Can the nursing home take my parents house?


My Mom is POA for my grandmother. My mom is one of 5 children. My grandmother lived with my mother for 3 years prior to going into a nursing home. After a long fight with Medicaid, the nursing home wants $27,000. My mother is a nervous wreck as all of my grandmother's assets are gone. Can they take my parents to court or take their house?

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Igloo, thanks for answering the call! You are needed! I read your posts to learn from your answers.
Falling asleep during the humidity, lack of circulating air, zip, then I am asleep!
Will come back with a clearer mind tomorrow.
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From my reading, TP is $ from when she moved out of apt & was living with Brpwns parents. TP not about house, but abiut where proceeds to the penny of what house sold for went to ( bath reno & to uncles).

MrsB - how much was $ to uncles? 1 @$8k or 2 @ $8k ea?
Will they return the $ and pay it to the NH?
If not, mom has to either pay their TP to keep grannie in NH or go total bad b*itch nuclear on uncles. Going nuclear, well not everybody has the personality to do this, let's keep peace in the family at all costs position. BUT As DPOA she can get legal to send a debt owed letter to uncles to pay, which I gonna guess they will probably ignore. But could be another option, mom as DPOA does an new or amended IRS filing of grannies taxes and issue them a 1099 for the $. You know they didn't report it.....can we say audit?

This nugget from the legal (now deceased unfortunately) I worked with on an "aunts" estate as executor. I was named and totally unexpected. The nephew who had been heavily getting $$$ from her was totally left out. He made all sorts of commotion on filing to be executor, all the work he had done, yada yada. Attorney said we can stop this cold by telling him as I'm named I can and will do a final IRS with all the $ reported to IRS and amended filing for past years as well. From what I'm told he is still peeved.....
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Sorry I missed the last part of your last post.

I'm not sure a NH or Medicaid would accept your explanation of no responsibility, even if your mother was acting on your grandmother's advice. Nor do I think that shifting responsibility to the uncles for receipt of the funds would be an acceptable defense. They aren't responsible for the initiation of any transfer of funds to them.

I think if anything, it might be suggested by the NH that your mother should attempt to recover the funds from the uncles, since she made the transfer at your grandmother's behest.

I do think asvwell that your mother's own affirmation of no responsibility isn't going to be a determining factor for the NH or Medicaid. They will make their determinations. One thing to be careful of is providing more information than is necessary.

All of this aside, the issues are becoming more complicated. There are some very knowledgeable and helpful posters here, but at some point the need for paid professional expertise at a higher level really becomes mandatory. I think your situation has reached that point.

Your suggested remedies and defenses are getting into areas that are way beyond my level of expertise and I don't want to give incorrect answers. I can help trace back the timelines, but as to remedies, I really do think that this is a topic for an attorney with substantial experience in the Medicaid funding area.

Not all attorneys require retainers; and most firms that I worked with will also work with someone of limited financial means to devise a monthly payment plan.

It's an unfortunate situation, but your mother is clearly stressed by it so it might be time to figure out where financial sacrifices can be made before your mother becomes ill from the stress.

I do understand how upsetting something like this can be; I would hate to see your mother become ill from all of the uncertainty and stress. Please take my advice and contact law firms to see what can be worked out financially.
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Not all law firms require retainers. That's why you check with different firms to determine what they require.

If you don't get legal counsel, I think you're pretty much at the mercy of the NY and Medicaid.
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You are correct regarding the time frames. I have checked with a few law firms, but we cannot afford the upfront retainer of $2000.
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After selling the house in 2008, your grandmother lived in an apartment for 2- 3 years (to perhaps 2010 - 2011?), then lived with your mother until about 2014? When did she pay for the upgrade for specific medical accommodations and when did she give money to the uncles?

Those expenditures might be the ones triggering the transfer penalty, but I'm only guessing, trying to pinpoint when the house was sold so you have more background information to try and sort this out as well as get legal counsel.

Iggy, can you throw Mrs. Brown a cyber life preserver here? If the house was sold in 2008, that's 7 years back, generally, so something after that must be what triggered the TP? Am I on the right track? Again, just trying to narrow down the periods for Mrs. Brown.

Mrs. B, I do agree though that this is a complex issue and your mother needs legal counsel.

This is always my recommendation for finding counsel, based on work experience in law firms as well as personal experience for my parents and sister in their estate planning.

Contact the attorney bar association for the county in which Utica (or where your mother lives) is located and/or contact the NY State Bar Association, or check their websites for practice areas. These are specialty areas of law. Look for Elder Law practice areas which include Medicaid planning as well.

Having worked for single practitioners, small, mid and large size law firms, I stay away from the single and smaller firms. They don't have the resources of the larger firms, nor do they have cross specialities which can often be helpful as issues develop during representation. I prefer mid to larger size firms.

As an example, one firm for which I worked had several attorneys in their Estate Planning practice areas. Although all of them prepared estate documents, one had an additional specialty in gift transfer and gift taxing. Others similarly had other complimentary specialties. If an issue arose which was outside of a given attorney's specific knowledge, he or she could just consult with others in the firm.

That provides a much wider range of knowledge and experience from which to draw for clients with more than just straight estate planning needs.

Review the websites of the elder law firms, see what their practice areas are, review their newsletters and any public information seminars they might hold. Good firms often extend their presence through these types of volunteer efforts.

Make a checklist for interviewing, including names of attorneys, experience, hourly rate, retainer rate and whether you feel you have a rapport with them.

Attorneys can balk at providing the compensation rate, so you might have to attend a first meeting just to scope out the situation. Some of the elder law attorneys who solicit heavily often provide a limited first free consultation. I'm not sure if the medium or larger law firms do, but they have a much different focus in drawing clients.

If so, meet with a few so you have a choice; this is going to be someone on whom your mother will rely heavily so you want to establish rapport up front.

I too am unfamiliar with Elder Net. I did a little checking and learned that it appears to be a common name for organizations that aggregate and make available information on elder services. It doesn't appear to be a law firm, unless there might be some contributors amongst the various Elder Net groups. It might just be a clearing house

I did find a disclaimer on one Elder Net site that clearly states it aggregates information from various sources not controlled by them (here comes the waffling), and that it cannot provide assurance the information is true.

So, I'd say, scratch ElderNet.
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2008 with a profit of 86K. Question, could my mother send a letter to both NHs and to my uncles stating she released monies to the uncles under request by grandma and she is not personally, financially responsible for repayment of said monies. Would this "absolve" her of at least that portion of the penalty amount owed, therefore transferring the dept to the uncles? I guess I would need to have these letters signed and notarized by all parties and sent to the NHs. Would this work? I am having my mom request the admission paperwork from both NHs to review how they were signed, as she cannot recall.
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Mrs. Brown, you wrote "about 5 years"... do you know the exact date?

Igloo, I'm wondering if the sale occurred more than 5 years ago, would the transfer penalty still apply? When does the backward 5 years begin to run - the date of Medicaid application?
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Toast as in over & done. I moved my mom from nh #1 (a litany of issues....) to a much better nh#2 at about mo #10 of entering a NH. Mom got approved for Medicaid at mo #6 but the incompetency of billing at NH #1 along with rebilling /reclaw issues with mom bring suspended by BCBS (once approved for Medicaid her BCBS suspends paying as Medicaid superscedes BCBS - and it's can be a clusterF to get resolved and a whole other post...) meant billing not correctly done and at zero till about mo #9 at old NH. When I went to get mom into NH #2, admissions went on-line (I'm sitting there) to state medicaid to see what moms eligibility was and if any notes or other unresolved problems. It showed NH #1 was current and paid by state. Now I paid moms SOC from moms checking account (neither NH ever were direct deposit of moms income & really i feel strongly that you should never allow the nh to be the payee) and took copies of the old cancelled checks with me just in case there was any questions (also I'm OCD and was totally wary as old NH was so incompetent). If there had been any issue with payments to old NH, the new Nh would have required me personally to sign off on a financially responsible contract. Otherwise mom would have been toast on getting into this N.h or any other.

Grannie having an unresolved TP will be an issue for any other NH.

You like this NH, correct? Mom & dad cannot caregive, correct? Other family cannot either, correct? Then you are going to have to come to terms with the nh. Really 27k in N.h costs is nothing as average annual stay is 100k. I'd ask nh if the 27k is based on their private pay rate or the state reinbursement rate. If its private pay, see if they will accept the lower state rate and waive the difference, doesn't hurt to ask.

I'm not familiar with "elder net", what is it and how is it funded? Let us know as we all learn from each other.
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