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5 years ago my mom and I opened a joint account after having to get the roof and siding replaced due to storms. We wanted some designated account to put the large checks, the in co was doling out to the contractors. After that, we decided to use the account for emergencies and we both put in money each month, until a year and a half ago, when I only contributed to the fund. My mom was diagnosed with demintia four years ago. She has steadily gotten worse, and last month after she had 2 falls and getting a urinary tract infection, that put her in the hospital, I realized I couldn't safely take care of her any more, so she is in a facility for dementia patients. I know now, unfortunately, that ALL the money in the joint account is deemed hers and will go to Medicaid. My question is, in July my mom's 27yr old car blew the transmission out. It would cost more than the car is worth to fix. So I spend $6,000 from the account to get us another car (in my name, since my mom hadn't driven in over five years).


Anywhoo ... Will Medicaid demand I pay back the $6000 I used to buy the car from the account? The other question is, my mom has over $15,000 in credit card debt. I can't afford ALL her bills AND my bills too. Can I use the remaining $6000 in the account to pay off some of her credit card debt, and not be penalized by Medicaid?

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As others have stated here, you really need to speak with a Elderly Lawyer. I wouldn't spend one dollar until you speak to a lawyer.

As far as your mom's credit cards please Do Not use your money to pay them. In fact, I would call them and if you have a POA and tell them what is going on and you can not see how she will be paying on them anymore. But beware that they (cc company) might try to rope you into paying for them. Just keep telling them "it is not your debt and you are Not paying them." You might want to have her filing bankruptcy if the debt is to high. This all depends on how many credit cards and how much is owned in total. Again you should talk to a lawyer. By the way, bankruptcy lawyers are pretty cheap.

You will probably send a copy of the POA to the credit card companies for them to speak to you about her accounts.
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Geaton777 Jan 1, 2020
Hopefully the OP is not a co-signer on anything with her mom (loans, cc's, etc)...otherwise I believe she is liable for those expenses.
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www.nelf.org is the place to find a certified elder law attorney in your area.

They do this everyday, so you can trust their counsel and I found them to be cheaper because I wasn't paying for them to learn. They specialize and are certified, so they knew the answers.
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A Certified Elder Attorney well versed in Medicaid law for your state will be able to guide you to protect your mom’s Medicaid eligibility. The money you pay the attorney is exempt. Hopefully you have good records to show where the money came from and where it went. But regardless of what you have seek the advice of an attorney to sort this out in an acceptable manner for Medicaid.
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Don't add or spend another dime out of that account until you consult an elder law attorney who is experienced in navigating Medicaid issues! Different states = different laws. Your case is complicated so getting "free" advice here is at a risk you and your mom can't afford. Consulting a Medicaid attorney will be money well spent. Good luck!
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