Can I keep Mom's house when she dies if she is on MediCal?

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I'm permanently disabled and caregiver for my Mom with no pay for 8 years. I understand that if Mom goes on MediCal before she dies to pay for a nursing home that MediCal will take everything when she is gone. If I am her disabled child and have lived with her since 1997 and cared for her, isn't there a way I can keep the house?

How does that change the Trust or does it? The trust states the house is split between 3 of us, but if i am the only disabled one what happens? Will all three of us still just get to keep the house? Is there a time limit like we have to keep the house for 5 years? One sister will want to leave immediately while two of us will want to continue to live here.

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Stressed, I think you have already gotten advice in other posts regarding ignoring your sibs and doing what is best for mother and for you. You have NO responsibility to save their so-called inheritance.

In general, after a Medicaid recipient dies, the state can/must recover some of their costs by any assets that are left over. Often this is the house. BUT if someone has been living in the house and caring for the recipient such that it delayed the need for a nursing home, that someone (whether disabled or not) can receive the house. (This doesn't apply to everyone, there are restrictions.) Also there are hardship exceptions. I am SO glad you have an appointment with an Elder Law attorney. They can guide you to do what is best for Mother, and for You, with the least adverse impact on other family members. Keep in mind that your goal is NOT to ensure any inheritance for others.

Try to relax. If you can, stop taking calls and emails from your siblings. This will all get resolved. You are moving in the correct direction, and now you just have to wait for your appointment. Do your best to care for Mom without making yourself sick with worry.
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pamstegman: I asked a question on Avvo about me losing my disability benefits due to being Mom's caregiver and three attorney's said it could be questioned if I went in for a review, but it is not considered a job that would cost me my benefits. I still have the same health problems (actually they are worse) and I still seek medical help, so I should be okay.

I just wanted to say this in case anyone else reads this and becomes frightened of losing their benefits while caring for a sick parent.
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marymember: Really an irrevocable will? I think that is what we have, Im going to look. I am going to have to read through this because when the Trust was first made it was revokable, then it was updated and I thought it was made irrevocable. But I am not seeing that on the will. I have actually made an appointment with an Elder law Attorney and his Medi Cal specialist for the end of the month. This is all making me so very sick. I REALLY NEED TO LEAVE AND BE AWAY FROM ALL OF THIS FOR QUITE SOME TIME, LIKE AT LEAST A MONTH, BUT HONESTLY I AM AFRAID I COULD NOT COME BACK, THAT IS WHERE I AM AT RIGHT NOW....I AM HORRIBLE FRIGHTENED FOR MY HEALTH AND LIFE.
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You need to contact an Elder Care lawyer.....He will inform you on how you can save the home from going to a nursing home. It is called an irrevocable will. But right now is the time to do it. Be sure he is an elder care lawyer....marymember
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Wow Stressed52, your sibs are treating you horribly! I know you might have to hunt a bit to find a lawyer to advise you free or low of cost (I've heard they do exist) but I think you need to really find out where things stand legally with the trust, the house, medical, and your rights. Just shooting from the hip advice-wise, I'd say you should move out to whatever form of housing your disability payments will pay for - give notice to your sibs AFTER you have everything arranged that they will have to make other care arrangements for your mother from hiring in home help to a nursing home. If they refuse to make any arrangements you could call adult protective services or just threaten to to light a fire under them. I can imagine doing all that would be very difficult but trying to manage severe anxiety and seizures with the stress of being the sole caregiver sounds really tough to me. Good luck to you!
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pamstegman: Well that is kind of hard to decide Pam. I came to live here in my Moms house because of severe panic and anxiety and gran mal seizures, I was put on permanent disability and my parents took my daughter and I from my house and had us live here. The only reason I became a caregiver was because it was thrust upon me. I was the only person at home as every other sibling was working so therefore I became the person to care for Mom. I am having severe panic and anxiety attacks again and trying to deal with it, actually I am trying to figure out how to STOP them forever! I also have seizures and will have to take meds the rest of my life.

I do collect disability and I would be allowed to work as long as my income did not go over a certain amount, but I have never been able to do that. I am not paid one cent to care for my Mom, I actually pay rent each month and for food. Caring for my Mom and her worsening condition has caused me to actually become more ill that I had been previously. I spoke to both siblings and asked for their help but it fell on deaf ears until the panic and anxiety became so bad I begged one sister not to leave me alone with Mom and I could not control the attack....she refused, and called another sister to come and spend the day. I have asked them to allow me to get her IN HOME CARE which might help me and allow me to get myself back under control as they flat out refused a Memory Care Facility. One sister said okay but the older one refused and said, I needed to pay for the IN HOME CARE myself since my panic and anxiety is preventing me from being able to care for her, or my second choice was that she wanted me to immediately see a Psychiatrist and get medication from him that would stop the panic and anxiety so I could continue to care for Mom and her worsening condition. I told her she was full of crap, she could stay home and care for her....OH NO SHE WAS NOT GOING TO DO THAT! So I said fine, then you guys hire someone to come in here and care for her and I will go my merry way! Again I was met with OH NO WE ARE NOT DOING THAT, YOU ARE STAYING HERE AND CARING FOR HER..... All I could think was that I was in the Twilight Zone and being held as a hostage caregiver. I was mad but I was in shock at how I was being treated.

My sister does not want me spending Mom's money for IN HOME CARE because she is counting that as her inheritance! Mom is on private insurance right now, but I do not know what the future holds or if she will have to go to a memory facility or nursing home. If she does, her money will run out rather quickly which will mean that MediCal will have to be applied for.

My sister is afraid if she goes on MediCal #1 HER inheritance will be gone and #2 she heard the house can only be saved if their is a spouse or disabled child living in the house caring for the parent, but she is afraid it is going to be given in full to me the disabled child and the Trust thrown out the window, which means she is left with nothing.....kinda fair, since she does nothing actually.

Now you have thrown in another kink that you cannot be disabled and be a caregiver? I think a lot of us are and we are because we have no choice. There are times I would rather be most anywhere else, but no one is going to watch Mom and make sure she is fed and okay because THEY have jobs....I however am disabled and home so guess who was nominated to provide the care and unfortunately give up their life.
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Forget the Trust. When Mom dies MediCal will go after whatever is left in the Trust to recover what they have paid out. The house, however, is a little different. A caregiver who has been there at least 2 years may stay in the home. You say you are disabled, so I am guessing you collect disability. If Disablilty knew you were a caregiver, they would stop paying you. So either you are a caregiver or you are disabled, but you cannot be both. Decide.
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