I have a draft of a letter that I want to send my two brothers who live for free in a house that Mom bought for the oldest. Please give me your opinions. We are already estranged so I am not worried about ruining any relationships. XXXXX and XXXX, I wanted to bring you up to speed on Mom and her health and fiancés. Mom has been experiencing a rapid physical and mental decline over the past several months. For quite a while, she has been able to "showtime" (google showtime&dementia) and she appears more together than she actually is. In reality, she often forgets how to pick up an eating utensil or how to move her feet when walking. I understand that transportation is an issue for each of you but a phone call costs nothing but time. Take the opportunity to enjoy your relationship with her while you still can. But, please be kind and try not to cause her worry. Please do not call her and regale her with a list of woes. Your trials and tribulations cause her unnecessary worry and that anxiety has a detrimental effect on her mental acuity. Speaking of woes...Mom is going to need higher level of caregiving and more hours than before. Up until now, I have been able to handle all of her expenses without digging into her savings. From here on out, I will have to move money from savings and investments to cover the increased costs. Dad provided well for Mom but he did so for the sole purpose of making sure that she had enough money to cover her needs. Even if she runs out of money, I will always make sure that Mom has a roof over her head but when she runs out of money for care and medical expenses, she will have to go on Medicaid. Medicad will require that she show that she did not give all of her money away to protect it. This not only includes gifts but also paying someone's bills. The look back period for Medicaid is 5 years. If Medicaid determines that money was given away, it must be paid back and spent on her care before Medicaid will pay for any medical services. In light of this, I need you to start coming up with a plan to pay your bills. In 2016, Mom paid utilities for the Baltimore house to the tune of $6847.99 which averages to $570.66 per month. This figure does NOT include gifts from her to you, car insurance (when she was paying it) vet bills or groceries. On May 1, 2017, I will take Mom's name off of the water and electric bills and thereby close the accounts. You need to have the bills put in your name prior to that time in order to avoid a disruption of service. You will probably need a checking account to open an account with the utility companies so please do not procrastinate in getting this done.

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You start by throwing in stuff about how they could pick up the phone and call, dictate what they should talk about and then tell them she has them all fooled and you know the truth, I think the tone of the letter is confrontational. I would stick to the facts about Mom needing more care and Medicaid the ramifications of that ie: she can't help them out financially anymore. They can't argue with facts, IMO the rest will just cause discord.
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Mom2Mom, the letter sounds good and right to the point.   I just hope your brothers will read past the first paragraph, some are like that.   As for some people their attention span for reading is a few seconds.

If you think your brothers are like that, I would put the paragraph about Mom will need a higher level of care at the start of the letter, along with the information about changing utilities.
Helpful Answer (17)

I would anticipate they would disregard the letter due to the snark. If I really wanted them to act and take attention, I'd have an attorney prepare it and present it in a professional and legal form and send it certified mail. I would think they would take it more seriously and if troubles ensue, you have proof, plus the personal issues are removed. Rarely, does confronting people like that make them cooperate, change their ways or see things your way. 
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I would be a bit stronger about them having to pay back Medicaid. I tell them now, they need to not just pay their own bills...but, start a plan to pay back all that money. Maybe pay a little each month into an account held in escrow (they cannot take the money back out).
Helpful Answer (10)

Can you send the letter Certified mail, signature required?
And, if you have POA, can you shorten the time to 30 days instead of until May 1st? The reason, you might need more than you thought out for an attorney to evict the brothers when they don't pay.
Also, have you checked with the utility companies if Mom still owns the home, can her name be removed from the utilities?  Will there be a rental agreement stating they will be paying the utilities?
All sorts of legal stuff going on that I know nothing about.
Helpful Answer (10)

Is your older brother mentally impaired? Is he handicapped in some way? Parents often want to provide for a child they consider in need of care.

Medicaid applicants can own ONE house. If worse comes to worse and she has to apply, having that second house in her name will be an issue. She may have to sell it and use the funds for her care. Also allowing someone to live there rent-free may be seen as gifting, as will paying the utilities, etc.

I wonder if now would be a good time to consult an attorney specializing in Elder Law to verify how to get all the ducks in a row for a future time when she might need Medicaid, and to arrange things to put that time off as far as possible.

Your letter is a great start on straightening things out, but I think you ought to have the legal advice of an expert, to learn if there are additional things you can/should do.

Your letter is very well written! As a former English teacher, I suggest, however, that you focus on one topic in this letter, and that should be finances. Ask yourself, "What do I want the readers to know/do as a result of reading this?" Be very clear about that, perhaps even putting the key items in bullet points. Don't dilute that message with unrelated points. In another letter you can tell them how much mother enjoys hearing from them, etc. But this letter should be (in my opinion) 1) This is the current financial situation and 2) this is how that affects you.

Keep us informed. This is quite interesting and I'm sure I'm not the only one wishing you the best and curious to see how this works out.
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Not too many people would be willing to write such a letter, and have the courage to proceed as you have.
Please get an attorney to prepare the eviction notices that will be necessary now, because it has been my experience ......well...I don't need to go into that.
Helpful Answer (9)

Yes they would rather that, Mom. Much easier. And in their shoes, wouldn't you? Free money and no one telling you to shift your ass. Nice work if you can get it.

I applaud your fairness in giving your brothers notice of changes that will have a significant impact on them. It is - I am not being ironic - very nice of you to take that trouble. You do, after all, have the authority to take actions that would dump them neck-deep in the umska, and you are under no obligation to give their welfare - let alone their convenience - a second's thought. Except, that is, insofar as you represent your mother, and you know very well that their welfare is a long-established concern of your mother's. So, that much, then.

But your priority is the maximisation of your mother's assets in order to serve her best interests and achieve the best possible quality of life for her life. So I agree, that wouldn't include giving a couple of freeloaders an easy ride.

All the same. Eyes on the prize.

Your priority is to get your brothers to pay attention to the changes you are telling them about, and to act on the notice you are giving them. Anything else, at this particular point, is clutter which will divert their attention from the main focus and make you less likely to achieve what you really want to. Save it for another time. Better yet, save your mental energy.

Try: "Dear [brothers]. You will be aware of mother's progressive physical and mental frailties. You may be aware of the healthcare and living costs associated with these, which typically range from $x-$y per month in [her state]. You may not be aware of the implications regarding our mother's finances and her likely need to access Medicaid: these are outlined below, but in brief she cannot continue to support you. Indeed it is possible you may find yourselves liable to reimburse her for moneys already laid out.

[bit about utilities, rent and so forth, highlighting what they need to do, check-listed]

[useful websites]

I will be happy to clarify any major issues that you do not understand, but not to embark on protracted discussions or negotiations. Bottom line: the money has run out.
Helpful Answer (9)

I also agree with Sunny. The letter from you is not enough documentation in the event Medicaid comes calling. Letting them live there rent free will definitely be considered a gift. As POA you have an obligation/fiduciary duty to maximize your mother's assets, which means renting the house for market rent or selling it to cover her caregiving expenses.

That you have bad relationships with your brothers is of no relevance to you being your mother's POA.

Should you choose to send the letter yourself, at the very least copy your mother's attorney and send the letter certified mail return receipt requested. And get all the personal stuff/snark out of it because you cannot control what your brothers do and this letter is putting them on notice of your plans for your mother's house.

And that she left the house to your brother is immaterial should she need Medicaid. It is not up to the good taxpayers of Maryland to pay for your mother's caregiving expenses when there is an asset available to do so.
Helpful Answer (9)

I'm with Sunny. Get mom's lawyer to do this.
Helpful Answer (8)

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