Hello, I recently learned that one of my siblings (Power of Attorney) has taken the proceeds from the sale of my mother's house. My mother relocated to a nursing home about two years prior to when her house was sold. My brother did not inform me or my other 4 siblings about selling the property. A trust account for my mother's assets was never established. My brother has filed his own personal bankruptcy and now tells us that all the money from the sale of our mother's house has been spent, over $200,000 net. Medicaid has suspended my mother's payments since proceeds were never reported by my brother. The nursing home says she will need to be released if payment (approximately $30,000) isn't paid next week. My mother is in her 90's. My Power-of-Attorney brother has mis-managed her estate and is now asking to me and our other siblings) to fix the issue. Except for one other sibling, we are all located out of state. It would be dangerous for my mother to be released now. Can the nursing home release my mother in her current condition? Can they sue the family, and/or bring lawsuit against my brother (with Power of Attorney) though he has filed bankruptcy? Thank you for your feedback.

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In addition to finding an eldercare attorney, I think I'd call Adult Protective Services and ask how they can help protect your mother.

I think that reporting the theft of your mom's funds may need to happen so that Medicaid views this as a "crime" and not a "gift".

Does your brother have addiction problems.?
Helpful Answer (27)

It sounds like you need a certified elder attorney well versed in Medicaid in your mothers state as rules are a bit diff in diff states.
Helpful Answer (22)

Mom will likely become a ward of state who will place her in a nursing home (she and you will not be able to choose). The state is likely to sue your brother as POA for recovery of the funds. They are likely to place liens against his property and garnish wages if he no longer has the $200K. It is not a small amount and it will not be a forgiven debt.

This scenario happened to a co-worker only when they put mom in nursing home they sold the house and divided the proceeds among the kids later who spent it all before they found out they had just gotten mom disqualified from Medicaid - bad move.
Helpful Answer (20)

$200,000 is a sum to make your head swim and make you keel over. But hang on a minute.

$200,000 minus:

Any pre-existing debts
Upkeep and taxes on the unoccupied home for two years
Nursing Home fees up until the current outstanding $30K, which might have been quite a lot.
Sums legitimately spent on mother's own expenses including health care.

Mother was admitted to the NH two years before the house was sold. How long in total has she been resident there?

Your brother has made a right pig's breakfast of his POA responsibilities but he hasn't necessarily just pocketed the money and fraudulently spent it. First of all, I'd get the numbers thrashed out and the reporting gaps filled in as far as possible. Then you can see where you are.

But in any case, he as POA is the one who is responsible for the money and the only one of you siblings who can be liable for its repayment.

I don't know this to be true, but I would be beyond astonished if the Nursing Home could legally evict your mother without first finding a place of safety for her to be discharged to (I agree that APS will be the best resource for advice on regulations like this, among other things). And if her state of health is such that any move would endanger her, then get her an attorney or an advocate to get a court order to prevent it.
Helpful Answer (18)

They will attempt to release Mom into your care. If you are unable to care for her, DO NOT SIGN THE PAPERWORK. However, you should cooperate with them in attempting to have her become a ward of the state.
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Forensic accountant to figure out the $.
And there’s actually quite a lot of these but finding them will be sticky. Most cpa firms I’ve found don’t do this. But who would use them would be the more pit bull divorce attys. Ask your elder law atty as to who they know. 

NH may try to release mom to family’s care. But if everybody’s out of state, but the worthless DPOA, NH may take the ward of the state approach. 

I’d like to echo Kimber’s post.... at my mom’s first NH a lady across the hall from mom became a ward of the state. What happened was that she went onto Medicaid but kept her home (allowed as an exempt asset); dpoa son (a real ahole imo & clueless on dealing with staff... always demanding stuff) sold house and pocketed the $; the transfer surfaced to the penny as it’s tax assessor info that dovetails into state database; Sonny ignored Medicaid letters and multiple NH 30 Day Notices from NH. One day when I was visiting mom, huge commotion with Sonny as he arrived to visit only to find mom GONE! As now she was a ward of the state and the guardian had moved her to another NH. Sonny not notified nor was the NH going to tell him where she went.... cops called. Not pretty. 

I cannot imagine how beyond traumatic for the little lady, she was sweet.

The 30 day notices I’ve seen usually have it cc’d to APS, & a pro bono legal clinic. By including APS, it sets it up for them to swing in quickly to request ward of the state to be done or other actions. Judge (PC court) will sign ward orders and once that’s done stand back. You do not want to get caught up in the undertow of being involved in the financial & social irresponsibility of Brother. Guardian can ask APS to do an inquiry on Bro “taking advantage of a vulnerable adult”. It’s then criminal matter.....
Helpful Answer (14)

Have you called APS?
63K in closing costs?
A QIT (also termed a Miller Trust in some states is a way of qualifying for Medicaid when your INCOME (not assets) are above the Medicaid limit. So, say mom gets 3K per month in pension and SS and the Medicaid limit is 2K. 1K per month goes into the QIT; Medicaid pays for mom's care and the funds in the QIT revert to the State at mom's death.

Does mom have dementia?
Helpful Answer (12)

All leans, such as property taxes, have to be paid at time of closing. Taxes are prorated as is the water / sewer bill if Township runs these. All other bills are responsibility of owner and does not get deducted at time of sale. Yes brother should have paid debts out of that money but seems he didn't. Medicaid would not have put a lean on the house till her death. Charges need to be brought against your brother.
Helpful Answer (9)

"NH may try to release mom to family’s care. "

Be careful here. You say there is one sibling in state. Do NOT let that sibling have to take care of your mother. And don't any of the rest of you quit a job to come take care of your mother.

It's all on your POA brother -- HE made the mistakes.
Helpful Answer (8)

Thank you all so much. Your responses have been very helpful. The proceeds were actually close to $300,000 but we were told brother put about 90,000 for expense: $12,000 towards taxes and maintenance and approximately $25,000 for 2 months of nursing home private pay charges before Medicaid payments began. I can only assume the balance ($63,000 was used for closing costs and incidentals --- leaving the remaining $200,000 with "nothing to show" as he claims.

None of his remaining math adds up, and said he has no documentation/receipts. What we were given were the notices from Social Security, Medicaid and correspondence from the eldercare lawyer (who also wasn't aware of the missing funds).

He has recently completed an application for a Qualified Income Trust (Q.I.T.), which I understand is a requirement under the new Medicaid regulations? My mother's income (SS and pension) would fund this trust, which would then pay the nursing home monthly. Her income is only about 1/3 of the Medicaid rate, so I'm not sure how that will work. At this point the Q.I.T. may be too little compensation too late.

One of my other brothers mentioned that our mother could become a ward of the state. We're unsure of much information. Unfortunately, our mother wouldn't share her end of life plans with anyone but the brother who has Power of Attorney.
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