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My mother is ill and has lived with us for almost a year and will no be able to live alone again, she can also no longer drive. My counselor says that I should ask her to contribute financially, I can't imagine doing that....She has a paid for house and car and some other assets. She gets Social Security and a Pension but has no bills and always says she is broke. How do I talk to her about protecting those assets without sounding like a greedy monster?

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You can also talk about your OWN financial planning and segue into hers and what her plan is. If you don't have your own will and POA drawn up, you need to do that. You can take your mom along to do hers too, if she hasn't done that. And work on her financial planning for her own future. It's not shameful or greedy to ask her to plan for her future. Assuming she loves you, her only child, she'll want to set things up so that you're protected and her finances are in good order. It's what a responsible adult does for themselves and their children.
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J, money was and still is a taboo subject in my family. It was only discussed in hushed tones by my parents. Also, we are two daughters, no sons, and dad is old fashion about women and finances. The only way we can facilitate a discussion and implement a plan is to tell mom and dad that the lawyer called and there is a meeting. We have their CPA come too. Everyone is on best behavior and we leave it to the pros. I hope this helps.
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I can hear your toes curling from several thousand miles away. Asking your mother for money to stay in your home… yowch.

On the other hand. It's remarkable how shameless and unsentimental all of the utilities companies, grocers, gas stations and local tax collectors are, isn't it? And wherever your mother is living, she knows as well as you do that living costs money.

You say that she is not going to be able to return to living independently, and that she has an income and assets. Worrying that they will "take" her house… Well, hadn't she better sell it, then? If she won't be able to live in it, unless it's the kind of property she could let for income, why keep it on?

Maybe the least painful beginning would be to sit down with her and paper and pencil to discuss what she would like for the future. Where would she like to live? How is it to be financed? If she would like to move permanently to your home, what impact will that have on your household budget and what would be her fair share?

I do sympathise with how ticklish and guilt-infested this whole topic is, but you owe it to her as well as yourself to treat her like a grown woman. She knows she can't live on fresh air, and she surely realises that there are additional expenses falling to you. I hope you'll all feel better and more secure once the money's out in the open. Best of luck, please let us know how you get on.
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OK, she is worried about her house and car and wants to protect her assets from medicaid, perfect! Time for you all to sit down with an elder law attorney and deal with things, just as any adult goes to a lawyer to prepare a will and buys insurance to prepare for the future. It doesn't mean you are being greedy or morbid, it means you are being responsible. That you are an only child simplifies things, and she may be feeling overwhelmed and is waiting for you to make the first move to help her. Once she has dealt with the house and car etc she will probably feel less stressed about her income and be willing to contribute to your shared household expenses.
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Well, I don't mean to sound trite but what is the alternative? If you are the one responsible for her care these issues must be dealt with. Otherwise you'd havevto wait until she is totally mentally incompetent and try and get guardianship and by that time things would most likely be a total mess.

You could collect what info you have at hand aout her finances and see an attorney or financial planner on your own. At least then you'll have an idea of what you're facing.

I don't want to sound scolding but I've gone through this and you can't ignore it or be afraid that mom wil get mad.
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No, she owns a house and a new car but she is living in my house. Her house is 100 miles away. I haven't consulted with anybody.... If she applies for VA Assistance or Medicaid, she is worried that they will take her house. I am an only child....I feel like if I ask her to see a lawyer or a financial planner, it's like saying, you are not going to live much longer and all I care about is your stuff...
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I'm assuming she lives in your house and she owns a vacant house elsewhere?

Is she still able to reason or does she have some dementia? You need to think about the future and getting control of her finances when she becomes incompetent. Meanwhile, if she lives with you and you are supporting her why on earth would you feel guilty about asking for some financial help?

With my folks I played the JUST IN CASE SOMETHING HAPPENS TO YOU card and was able to get POA and access to their accounts. Three years later I take care of all the bills and finances because they are no longer able. Whatever you do, keep detailed records of any of your moms funds used for her care and housing.
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Am I understanding this right, she paid for your house and car? That would be a very generous gift and could cause problems for you if she needs gov't assistance to pay for a nursing home in the future.

What exactly is your plan to "protect her assets"? Have you consulted a financial planner/elder law attny?

Are you an only child, or are there sibs who may object to your plans?

As for thinking she has no money, my Mom is the same way, she had to watch her money carefully most of her life and can not comprehend that she has ample assets now.
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