Look back period and what happens if elder has to go into a nursing home, but church and minister took fairly large sums? - AgingCare.com

Look back period and what happens if elder has to go into a nursing home, but church and minister took fairly large sums?

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Probably 3-4 years ago my mother gave substantial amounts of money to her church, bought a minister a car, gave to all kinds of missionary stuff. We did take her checkbook away about a year ago, so this doesn't continue. What happens if she has to go to a nursing home, and she doesn't have funds to pay? Who do they collect from?

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Still, churches need to be made aware that they are hurting elderly members by accepting money, if this is what happens. No real need as she has no access to her checking and has no credit cards. She basically only has her retirement check and ss check now. Trying to spend it to do everything possible to keep her at home. She doesn't have a house in her name, nor has for a very long time. Church was more than happy to cash her checks. There must be lots of people that basically do not have the 100k to be in a nursing home without medicaid. Still don't understand what they do with people that fall into the period of time when medicaid won't pay and senior has not enough to pay. Hopefully I can keep her out of the nursing home. Nursing homes don't just let people stay if the bill isn't paid? Thanks. How can you have a seperate account to pay this uncovered period? I can start an account to plan for this? Makes so little sense... she has what she has and that is all she can give anyone.
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One of my biggest complaint with many churches is about the money. I get miffed when I hear churches push to be included in wills. I get doubly miffed when I see TV evangelists pushing for money, then living high on the hog off the money often sent to them from people's little SS checks. I have the greatest respect for churches who take their normal offerings and magnify them in good things in the community. I don't think your mother's church did anything really wrong. It doesn't sound like a rich church, so doesn't fall into the type I get so miffed at. I just feel bad that your mother's generosity may come back to haunt her.

If she does need Medicaid in the future, it will not hurt to apply.It may be that any penalty that has to be covered will only be in months and not in years. Does anyone have POA now to handle her financial affairs? She does sound like she needs a good financial manager.
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Thanks. I don't see many choices here other than she just has to live at home no matter what. There is no way to collect back the money, and the nursing home won't take a patient that isn't self paying or on medicaid? She did have long term care insurance, but when I called them, it ended at age 90. I think churches should be made aware not to accept money from older members as it puts the families in a terrible situation. Just hope I can manage this and keep her out. Thanks to reading this site, I don't feel quite so crazy. So many people with so manydifficult problems. Thank you.
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BTW, I don't think the car would qualify as a gift to a nonprofit, because it was a personal item. There are many rules about what churches can do with money given to them. Perhaps if the car was owned by the church and just driven by the preacher, maybe it would pass as a gift to the church. For the purpose of Medicaid, though, it doesn't matter. From what I read, a gift is a gift not matter if it is to a foundation to fight cancer in Africa or to take a pleasure cruise to Bermuda.
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I just checked to see what the rule was on giving to nonprofits, such as churches. The same rule applies as if the money was just given as a normal gift to someone. If the gifts were some years back, the penalty will not be as costly, since the penalty is calculated from the date the gift was made. However, if your mother has made a habit of giving money frequently to the church and others around her, the penalties may add up. I have a feeling I wouldn't want to be the one doing her Medicaid calculations! Fingers crossed that everything works out well.
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Thanks. Really interesting that they think someone this age is entitled to make their own decisions on money, yet penalize them when them make bad decisions. So basically she would be denied nursing home care, I guess? She really doesn't have any significant dementia, but thinks she wants to help everyone. Minister has a car that doesn't work, she buys one. Very rural area, and not many legal anythings! Thanks, certainly more people are in situations like this? I can't convince her that she has no right to just give money to people. Not as much worry for the future as she doesn't have much left.
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This should be interesting. The transfer penalty usually gets done when the gifting was done for Medicaid asset avoidance. It seems to be the state's default position when $ is gifted is that this was the reason it was done. You have to prove otherwise and you probably will need legal to do this. Your Area of Aging will probably get involved to investigate the situation and if there was coercion involved you may be able to get some of the $ back or the car sold and you mom's gets the proceeds. Could get ugly.

Usually they are ineligible for Medicaid until this is cleared. It's an odd situation because the elder qualifies for Medicaid because they are now impoverished BUT are ineligible for any NH Medicaid payment until the transfer penalty is paid.

If she hasn't applied for Medicaid yet, I'd really suggest you get an elder care attorney and have a sit-down and go over everything and the amounts involved to see what they suggest in how to approach doing the application. Also update her will, POA's etc. Who knows she might have the not-so-good reverend in her will
that was changed without you knowing about it.
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Thank you. I don't really see how it gets paid back? Don't they take whatever she has, should she need to go to the Nursing Home? She is 95 so I worry that anything can happen at any time. If they take everything she has, to pay her bills, how does the money that was given away get repaid? She probably gave many thousands to the church.
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That is a good question that I don't know the answer to. I suppose it would be treated like any other gift. The only thing I can suggest is to try to keep your mother out of the NH until the look-back period has passed. Would that be possible? They wouldn't collect from anyone, but gifts could make her ineligible for Medicaid should she need it. She would have to spend a penalty amount out of pocket before she would be able to qualify.

What could that preacher have been thinking about the new car?
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