We share a home with a friend. The home is in both of our names. He is in the hospital now and the Dr's are saying they do not think he will be coming home again from a nursing home. He owns two homes, a new car and half of this house. We have a will incase of his death, but nothing of this kind of problem. Can they take part of this house too?

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SharonRose - there are somethings you can do now & in advance of the appt on March 1st. First of all, go & visit him and keep his spirits up. Take him things from the house to keep him happy. If that means perhaps going often and reading him the paper or playing cards, try to do that. Make sure that all know he has given you & hubs consent for medical info. HIPPA is pretty daunting to get past if he does not allow you access. Medicare rehab benefit is very much dependent on his"progressing" in his care for him to stay in rehab & Medicare. So you want to keep him positive on doing whatever in rehab. First 20 days are 100% but after that he has 20% to be paid. If he has a secondary insurance (like BCBS, Humana) they usually pick up the 20% but if not, the facility will look for someone to sign off a commitment to pay. This will be very sticky, if they start asking deflect the ? to you are waiting to see how his atty wants to proceed. Do not let anyone browbeat you into signing anything. OK?

If he should not get better so that he can sign off on traditional paperwork (naming you DPOA, doing a codicil to will, transferring property), you are probably going to have to deal with guardianship. The sticky to me in my non-atty view is that since you could benefit financially from the relationship as 1/2 of the house you live in is his, neither you or hubs can become guardian. Now that atty you speak with could file for co-guardianship for him and you (if your state allows for this) with some sort of agreement that you manage his affairs with the atty's & courts oversight. Or the court could just name an outside guardian from a list the PC judge has of vetted guardians. Really you don't want to go there if you can help it as you are not going to find it in your favor. Now guardianship cost a tidy amount - maybe 4k - 8K to do. But once it happens, the costs will come from the assets of your friend. He has the $ as he has property, so an atty will be ok in taking this on.

Before you have the March meeting try to get or do the following:
- a "face sheet" on your friend. Like his DOb, any marriages and divorces and if any kids or grandkids (even if dead). If he is a vet, that info too. Btw family even distant can surface.
- a brief statement as your & your hubs relationship with him. Any documents that show you all pay your share on the house, that would be good to take also.
- his last "awards" letters. Those are the letters mailed like in Nov or Dec from SS and retirements that indicate what he will get paid each month. These are very important to find.
- any income tax documents for 2016. All these should have been sent to him by now (mid Feb). Like one comes from SSA that shows all $ paid last year. Any interest paid also gets mailed. Ditto for investments or 1099's. These are important to get a feel on his finances.
- last full year of his bank statements IF they come to the house and you can just put them in a binder. You cannot get them from the bank as you have no standing to do this.
- tax assessor / tax collector statements on all his property. Most areas send out bills Oct or Nov, with the bill due at the end of January. You can go on-line to get them probably. Statements are important as it details the parcel # & PPIN, which you need to do anything legal later on. Plus again shows what his finances are like. The paperwork on the new car he got too.
- if the assessor value of the home you all share is whack, I'd try to find out what it may be actually worth, like look at Realtors website for comparable properties that have sold last 6 months. You can pay for an appraiser but really if he gets an guardian appointed they are going to have to come up with a verifiable asset listing which means getting all his properties appraised.

I'd make 2 sets of all the above and give 1 to the atty and the other you have in your own binder to review at any meetings. If you & hubs get flummoxed, ask a friend to go with you and take notes. Keep all originals at home.

I wouldn't be surprised if the atty could get an emergency ward of the state action done. That a property he owns needs appliances ASAP, or there are other bills due ASAP, helps document the need towards emergency ward action to be taken. It's going to be quite the project to get through. Good luck and keep a sense of humor going. Let us know what shakes out.
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My husband and I have been friends with this person for 49 yrs. We have shared this home for 20 yrs, and he has never married and has no family left. I am trying to make things clear as I guess I did not in the beginning as it has been a shock. We were going to get a lawyer as the one whom did the will has retired, and am very happy we found out about the Elder Lawyers, as we did not know of them. We couldn't get appointment until March 1st

Okay, from here let me try to answer some of the questions that seem to be needed. His will leaves everything to us, but he did not fill out his papers for the health that was put in with the will. The Doctors are talking to us because he gave them consent. For some reason he got terrible back pain, went to ER they put him on Percocet, he got worse went back to ER more Percocet. He just got worse and then it hit his mind. I had thought he was into Alzheimer for the past five years, he would not talk to his Dr. Very proud person! The Dr is not sure if his mind will come back or if this Percocet set him over the edge. This is the reason we can't even get him to sign checks or anything right now. He would put this house in our name in a heart beat if he could sign papers. He became very ill and could not even go to the bathroom himself. He knew he was going to the hospital and would have to go to rehab and we spoke of getting the house in our name before he left, but then he got worse at the hospital over night. Some of these drugs just are not for older people.

He is retired, on social sec, medicare and second insurance. Owns two houses that are rented out and half of this house we all live in. He just got a new car and paid cash for it. I understand medicare will pay so many days of Rehab and such and they will use his money for his care first. Care cost so much I guess they can get through it fast. My husband is worried that they could make us sell, but the way I see it now is we could buy this ourselves. As I said we will see a lawyer 1st of March.

We also can't do anything yet to pay his bills or take care of the houses he owns. The management right now needs $1,700 for a new washer and dryer for one of the houses so the people can wash their cloths.

I think we maybe a little clearer about things now, just putting tid bites together. This is a wonderful site. Thanks to all whom tried to help. I will keep an eye on this site and anything anyone says. Of course if I learn anything new I would say. Thanks!!
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Medicaid is not going to be an issue anytime soon as he "owns 2 homes, a new car and 1/2 of this house". He has way way WAY too many assets to qualify.

You can only have 1 homestead (or share of a home) for Medicaid and property must be under 550K (750/800K in some east coast stated). Most states have a limit on value of car too. Whomever is his DPOA is going to have to deal with either using his nest egg or selling stuff to pay for his care. Only after all is properly spent-down that can Medicaid even be glanced at.

Shirley - so you & him co-own this place? So your name & his BOTH appear on the tax rolls as Shirley Smith AND Jeb Jones. Ditto on the Deed? So that it really shows dual ownership & all properly recorded at courthouse? If so, to me, if you want to keep this house you are going to have to buy him out for his share at either Fair Market Value or its appraised value. If there is a mortgage on it, mortgage co will need to get involved as the note will need to be cancelled, Deed Released and a new note done to pay off the debt. Really if there is a mortgage, all this is going to be a real butt-rash to get done. 
Now if all ownership legally does not show your name but this was more of a verbal agreement, run do not walk to see a real estate atty ASAP and take every scrap of paper to document what you have paid for or anything written by him to you to show his intent. 

The terms of the will do not matter till he dies. Whatever is in the will only matters if it even exists as a asset of his estate to distribute.

Your relationship with whomever is his DPOA is now pretty critical to get anything done with all this. So what's the backstory on his DPOA?
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Is he paying for the nursing home himself? If so, "they" will not take the house.

Before he would qualify for Medicaid he would have to use up his own assets until he reaches a certain threshold. He is allowed to keep one house and a car. Other assets he would have to sell and use the proceeds for his own care. After he dies, the state will recover as much of what they spent on him from his remaining assets. Is that the "they" you are worried about?

Are you sure your friend will be applying for Medicaid? Does he have long-term health insurance or sufficient funds to pay his own way?

I think the attorney you should contact would be one specializing in Elder Law -- they are intimately acquainted with all aspects of Medicaid. Bring in your deed and the will. Find out how your part ownership of the house fits in with selling assets down to qualify and also the state's recovery process after he dies.
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Ask an elder law attorney whether your state has a transfer on death deed which will allow your friend to transfer his ownership interest to you on death and before the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program can assert its right to be repaid out of his interest. Also ask the attorney to review the deed and explain your ownership rights. State laws differ. Some allow joint tenancy. In joint tenancy the rights of one tenant pass to the others when he dies.
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Check with the attorney that prepared the will. Do you mean the will does not mention the house? Perhaps your state has laws of "right of survivorship" for property? Thus it is not mentioned in the will? Have you been on the house since purchase? Or were you added later? Is the co-owner on Medicaid? You need to see an attorney.

Who is "they"?
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