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I am DPOA for my mom. she owns a house but, lives with me. She can not stay by herself. I would need to pay off some bills so I could afford to stay home to take care of her. She is 87.

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Also, you probably cannot get a loan on the house. Mom would need to appear before the lender and if she can't or seems limited in cognitive ability, then you are toast on ever getting the loan. Some banks will contact the local Area of Aging if children come in with obviously impaired parents to do loans too ……

Mom cannot apply for reverse mortgage as RM require the property owner to live in the house; have the funds to be able to afford the required on the home and go to a course on what an RM is. Personally I think RM are a very very bad idea in general as most of the time the $ actually gotten is low and just a band-aid on a much bigger financial problem.
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DK - to me there are different competing issues in all this….which their possible solutions don't necessarily work together.

About mom's house, if I'm reading this correctly, she lives with you and has been for 3 years now. So her house sits there empty but still with costs. How has all the costs on the home been paid to date? If any of the costs have been paid by you, you need to asap get a handle on all these costs with documentation. 2 reasons - as you want to be reimbursed for this from the proceeds of the sale AND to have in case mom needs to go onto Medicaid in the near future (so it can be shown that no $ was the dreaded "gifting"). All costs too, even those light bulbs for 4.99!

About mom's house, realistically what could it sell for? Look at the last tax assessor bill to see it's value. Now for the "improvements" (the actual house) can it sell for that? I'd drive around the hood & look for 2 or 3 Realtor names that are on signs. Those are the ones who actually know the area. Contact them to get listing info with comps. Almost all Realtors are MLS and they have a programs that just drop in existing info to do this. Then speak with each at the home and clearly ask what their DOM to closing is (days on market to actually going to closing) could possible be for mom's house. And what you'd need to do get it sold quicker. If the house is in a area where there is low to no inventory in the desired areas (like where I live in New Orleans), values are high even for old property with years of delayed maintenance. But most of the time an elderly person's home will have so many issues with it that it has to have a pretty significant price reduction as it comes nowhere near what the comps are like. Buyers expect homes to be done, with granite kitchen & rainfall baths, etc due to the HGTV effect. Think hard if you have the time, funds and patience to deal with having a house on the market as there will be costs to do this OR if doing a quick & low sale would be better.

Todays buyers are pretty demanding on what they just expect already done.

Then when you have an idea of the what the proceeds could be, I'd suggest you go an see and elder law attorney. Really you should be getting paid for your caregiving and have it done so that there are no issues for Medicaid (as you never know what could happen to affect your own health) and that you do whatever to safeguard your own retirement - the elder lawyer will be of help to provide options to you. If mom does not have a prepaid funeral & burial or cremation already set up, I'd suggest you pay for that out of the proceeds - yes it means less $ to work with but your siblings are likely not to help out or be inclined to pay for it after mom dies as they haven't helped so far so why start then…….

using any of the house proceeds to pay your bills is fraught with problems. Both if mom needs to ever apply for Medicaid OR if Sissy or Bro decide that now that there is $ out there that they want to get some of it and make your life as a DPOA be scrutinized. As this site shows, family can be quite beastly over $$.

It's obvious you feel strongly about continuing to care for your mom, but realize that it is very very probable that you will have caregiver burn-out and that if mom lives a long life that her level of caregiving will be beyond what you can do. Then what?? For most, its Hello! NH Medicaid - and the state places no value on what you have done' if you use any of mom's funds for yourself or your home or cannot account to the penny where the proceeds from the sale of the house went to for her direct care with receipts or contracts, you will get a transfer penalty. And your siblings have shown that they will not contribute neither time nor $.

Unless there is something special about keeping the house, and you have a very good sense of humor and you have oodles of free time to deal with old house & a purse to be able to afford all on the house, unload the house this summer as summer is peak buying season.
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Garden Artist, I have 1 sibling, he and all of the rest of our family live 4 states away. If it were up to him she would had be put in a nursing home 3 years ago when she came to live with me. I also believe she would have been so depressed that she would have been dead by now. I am in no way trying to abuse my DPOA. I am trying to keep my mother out of a nursing home, and at home among loved ones. I do not want to quit my job to stay home all the time. The house has set empty for 3 years, while I waited for my mom to feel good about selling it. My brother wanted me to sell it 3 years ago, even though mom didn't want to at that time. She and my Dad lived together in that house for over 50 years. When the house does sale the money will be set aside to care for her. The money will be left to my bother and me anyway. I don't want to put my life on hold to care for anyone, but I love my mom and like she and dad took care of me when I was little, I plan to do the same for her. I will have to do this to stay home with her or put her in a home at this time. If I had the to do this without using her home I would. So, that being said, unless you are walking in my shoes, you have no right to condemn me. I thought I was asking a legal question, not for your self righteous opinion.
Nowmymomsmom, Your reply was actually helpful, thank you. I will try some of the things you suggested. I have to do something soon, because I have started having anxiety attacks when I leave her to go to work. I wish you well on the road that we share.
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Talk to mom and a lawyer,sell the home if you can, the money could go into a trust for her and you need a caregiver contract arrangement in writing a head of time that would give you some income from the trust while you quit your job and care for her 24/7... still probably much cheaper than a nursing home.Your mom has to pay someone if she'd rather it be you then you should be paid and still pay taxes and into your Social Security or you will have nothing when you are older.....I know many people here on this site think you should care for family members free but not always possible if you have a large family it's possible...if you are the only child and have no one to help you are basically giving up your life/income to do this with no means of support.Check out Met Life's chart on care giving rates so you know what is fair.It is what the states go by for their care giver amounts.People need to realize a year or two.. great help out if you can but I am now on my 9th year of care giving and have exhausted my retirement paying the bills her SS didn't come close, they rented so no house to sell and they didn't believe in LTC or life insurance.. I can't work as she can't be left alone so 24/7 care except when I have had 3 surgeries and have used respite care for several weeks each time while in the hospital.It is a round the clock job and i would add in your agreement that you may hire additional help/relief caregivers as needed.Most older people assume they will just up and die of a heart attack like their parents did...times have changed you could be care giving for 15-20 years. You have to protect yourself as well.As I said talk to mom and a attorney see what she would prefer... home with you or a SNF. Please try and take care of yourself as well.40% of the care givers die before the patient that should give you some idea of the stress level. Get someone to come in one day a week at least to help so you can doing the shopping,errands, your appts etc... Good luck you have hard road ahead of you!
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Guess I'm confused why you wouldn't be getting an equity loan on your house to pay your bills, rather than encumber your mother's house. Maybe I'm missing something?

Or is it that the equity loan would be on your mother's house because you'll be quitting work to stay home and care for her and you feel she could help with your bills to accommodate this new arrangement?

If this is the case, I think the question would be not whether you could do this but is it ethical and potentially an abuse of your authority under the DPOA. I think it's really a stretch to do something like this.

If you have any siblings, I'm wondering what their position would be.
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Thank you for the answers. She has lived with me for 3 years. She has Alzheimer's and is now getting to the point that I don't like leaving her alone while I'm at work. I would need to quit my job to stay with her. The bills are mine. I can make some money working from home but not enough to pay my bills. I would be making the payments on the equity loan, while my brother and I try to sell the house . My mothers house isn't in the best of shape so it may take a while to sell. Her memory has gone down a lot in the last month or so. I thought about putting her in adult daycare, but I'm afraid that will just confuse her more.
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dknuckolls, one question, you mentioned bills... are the bills your Mom's or are the bills yours?

If in the future your Mom would need nursing home care and would need to use Medicaid, Medicaid would look at how your Mom's money had been used during the past 5 years. If the money was used to pay her bills, that wouldn't create a problem, but if the money was used to pay your own bills, that could sent up a red flag.
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Your profile states that your mother's primary problems are mobility related. Do you think that she'll ever be going back to her own home? If not, would it be better to consider selling it, and reserve most of the proceeds in the event she needs additional care? Or is there a tenant living there now?

Who would be making payments on the equity loan, which I assume that's what it would be?
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