I'm arguing with Mom's assisted living facility about payments due after she has died. Anyone have constructive feedback?

Follow
Share

My mom spent half of November 2017 and all of December 2017 away from her assisted living apartment either in the hospital or in a rehab facility. I paid rent in full for both of those months. She passed away on December 22. I'm an only child and not only was I dealing with her somewhat unexpected death, I also was attempting to not ruin Christmas for my kids. I contacted the facility and told them with the holidays, I wasn't able to get her stuff out by the end of the month but I made arrangements to have everything out by January 6. I was told that I'd have to pay rent for half of January since the contract states that's the case. I pled my case. They were not sympathetic. Let's recap. She passed away, we pretended to have Christmas, we had services for her, I had to clean out her apartment which consisted of me hiring movers, going through all of her things (again), donating some stuff, having some items sent to a warehouse for an estate sale, etc. So, there was a lot to do, in the middle of the holidays. The director at the assisted living place insisted that this is not a unique situation and felt no compassion. I pointed out that because she wasn't there an entire month and a half using services, months that I paid for with no argument, they clearly are coming out ahead in the situation. I moved her things out, they sent a bill for half of January. I delayed payment because I had many other medical bills to pay from her estate. Finally, I sent them about half, indicating that was the best I could do at that time. Here it is seven months later and they've sent a reminder that there's still a balance due. ($1100) There is money in the estate to pay it. Mom would not want me to pay it and I think they are being jerks. So, this week I sent them a letter saying I would not be sending any more payments to this account and asked them to forgive the debt. Of course, legally I'm wrong. Morally I feel right and clearly I'm too emotionally involved. As I'm typing this I know everyone is going to say that it needs to be paid, pay it and move on. Please offer constructive feedback if you have any.

Find Care & Housing
28

Answers

Show:
I know you do not want that bill to be paid. I completely agree with your reasons.

But...consider. They will hand this over to the lawyer that deals with all their unpaid bills. Now, the bill goes up by several hundred dollars as legal fees are layered on top. Still not paid...the lawyers files in court against the estate. More legal fees. Court finds for the NH...because the contract says they are entitled to the payment...moral or not. So, now there is interest on all that. Finally, the settlement is made with the probate court....more legal fees. The bill ends up being $5,000 or more by the time they are finished....and it does get paid.

There is also the cost to your nervous system.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to Katiekate
Report

ALG, renting a room in Independent Living or in Assisted Living is no different than any of us renting a general apartment. With a senior apartment one is on month-to-month. If a "landlord" doesn't have employees to be paid, they may be more forgiving or not.

When my Dad passed near the end of the month, I only had the remainder of the month to remove everything from his room. If I needed more time, I would have needed to pay for the next full month. So I rushed to get everything out of his room, it wasn't easy but being a former "landlord" myself, I understood this is a business.

When a room becomes empty, there is a lot of behind the scenes work that needs to be done for that apartment. Usually the rug is removed and a new rug is installed. The room is painted. sometimes new mini-blinds need to be installed. Any repairs need to be done. There are usually scrapes and scratches on the door frames. The the paperwork logistics of closing the previous tenant's account, and opening up a new account for new tenant.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to freqflyer
Report

Just pay it and move on so you can deal with your feelings rather than legal problems. What good is this doing you and the example you are setting for your family members?
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to vegaslady
Report

Katiekate said it all and said it very well.

You are looking for sympathy but they will not offer it to you. Assisted Living is just that - they are not there to offer condolences and sympathy. They are there and need to collect what is owed.

I am sorry for your loss - but you are barking up the wrong tree here and you even know it.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to RayLinStephens
Report

The contract did not end with her death.
The contract will be settled by her estate. The executor is obligated to pay all the debts with the deceased estate.

Be it a car loan, a credit card, a nursing home bill....the bill is due and payable by the estate.

The lawyers will come after the estate for the payment.

But, the cost in high blood pressure will be paid by only you
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Katiekate
Report

Try to refer to the actual contract -
even if you didn't argue the point at the time, if your mom was not required to pay for meals and housekeeping during a hospital stay I.e., she was just required to pay a bed hold fee, then total the amounts overpaid as a credit against the $1,100 with details explaining the amounts in a letter and send a check for any remaining balance

When mom was in hospital and rehab for a month, her facility still sent an invoice for incontinance care - I called and they agreed to reverse the charge
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to MsMadge
Report

If you can, reread the contract that was signed. It should spell out any and all fees.
In this instance, unfortunately, the facility is in their right. When your mom passed, the contract should have terminated. You paid for all of Dec, which meant you had until Dec 31 to remove her stuff, otherwise, they could legally charge you as long as her stuff was in the room. Even though u mentioned 2 empty rooms, they still could not rent out the room your mom was in until her stuff was gone. Sure it would be a nice gesture to forgive this cost, considering the circumstances, which they might just do. Otherwise they are in their right to want to be paid for the room still being unavailable in Jan. Your only course of action may be to pay them so you can be finally done with them making sure to get everything in writing. I'm sorry for the loss of your mom.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to shad250
Report

I totally understand... My Mom was in an Intermediate Nursing Facility (not an assisted living apartment, so a little different, but...). November 3, 2017, she slipped and fell on a wet floor when a CNA was transferring her from her wheelchair to a shower chair... She broke both bones - tibia and fibula - below her left leg, and that evening went to ER - was x-rayed/diagnosed/splinted - and sent back to the nursing home. They couldn't treat her with the level of pain meds necessary, and weren't really set for to treat the level of medical help she needed. On the 8th, 5 days after the fall, she again went to the hospital ER in screaming pain. She was admitted, was finally put on hospice and her screaming pain addressed, and died on November 13. Medicaid sent notice they discontinued their payments to the nursing home on November 8, because that was the last time she was in the nursing home. It did take me a few days to clear her things out of the tiny, shared room she was in... I haven't paid that final month - November - when she was only there for 3 days until she was mortally injured while in the care of their staff, and they want payment for that 8 days before she went back to the hospital and never returned... Her "estate" has only a little money in an Income Trust account that received her Federal annuity payments, and I prorated the regular payment from her funds that went to cover that part of her fees, while Medicaid covered the rest. The facility said they are actually owed the entire monthly payment, because Medicaid didn't kick in to pay until her funds were used and exhausted first, so - for 8 days in the month she only had 3 days until she was injured, they want $2,500... I truly think they should just write off the month - it's sort of insult to injury?
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to ImageIMP
Report

I'm sorry for your loss. I think everyone is right. Pay it and forget it.

In Business Law 101, the professor said "The principle of the thing is very expensive." $1100 is a lot of money but the stress you will have dealing with this over the coming months is going to cost you something, too...much more valuable than money.

Put this unpleasantness behind you and let yourself grieve your loss of your mom.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Marcia7321
Report

My constructive feedback is to think how wonderful it will feel when this is all behind you. Quickest way: pay 'em.

Mind you, another springs to mind. A similarly dissatisfied customer with no choice about dealing with them changed his name by deed poll to Mr Yorkshirewaterarecompletebastards.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report

See All Answers
Related
Questions