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Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services sent me a letter stating that they will see the possibility of placing a lien on our property. My mother has been in a nursing home since 2014. Our condo is joint ownership. I previously had cared for my mother for many years due to dementia and other illnesses. What can I do?

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I'd carefully look at exemptions & exclusions to MERP estate recovery for MD.

There should be one for caregiver. I have no idea how other states do them but for TX the caregiver will need to apply for it along with documentation on letterhead with state registration or licensing info from your moms MD or SW as to caregiving duties needed & done (by you) within the timeframe set in the NOI (notice of intent) sent after death. So you'd need one for caregiving back 2012 - 2014. If you had a full time job during this period, it may not fly. Some states allow the exemption to be done before death. Personally I'd get with an elder law atty to try to get this done now instead of waiting.....

Also you kinda need to be keeping meticulous records on every penny spent on the condo. If moms been on Medicaid since 2014, you've been paying both her 50% and your 50 at least 2 years now. All of moms ownership share (taxes, hoa fees, repairs, insurance) should be able to be deducted as an exclusion to her overall Medicaid tally that makes up the estate recovery figure. But it has to be documented. It too gets sent as a response to the NOI.

If after submitting documentation, the state still seems intent on recovery, I'd open probate if mom has a will. After mom dies, all costs paid for probate and on her share of condo after DOD become an claim against the estate if probate opened. Those prior costs could be entered as a seperate claim, unsecured, unless mom can do some sort of memo of understanding or promissory note between the 2 of you that makes it a secured claim. Executor costs and secured claims are usually priority distribution for probate. Medicaid is unsecured claim.

I mention all this cause, if the condo is of somewhat modest or low value to begin with then at her 50% ownership, plus deductions for all exemptions / exclusions, it could be that recovery against her estate is not cost effective.
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You would need to check with the State of Maryland Medicaid office to see if there are any exceptions.

Many States will take into consideration if you took full-time care [working 3-shifts per day] helping your Mom.   What were your duties?   Having an employment contract with your Mom would have been beneficial but hardly anyone knows about doing such a contract, etc. while being a caregiver.   Did you keep a diary or appointment book?  The State would need solid proof.

Did you and Mom buy the condo together, thus the reason you are co-owner?   Or did Mom sign over half of the condo to you within the past 5 years.   If the latter, that creates complications.
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