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He is 73 and she is 72. They have been married for 5 years. She has strategically moved money over the past few years. The amount of approximately 250K. I do not know where his life insurance policy is. She has told him she wants a divorce now and that they can continue to live together, but wants to ensure her assets are protected if either one of them is needing nursing home care. She has her name on what is left of his mutual funds as beneficiary. She does not let me talk on the phone privately with him and has it on speaker phone. My dad has had issues with alcohol and she is taking this to her advantage. She has been divorced 3 times and according to the bank teller yesterday they informed me that she "drained" the accounts of her previous spouses. I am told that because they are married she has access to his accounts. My dad will not have money for medical care and will need to go on public assistance and I do not know if he will have the funds if dies to have a funeral. I am at a loss.

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I don't have any advice.

It is sickening to me that a woman in her 70's would knowingly steal your father's money & leave him penniless. She is well aware of the Medicaid requirements/laws. If she gets the divorce she is seeking, she will leave him & take all of that money, and you will never find her. If I were you, I would confront her directly & let her explain herself in front of your father. He may not even know what she's done.
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Dontask....I read through the Medicaid law that the federal government dictates to the State to administer.   NO, they do not have the authority to put s lien in the banks accounts or assets of anyone receiving money.   IF you prosecute them for grand theft (criminal charges) they can be jailed and require payment of restitution...otherwise..there is no legal mechanism to recover money given as a gift...or simply taken by wife.   Remember..she didn't steal it...she has legal access.    

Janny...

Ok..still did not answer the question. I know how Medicaid figures this out. I know the formulas. What no one tells me is this....

Say wife takes $250,000.

Hubby needs to go on Medicaid. They see the money within the 5 year look back. So..they deny HIM...

Ok. I do not see any way that Medicaid apcan get the money back from HER. They penalize HIM and that is that.

No one has ever explained exactly how Medicaid "forces" the one who got the money to pay it back. I do not think Medicaid has any authority seek redress from the one who got the money(assets) ... only penalize the person needing the service. AND...what happens if it is a nursing home or rehab that is helping to file for Medicaid and it is denied? What do they do? Ex-wife and her kids are long gone, and they aren't paying a darn thing back even if they are found...and no one can force them.
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One thing to consider is if the money is gone because she gave it away to someone not entitled to it, they can put a lien on that bank account and any other bank accounts that might contain stolen funds. They can also put liens on any other assets necessary and even stop the sale of pending property sales until everything is settled. If the money is already gone, there's still other assets such as homes and cars. The more someone owns, the more likely the victim can collect. If she spent that money on miscellaneous stuff,  she can be ordered to sell it and make restitution. If she doesn't, all of her stuff can be confiscated and sold to recoup all of the money and restore the victim
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If you have that nagging gut feeling something's wrong, you're probably right and you need to do something about it now. If you have that nagging feeling that just won't go away, don't ignore it because it's not in your head and you'll find out sooner or later it's actually right because God is trying to use that to because God is trying to tell you something, and you need to listen. I don't know if he tried to warn your dad before he married this woman, but if so, he may not have heard the warning and may have ignored it because now he's in a financial jam when his livelihood is threatened. Serious consequences happen when we don't hear the warnings and we plow forward into whatever we're doing, only to face the consequences later. He should've known what she was before getting involved but I guess not. It's sad how we often may not know someone's dark side until it's too late. This is why I'm glad we can do background checks on people. I personally would never put someone else on my account because the same thing you're describing here can happen to anyone who puts someone else on their account. Marriage or not, no one goes on my bank account or has access to it! Tell him to let this be a very expensive lesson learned. I don't know if this woman has ever worked or if she still does but she needs to earn her own keep if she's working. If she's on fixed income, she needs to live within her own means and use her own money and stop taking advantage of others.  If she doesn't have enough money then she needs to get off her butt and get a job and make some money and repay what she stole. If he does decide to divorce her then he needs to have the judge order her to pay spousal support or some kind of restitution. 

If this elder financial abuse problem happens to be in Vermilion Ohio or anywhere in Lorain County, there was a problem there, which is why I had to open an estate for my dad because someone possibly also took advantage of him when he had Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's according to his death certificate.  It was also discovered there was wrong information regarding his address of property ownership when we went to open the estate. Apparently someone falsified or put wrong information on a legal document that should've had the right info. Yes, these days we need to be very wary especially in our older age because what's happening to your dad can happen to anyone! Yes, someone needs to be in a protective position to prevent him from being taken advantage of. 

The best thing you can do now is have a talk with your dad and have him move his money to a new account and block her access to it.

Report this type of elder financial abuse to the APS and get an eldercare lawyer.

Call the bank headquarters and report the fraud and have them block access to his money and request his money be moved to a new account.

Check your state able account program designed for people with disabilities on fixed income. If you're getting qualifying funds, you're eligible for an able account. Put all of his extra money in there and don't let her have any access to it because she's not entitled to it. All you have to do is link your current bank account to it by providing your bank's routing number and that account's number. When he dies, make sure the funeral home has access to that account, too. Just make sure they have access to everything they need for his disposition. When they have their share and they're satisfied, then you can go on to file and open an estate for your dad if necessary and become his fiduciary. You don't have to leave that woman anything if she's only marrying men for the money and draining them dry before moving on. I only wish he knew this before he ever married her according to what you heard from the bank.

I just recently started an able account in Ohio and our program is actually called stable. As long as you stay within the guidelines for qualifying expenses, you won't have to pay income tax on the account. You can choose bank safe and not lose any of your money because this is also an investment account. Again, you don't have to risk any of your money if you don't have much of it to start with.

You can also take your dad to his chosen funeral home and have him set up his own preneed but don't pay the funeral home. You never know when a funeral home might go under and run off with your money, so pay it monthly into a funeral insurance policy. Don't ever lapse on the payments and keep your copies of the paperwork in a safe place. Get multiple copies and keep some with him, you and the bank deposit box as well as the funeral home. Don't give your mom access to this either! You want to make sure his final wishes are honored and that they won't be overturned. When you take him to his funeral home, secretly tell the funeral director not to let grant access to his arrangements or his insurance policy, and have them make a written note of it with his file and give you a copy. Keep a copy of that note with each copy of his funeral arrangements

You can also help your dad start a POD account (with the funeral home as the beneficiary) and just pay into it monthly.

Another thing you want to do is protect his will if he has one. If not, he really needs to write one out and put it in probate with the help of a lawyer. He can write her out of the will altogether and disinherit her by using all of his assets while he's alive. If he owns a home, he can sell it and put her out if her name is not on the deed if he needs the money for nursing home care. This will leave her to have to find her own place. Anything he owns that's in only his name, he can sell and recoup his financial losses. I don't like recommending divorce, this will have to be the decision made between the couple themselves. If he decides to divorce her over this, he really needs to first protect all of his money and assets by first following the tips I gave you, this will help to safeguard the rest of what he has left. The fraud really does need to stop, he can't afford to be bankrupt especially at this stage in his life when he most needs money and resources. If he can start by liquidating everything to recoup his losses, he can take the money and run and the first thing he can do is first make those funeral arrangements and make a big down payment toward his funeral insurance policy, but make the funeral home the owner of it. Put some money into a POD account but under with the funeral home as the beneficiary in case there's just not enough money in his insurance policy by time he dies. His POD account is a back up plan with back up funds that will cover expenses just to make sure his final wishes are honored and not overturned by lack of money. You also want to make sure that woman has no access to his funeral arrangements. 

 A final thought is either hide the checkbook or don't write checks anymore. If you choose to discontinue use of checks, you can have the bank dispose of the checkbook or just put it away in case something comes up and he needs it later. Have him not carry cash, just have him pay for all of his expenses  with his debit card. That way you'll know where every dime went because the bank will have records and you'll have the receipts if you even keep receipts. If not, you may want to consider keeping them in a shoebox or something at least for a while. If I were him, I personally wouldn't even spend another dime on her, ever! This will force her to live within her means or get a job and start making her own money and paying her own way. It's one thing to have a husband who will take care of you and let you stay home, it's another to take advantage of that  by abusing it by draining the bank account dry, leaving your spouse high and dry with nothing to take care of himself. 

Someone here mentioned something about life insurance policy's. If he has any insurance policies at all whatsoever, see if she may be the beneficiary. If so, the beneficiary will definitely need to be changed. It seems like she's taking all the money away from him in hopes he'll starve to death after falling ill from having no money to take care of him and his needs. If this happens to be the case, she can hurry up and collect and move onto the next unsuspecting victim. She may not have the guts to flat out kill him, this may be her way of doing it indirectly by forcing him to die a slow agonizing death by denying him enough money to take care of his basic needs. 

Marriage is actually good for the couple as long as both parties work together and not against each other. These days though, we must first secure all of our money and assets before ever tying the knot. One thing I strongly agree on before marriage is a prenup agreement. For starters, I personally would write my own prenup agreement of not making me pay spousal support in case of a split. Any inherited money I may have along with other money I had before marriage is strictly mine and is not being mingled with marital money. If I own a home or car before marriage, it stays in my name alone, and in case of a split, he can't go after any share of my money for assets. If signed, it becomes a legal binding contract
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it's insane that if a person has to go to a nursing home the spouse can be bankrupted. one way around it is to take care of each other at home. that is very difficult. after a certain age it appears to me that marriage is not a good financial arrangement.
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I would think that if there is $250,000 or more involved, no one is looking at Medicare or Medicaid even. I agree with asking the questions about your dad's feelings in all this. If she is talking divorce to protect the assets, then your dad could very well be aware of the financial strategies. Why don't the three of you sit down and discuss it.
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Fastest free advice is visit you local county attorney. If fraud and theft is going on at least the local law is already involved. You may also be able to go for guardianship of your dad if foul play is going on.
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You should contact Elder Abuse & get poa ..contact Atty immediately...even call police & go in person to his house!!! Demand to have private meeting w your Dad
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Jennifer, are you still with us? I had an idea about the life insurance and funeral expenses. Could you visit dad in assisted living? Do you live in the same city? We seem to all believe you need legal advice but maybe you could handle these two issues on your own and flush out a few more details in person before taking legal action. Let us hear back from you.
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KatieKate. Medicaid/Medi Cal (in CA) has a "look back period" that I believe is 3 years. So, wife takes large sums of money (what isn't usual for daily life or living) and absconds with it (gives it to kids; puts it in her own bank account etc). When you go to apply for Medicaid the gov't "looks back " at where the applicants assets went. So, "getting rid" or "giving away" your assets isn't allowed (unless done in the correct way through trusts). If wife has taken $250K over the past 3 years ,2 years or 1 year then husband cannot receive medicaid. Medicaid takes the amount of $$ (say $250k ) and divides that by the average cost of a nursing home (currently 8k in CA) and that amount is considered the number of months that the individual will have to pay for their own nursing home costs. In this example it would be 31 months that the husband/wife would have to pay for the nursing home. After that time then the husband can re-apply for Medicaid and hopefully qualify and then the gov't will pay for his costs. Hope this helps.
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Dear Jennifer,

I am so sorry to hear what is happening. I would try involve Adult Protective Services or a social worker and see what can be done to protect your dad. I would lose my patience and tell her, you are going after her for fraud. But I know its not that easy, so hopefully the elder law attorney can give some guidance as well.
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Wow, you definately have to be sly handling this one. Since she listens in on all calls, I would invite your Dad out to an innocent brunch, if she is overly suspicious, wait till Father's Day, (coming soon) and then have a talk with him and possibly set up a meeting with an elderlaw attorney if he is in agreement. If he protests, there isn't much you can do I'm afraid. Does he have you as DPOA if anything happens to him or does she have that? You can also consult with an attorney on your own, tell them what is going on and see what they say or listen to any advice they may have for this situation. Sorry this is happening to you but that is a lot of money in a short time to just dissapear. I would definately want a paper trail on that one to see what she has been doing with it. Best wishes and I hope you can stop it before it's too late!
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Sounds like my Dads story to a T. Except for the bank teller. I can only tell you what happened to my dad. He ended up having brain cancer and died before divorce was over. She contested will and wound up with more than anyone.
I took care of my dad after cancer found and was the executrix so I know.
Make sure if you father has any joint stocks that were his before marriage to take her name off or she'll get those too. Don't let your father get the shaft like my dad did.
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This sounds sad and also concerning. I think you will indeed need to consult with an elder law attorney.

But you can try your local agency on aging first, and also adult protective services. Good luck!
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I am very aware of the truth of the statement..."Medicaid will come for the money that was gifted (or stolen)... and she will have to pay"

What no one has ever explained is how. Let's say the gold digger wife takes the money. It isn't theft...she has legal assess as his wife. So..Medicaid comes knocking. She laughs and slams the door.

So..."she will have to pay". Ok..how?    Or the kids who got gifts.....exactly how can Medicaid make them pay?   They can penalize the Dad...but,  have no ability to make them pay that I know of.
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I didn't see anything here about how your father feels about this, or if he would be willing to go to an attorney without his spouse. Your dad's wife sounds pretty experienced, in stating that a divorce would protect her assets. When my husband developed vascular dementia, my attorney advised doing the same thing so that he would be eligible for Medicaid assistance if he needed a nursing home and my personal assets, about twice his, would not be drained. Google: Medicaid Divorce, but see an attorney in your state to find out just what you stepmother can do legally. If her previous marriage (s) indicate a pattern, you need a lawyer!
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I would contact your local Elder Services and an attorney specializing in elder law.
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Please take your dad to a good Elder Law Attorney right away. They are familiar with this type of problem.
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Yes and attorney and perhaps become his POA is a start. The attorney will advise. You can also consider a prepaid funeral arrangement. So ask the attorney about that as well. Then there are no worries when that time comes.
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Did she come into the marriage with any money ? How did your family find out about his banking info? Well, it sounds to me like she is out for herself, and someone has to look out for your father. I don't know what can be done, but an eldercare lawyer is a good start, someone needs to protect his rights. Good luck.
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Sounds as though step Mom is going to have to learn the hard way and will have to account for all that money when medicare comes a knocking. If she has given it to her kids they will have to pay back for starters.
Definitelyconsult aan eldercare lawyer to see what if anything can be done.
Gold diggers come in all shapes sizes and ages.
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I hope you get an elder (or perhaps criminal?) attorney for your dad. I'm so sorry this has happened to your family.
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jennifer322, so sorry to read all this is happening to your Dad. One thing did catch my eye, I am really surprised that a bank teller would pass out personal information regarding your Dad's wife's past. That's a breach of customer confidentiality.

Now, you and your Dad need to make an appointment with an Elder Law Attorney to see what can be done to straighten out this financial mess. By chance did your Dad and his wife sign an Agreement saying that anything obtained before the marriage each belongs to separate parties.
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