarily give The son ownership of the money. The intent of the POA is for a responsible person to be able to take care of the affairs of someone who can no longer do so. An interpretation that a new house is taking care of affairs is a huge stretch.

I agree with the previous advice, wait till the money is freed up then build or buy a house. BTW, I've bought homes and I have built homes and in today's market building a new home is far, far more expensive.
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"We've been together almost 4 years and he doesn't think it possible for us to marry until then". Am I the only one who sees a red flag in this position?
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Welcome back, waiting. It sounds like the situation has not gotten any better than it was a while back. If your boyfriend's father is against spending the money, then it would not be legal for a POA to do it. It would be abuse of power for the purpose of personal gain. Even if it were considered a loan, it would be questionable, since the size of the loan would make it difficult to pay back in the father's lifetime. His father would have to be competent to consent to the loan, so that could go back and forth logically.

The thing that really stuck out to me is that you don't have to live in the same house to be married. I am surprised that you guys are not married already, since he visits you often. I hope that things work out for you guys, but I'm starting to wonder if you put all your eggs in a basket that has a hole in it.
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I think something as serious and complex as a move to a new home would be difficult on anyone in the late stages of Alzheimer's Disease. I'm sure more confusion, possibly agitation, would result.

Beyond that, I do have an uncomfortable feeling about using the father's funds for a new home that would benefit him perhaps only for a short time but your BF and your family for a much longer time, even if your BF is the sole heir.

The fact that BF's father likely wouldn't understand the plans makes me feel more uncomfortable about the proposal.

Beyond that, there's the issue of building vs buying. To build, your BF would have to have at least enough for a construction loan and then a permanent (a/k/a "takeout") loan, unless he finds a lender to finance both. He'll need a perc test, need to get permits, find an architect and builder, and then there's the almost inevitable unforeseen consequences of building and possible delays. One of those could be an acceleration of the father's mental and physical decline.

Unless this land has very special meaning, the possibility exists for him to sell the land and use the funds for a down payment on a house that could accommodate all of you. It would still be hard on his father, but it would be less protracted than building And if the sale of the lot provides enough money for a down payment on the house, you wouldn't need to dip into the father's funds.

Others more familiar with Medicaid will come along and caution about this kind of use of funds in the even the father might need Medicaid. That's not an area in which I'm as knowledgeable so I'll just leave that to the others here.

When I see these kinds of questions, I ask what I would do in those circumstances and whether I would consider it inappropriate. If it were my situation, I wouldn't feel it inappropriate to do this for my father; however, I would also be very concerned about disrupting what already is likely a chaotic view of life.

FF's advice to study the progress of the disease is excellent; it will help you get a better idea of what to anticipate.
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Don't you have a daughter?
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Waiting, getting married because you are lonely is not the right reason. And it is not a good idea to make a decision like this after the loss you have experienced. And I would not take a 13 year old girl away from her friends and school into a siuation that is a complete unknown as far as BF's dad is concerned. Keep your daughter as the light of your life, find some activities for yourself to start meeting new people and make some friends.
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Waiting, most people do not get married because they are lonely. They get married because they have found someone that they want to share their lives with and they see growing in the relationship and themselves. I have married out of lonliness before, and it was not the right thing to do. It only served to increase my problems.
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