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I have a question that I can't seem to get an answer on. In November, 2012, my mother in law was diagnosed with Dementia. She lives with us now, since she can't be let alone. She is also diabetic, which is another reason she can't be left alone. Question: we take care of everything for her: food, clothes, meds, etc. Can we claim her as a dependent? She has a home that is now occupied by one of her sons. She has a vehicle that also being used by that son, but she pays the monthly note. This note takes all of her SS to pay for, another reason she's with us. I've been checking on this, but never get the same answer.

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You're just now getting to an attorney? You first posted on June 27 about your situation. That is a whole month of $'s not being used for her care, which you are providing. We've all given you support to see an attorney ASAP. I think we're all missing something here. Hoping to hear "the rest of the story" soon.
Blessings.
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Yes, CalcLater1 caught my erroneous post. Thank you. I apologize for the mistake. Indeed, if you are married, you can only claim head of household if there is a dependent, if the married couple live depart for 6 months of the year and if both of the marrieds file as married filing separately in the same manner, either both take the standard deduction or both itemize. Don't I know what I was thinking, please forgive the misinformation. You still do, however, need to contribute at least 50 percent of her support for her to be a dependent.

And as stated in this thread, the payments to the condo where she doesn't live and the car payment for the card to send drives, if mom had to go into a nursing home suddenly, during the five-year look back, Medicare/Medicaid would like we consider those monies a gift and there would be a weighting penalty for when payment would start to a nursing home.
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THANK YOU all for the advice. Getting ready to talk to an Elder Lawyer to make sure I do everything properly. Will keep you updated :}
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I am hoping by this time you've gotten to an attorney. IsntEasy is right on about the Medicaid thing and the car and house situation. Who has DPOA? Because of her dementia, if you don't have it already, it will take some doing to get it. No matter what, her funds should be used for her keep, not a home or car that she no longer is using. Maybe we're all missing something here, but good advice has been given all the way back to the first post. Bless you for caring about your MIL. I hope you can update us - we're all in a caregiving situation, but it is amazing how different each one is.
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The support your MIL is providing for her son can complicate her Medicaid qualification if it comes to that. Go see an elder law attorney. It's well worth the few hundred dollars for the consultation. You can use your MIL's funds to pay for the lawyer.
Also, you absolutely should stop paying on her car and use the money for your MIL's expenses. I'd sell the house, too, and look into a Medicaid-friendly annuity for your MIL. It could provide for her support while she's living with you and, if properly set up, would not disqualify her for Medicaid if she needs the nursing home.
I assume you've realized that, by living in his mother's house and having her pay for the car he drives, your brother-in-law is taking money that should be used to help support your MIL in your home. If he is not disabled himself (and if he is, then that's all the more reason to get to an attorney immediately), then he needs to start paying rent and he needs to buy the car or surrender it so it can be sold (or turned in, if it's a lease).
Please, go see an elder law attorney. S/he will not only help with the planning, she'll put things in perspective.
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First of all, you cannot claim head of household status if you are married. Second of all, Social Security income doesn't come into play when considering the support calculation, as it is non-taxable income. You are providing for her support & can claim her as a dependent. You cannot claim the mortgage interest & taxes on her house, but I encourage you to consult an attorney as to the status of that house should you reach the point of no longer being able to care for your mother & need to place her in a facility.
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get an elder attorney quick, i have mom in hospice now , and if your mom needs medicaid some day , what she does now, with her money and house will affect it , you have to know the rules or else
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Get to an Elder Law attorney ASAP. The bigger problem I see right now is the son living in her home and using her car and she is paying for his keep, while you are paying for her keep. There is something wrong with that picture. Not knowing all the dynamics tho' you have to do what is best for your MIL. You are doing a very unselfish kindness for her. God bless you and your wife. I don't know about the tax help, but you've received some advice with that question. I am quite sure you will have to provide receipts and document all that you have spent on her care, room and board.
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I believe you are talking about claiming her as a dependent on your IRS 1040 form so you can file with the status called head of household? I believe the criteria is that you provide 50 percent of HER SUPPORT. You can ask an accountant if you have one. Alternatively, and for those do it yourselfers, you can follow the instructions in your 1040 booklet do the area about dependentsl and you will find a worksheet where you can calculate her costs and determine is she is a dependent qualifying you for head of household.
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I don't know the answer to your specific question, but it seems like your wife should be named her legal guardian. That would allow your wife to manage her finances for her care. You would be wise to engage an elder care attorney to advise you on these matters, especially if your MIL owns a house. Good luck.
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The accountant told us that if we were paying more than 50% of his care and housing and food he could be considered a dependent . He also owns a condo, that is empty- has not lived there for 14 years (yikes) and has been living with us since 2010.
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