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My mom is in assisted living. I have power of attorney and have managed her finances for a few years. The few years she has been in assisted living have taken a toll on her finances. We currently have her house on the market to generate more income, but it is going slow. Of recent she has had increased expenses, roof replacement etc. She does receive a monthly disbursement from an annuity, but the annuity over the past 6 months is not earning much. We have recently decided that it has become necessary to move her out of state into an assisted living near me. She has dementia, and her needs have become greater. I am scared to make the move now, due to finances. And really feel at loss as to how best manage what she currently has and how to best manage the money received once her house is sold. I had looked into a VA benefit a few years ago that would have covered good chunk of her assisted living costs, but my Dad's term of military service was just outside the window of time VA requires. I really don't know who I should talk to, and I don't know what kind of financial advisors I should go to that would best help me. This worry is causing me increasing anxiety, sleep loss etc. Generally the stress is affecting me physically and emotionally. I try to cope with moms situation, and keep myself together for her best interest and mine. If anyone could give me direction in getting the counsel I need, or offer any advise, I would appreciate it.

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Nor - renting can be a good idea but probably not work for this situation - the OP is anticipating moving mom (now living in an AL & not in the house) to an AL in another state where she lives. I'd imagine that the house is just costing too much in time, worry & maintenance to be worthwhile to keep & with the anticipated move makes it better to just sell it (rather than deal with an OOS house) and use the funds to underwrite future AL costs.

Also if mom should outlive her assets & needs to apply to Medicaid (which can happen as the costs of care are staggering), the property in another state will be considered a nonexempt asset for Medicaid. She would be ineligible for any Medicaid programs that are means tested as the OOS house value would take her over asset maximum. Houses are almost always an exempt asset for Medicaid for their lifetime but the exemption is for a primary residence in the state they actually live in. Some states ask for a copy of the homestead exemption if they are keeping a home but applying for NH Medicaid & some states require a "right to return" letter or statement on the home to have it exempt. The latter I had to do for my moms Medicaid renewal each year.

Hopefully Kat0305's mom is able to sell the house & have enough assets to always afford private pay in an AL or NH and leaves $ in her estate. But if she needs to apply for medicaid, the house in the old state is a boondoggle.
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i would rent out the house rather than sell it...the return will prob be higher...
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Kat, you do sound like you're stressing over this. Most of these comments are good suggestions. The realtor should be the one to help you get the right price on the house. I had a similar problem as well. My elderly father came to live with me and after about three years, I lost my job due to the economy in the area. Jobs were scarce and unemployed people were scrambling for the few available jobs so I thought I needed to sell my house. I started looking around for an apartment for us. He was in his late 70's and his COPD was getting worse. Throw in some mild dementia and I was pulling my hair out. My house didn't sell and it was only worth 3/4 of what I paid for it. I finally rented it out and the extra money helped a lot. I had cut my monthly rent down and plus receiving a check each month made it a lot easier. I had it up for sell for 2 more years and finally I offered it to the couple renting the house. They were excited to be able to own their own home. I sold it without going thru a realtor because I wanted to save the 6%. I was already going to take a loss and I didn't want it to be even more. I called a company who did loan closing and they did the paperwork for me, set up a payment plan at the bank and they took over the house and paid payments to me for the next 10 years before they finally paid it off. The reason I'm telling you this is so you will know you can handle some things by yourself. If the house sells right away, will the extra money disqualify your mother from getting Medicaid? You need to check with your state's policies to see what the guidelines are for getting Medicaid. The assisted living place will want to take over the profits from the house to guarantee they will get their payments. check out the annuity and see what the status is. how much will she get each month, etc. Check with an financial adviser to see if you assign the annuity to the assisted living place, will that take care of mother? Leave the money from the house in the bank for emergencies and for the eventual end expenses that will come. Check with the attorney that has an elder care designation and ask for the first visit to be a consultation "free" visit. Maybe you can get most of the info you need the first time. Some states require a specific person to handle some finances so just call the Elder Care in the phone book and start asking questions on how, what, when, where, etc. good luck.
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Is she applying for Medicaid once the house is sold?
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Kat - out of curiosity, what is the tax assessor value on the property?
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I would suggest you talk with 3 types of professionals: a realtor with a SRES designation, they specialize in working with seniors and will help you decide only what repairs really need to be make to sell the home. The second will be a financial planner to help determine the best way to invest the assets from the home and the third is a tax accountant who will be able to determine possible tax ramification such as capital gains and the effect the sale may have on your mothers medicare premiums.
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Regarding mom's house, if the most consistent thought is that mom needs to move from her state to yours so you can DPOA/MPOA better, then I'd suggest you stop fretting on house repairs & getting it cute for potential buyers & just get it sold.

Right now most counties tax assessors are mailing out the tax bill due for January, 2016. Within the tax bill will be 2 values: the land and the improvements (the house) which together are the property value.

Now if you have the house currently on the market for close to the assessor value and it has no real interest you need to find out why. If you have the house listed with a Realtor and no viable offers with a DOM over 180, then either it's way way way over priced or there is something about it that is a real problem (like it has foundation issues so no FHA or VA buyers or has zoning issues so no underwriters will do the paper ever on the property). Imho you kinda need to figure out which one is the situation as it will make a difference as to how to get rid of the property.

If your current Realtor is less than helpful on this, then on my own I would get the house inspected & appraised. This needs to be done by someone fully licensed to do each one. If your Realtor doesn't have names, then a good estate or probate attorney will as getting a house inspection & property appraisal are routinely done for determination of assets. Inspection $ 300 - 500; Appraisal $ 300 - 750.
The inspection will show any issues with the house with the report divided by the majors on the house. If there are deficiencies in all areas, then the house probably won't ever meet underwriters requirements. No mortgage can be had. If there are deficients in just some areas, then it could maybe get a conventional mortgage.
I think like 90% of house buys are FHA or VA, so if it can't get those, you are kinda toast on ever selling it how most homes are sold. So need to price accordingly if that is the situation.

If this happens, then the appraisal comes into play. It will give you a hard number as to cash sale value. It could be much much lower than the tax assessor value. (NOTE: you want to keep the report as well as to challenge next years taxes due as the appraisal report along with the inspection can be used to have the property value reduced. Now if mom's taxes are frozen at 65, it might not matter but could make it more valuable to the buyer as they can use this to pay lower taxes, comprende?) There will be someone out there with the cash to buy the house. Although most of these are very much bottom-feeders and the amount maybe will be the land value and maybe 25-35% of the improvements value. They tend to do offers that are good for a very tight window - like 3 days - as they are floating $ from flipping other prior house buys. I would be very cautious in the deal and hire a real estate attorney to do the paperwork on this. Most will want the house de-listed from the current Realtor too or have it so that you pay for the Realtors 6% commission totally from your proceeds & any closing costs. They know that most of these sales are done by family stressed for $ and have you over a barrel.

It could be that the current Realtor is not suited to sell the situation that is your mom's house. I'd look at their webpage to see where mom's house is in placement to get an idea of how her house compares to others that this Realtor sells and yes to closing. Or that you are not realistic as to what mom's house needs to sell for. Like the situation AD mentioned. Homes, especially if they are the old family homestead, can have a lot of emotion for family which is a problem for all involved.
Getting an outside inspection & appraisal can help through this.

If you should need to front any costs on the property, please get a memo of understanding or promissory note done & notarized between your mom & you regarding this. Not just doing this as a DPOA. good luck.
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You can only look forward, not back. Hopefully the house has been generating income in the form of rent, otherwise it is just inhaling resources in the form of taxes, maintenance, utilities, and insurance. And if there is an accident or other casualty loss, the insurance company may not pay if it is unoccupied and they didn't know about it. Obviously the land has some value, but an unoccupied house can become a liability rather than an asset. Your real estate broker should be instructed to market aggressively so that you can turn it into cash. As far as residential finances, can you look for a place that will take her regardless of income? Better to get your foot in the door now than wait until she runs out of money and then starting your search. Once she's settled, some places will take a mortgage on the property while waiting for the sale to close. I.e., you don't currently have the cash but you have a debt-free property, and will have the proceeds shortly. I have seen this work in at least one situation (where the resident had already been in the nursing home for awhile during the marketing of her house). If you come up with a plan, you'll sleep better. I find it helps to focus not on how much it costs, but rather think of it as Mom's money: she saved this for her eventual care, and here's how it's going to be spent down. There is always Medicaid as the backstop / safety net, thank goodness.
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I would say "steele yourself" and take a business approach to this to survive. Maybe the house should have gotten on the market sooner than now, so maybe the desired selling price in people's minds is not going to happen. Maybe you don't have a real estate agent and need to bite the bulllet on that as well. Take the losses where needed and move her to your state. Do the calculations on how much you need from her money to do that for a year. If running low, cash out the annuity and take the penalty. Identify what the medicaid spend down number is in your state. This way, she will be a resident of your state if and when it happens. Its a big dose of REALITY with a calculator to address this situation. And I sure sympathize with the staying awake at night wondering what is going to happen with it, and wrestling with the emotions.
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Hi Kat - This is a tough journey already and the money issue just makes it stressful too. There are financial advisors who can help you navigate this. You aren't the first to face this issue and you should be able to find one who can take a broad view of your mom's needs and help you navigate the choices. Ask for recommendations and call references.

Elder care attorneys will also be able to provide you with some financial advisors to help.
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Igloo572 asked important questions about the annuity for you to investigate ASAP.
My advice is not count on the house sale to finance your mother's care. I suggest you obtain a realistic assessment of the house's condition and readiness for sale. By this I mean how likely is a sale of your mother's house in its current condition? What are your monthly expenses to maintain the house?
For example, a client counted on $150,000 from the sale of land in Wyoming. He was going to pay off $70k in credit card debts with the proceeds. But in two years the land has not sold and he had to turn to his son in order to pay for the cost of a $15k housing code violation. He needed to do this because he had maxed out the amount of money he could borrow. No one knows when or if this land will sell and he is paying $800 in taxes annually.
The moral of this story is you need to find money that is available today-ASAP.
Good luck and perhaps you should get help evaluating your options.
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Kat - you are overwhelmed & rightly so. My suggestion is to put things into different project lines both physically & emotionally. If you have siblings perhaps they can help, but if they haven't helped so far, let that be and approach this as an only child. Your mom has some $ and it does provide you & her more options. Just what options deoend on the situation......

What is your moms age & what is her health & her level of need like day to day?

Is she the amenable type that allows you as her DPOA to do things?

The answers to these make a difference.

However, 1 definite on all this imho is with the ANNUITY - there is a maximum distribution on it she can take every year without any penalty. Personally I'd get this year max allowed without penalty done ASAP. It will give a bit of cushion of $.
You didn't mention moms age....but just when does her annuity run out?
Also if mom should ever truly run out of $ & need to apply for Medicaid, the annuity will need to be sadly cashed in anyways.

So what's moms backstory?
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