What happens to me, if Mom has to go into NH and we have to sell her home to pay for it? - AgingCare.com

What happens to me, if Mom has to go into NH and we have to sell her home to pay for it?

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My situation is I moved in with mom 1yr ago to help her out. I transferred with my job and sold/gave away most of my belongings to fit into moms house. I moved 400 miles to help her and renting my house to a friend cheap just so I have someone I know to watch over it. I plan to go back when mom is gone. But I'm scared I could get thrown out if she ended up in a nursing home and we have to sell her house to pay for it. I don't want to go back home til she is gone. The stress is already bad enough that I don't have a home (it's hers not mine) It's been a year now, It would have been a ton easier if she came to my home. But I didn't want to take her from her home. I don't have much of my own stuff around to help feel like home or the things that would make things more convenient especially in the kitchen. Doesn't help I've never liked her house, laid out terrible and no room in kitchen she never really cooked so it didn't bother her, and bathroom is too narrow as well. But until she is gone this is where I need to be. Adding to the stress of not being home is the fear of getting thrown out if we have to sell it to pay for a nursing home and forced to pack and move in the middle of dealing with her decline or even shortly after her death before I'm ready. I know this sounds petty to most who are going thru more now, but if someone who has gone thru this can let me know and I can relax about this one thing. I came up here Dec '12 when she fractured her pelvis then this Nov '13 she had kidney failure. But she she doing very good now, Which makes me feel like I'm away from home for nothing. But I need to be here in case something happens again. Sorry this turned into a whining poor me. I know most are going thru more. Which there again makes me feel guilty.

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Understood, M.D. Also the house you own is your home - it's no small thing to wave goodbye to it, I know; besides, you've clearly thought through the finances. I sympathise with how stressful the uncertainty is, too. You want your mother to live forever, of course, and yet at the same time you have entirely reasonable questions about your own future to settle (by you, I mean one, not you specifically) - it's an extremely uncomfortable set of emotions.

Live in the moment! - people blithely advise. Riiiiiiiiight...
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Have you thought about having the house transferred after the 2 + years, then selling? There isn't a rule that I know about that would disallow that. It would protect the value of the home from being gobbled up by facility costs. But the, it may be easier to find a nice place if you self pay for awhile before mom going on Medicaid. You could also have an agreement with sister to split whatever is appropriate since you are providing the care. Part of the purpose of this being allowable is to keep you off government programs since you have saved the government money by providing the care your mom needs and keeping her off Medicaid longer.
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country mouse, no I can't/don't want to sell my house. I want to go back when mom is gone and I owe about what I'd get if I did sell it. The mortgage is too cheap to risk having a larger one later on when mom is gone. I'd have no money out of the sale to put towards anything anyway. Mortgage melt down hurt the value of my house big time. It's not much just a small 900 sq ft house. But I'm praying by the time I have to sell it for my own care I'll be able to make a profit. And certainly not going to sell it not knowing whats going to happen to moms house. If I sold mine and my sister and I were not able to get anything out of moms house when she is gone because we had to use it to take care of her, I'd really be up a creek.
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Max - my suggestions are-
1. plan on staying at the house and caregiving for a full 2 years & 6 months with mom. You have to run this full period to benefit from the caregiver exemption to Medicaid MERP's program. The 6 months is just extra so that you cover all bases…& be able to use some of mom's money towards house costs. If you can do longer than that, then it's more $$.
Also to get the exemption, the state may require a letter from mom's doc that states that she needed the level of care you provided that kept her from a NH. So ask about that at the next doctor visit.

2. get all the information on the house that was paid for last year. Everythinbg from the mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance, maintenance etc. As JeannieGibbs said, under Medicaid rules by & large you are allowed a house & a car. But having a house & a car is great if someone else in the family can now afford to pay for everything on the house from now to forever. Realize that Medicaid will require mom to pay all her monthly income to the NH less her personal needs allowance (from $ 30 -90 a month). This is their co-pay, or SOC (share of cost) and is required. So there will NOT be any of mom's $ to pay for anything realistically.

Now once you figure out the "nut" on the house, look hard at your finances to see if you can afford to pay all this for possibly many months or years that mom would be in a NH. Since you have another home, in many ways mom's house is like having a second (or third) home and that for most folks is not feasible financially. But if you can, then you can just continue to stay in the home, mom continues to own it (probably at lower taxes too), but you pay the nut till she dies. The mortgage stays under mom's name (I'm assuming this is a traditional mortgage - really they don't care who pay the note each month as long as it's paid, BUT if this is a reverse mortgage you can't do this under RM FHA compliance rules).

Now if you cannot afford to pay for what is required on the house, then you likely will have to sell the house eventually. To put that off as long as possible you can in the months before mom goes into a NH: use her income to pay down the mortgage as much as possible and get it cancelled asap. Utilites, maintenance you can control. but the mortgage you cannot and they will foreclose if you don't pay. If mom still has income each month, use it to do whatever you can to prepay in advance for things for the house. Medicaid is OK on mom spending her income before she goes into a NH on herself, her care or her property, so you should have no problems if mom wants to take $ to pay for roof repair, or prepay a water bill.

Some states will allow the Medicaid applicant to get a diversion of their monthly income to pay for a mortgage, etc but this seems to be done only if the house is being sold with an active listing by a Realtor (so no for-sale-by owner stuff) and for a limited period of time.

Whatever path you choose, please keep all receipts and details on all the expenses you pay on the house. Good luck and keep a sense of humor.
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MD, I was wondering - if you've been able to bring your job with you to be near your mother, and if God willing she could be with us for the foreseeable future, would you consider selling your house and making the move permanent (or semi-permanent)? I understand you'd be loth to kick out your tenant, but if that would suit you… you'd just have to harden your heart, don't you think? I realise it would be a bit of a Rubicon to cross. Just wondered if you'd considered it.
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thank you, eyerislass, that is what I'm trying to avoid. I have my house 400 miles away, but I'd have to throw out my renter, who's actually doing me a favor renting it. Then I would not be close enough anymore for support. Can't afford to travel that far very often.

Thank you, karen for the info and thank you country mouse for the support.
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When my dad needed more help he sold his house and I rented a small house for us so I could care for him. I had been living in an apartment so I couldn't have moved him in there. I hitched my wagon to his financially speaking and when it came time for him to enter a NH it was a mess. I had to get out of that house pronto because I couldn't afford it by myself and his money, which helped contribute to the house, went for his care. I had to break the lease which cost me a lot and find another place to live all in the span of about a month. I've never known such stress in my life. I always tell people not to do what I did, have an escape hatch if you need it. Money in the bank, a plan, whatever. Just a way out if the unexpected occurs. I didn't have one and I regret it.
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Does your mom have long term care (LTC) insurance? If none, you might have to apply for medicaid, there is a poverty criteria you have to pass to be eligible and this varies depending on which state you are located.

If her only asset is the house, then she might be able to qualify, as long as her total assets (excluding the house) is less than $2,000. And as gladimhere has stated, medicaid will not impose a penalty if the house is gifted to you but you should have been residing there with her for two years providing care. Medicaid will help you pay for your mom's long term care needs.

Here is a list of government program that will help you pay for your mom's ltc expenses.This might help you: www.infolongtermcare.org/ltci-learning-center/what-is-long-term-care-insurance/government-long-term-care/
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I just want to say: please don't apologise for wanting to get this weight off your mind! Not knowing where or quite how you're going to live for an indefinite amount of time, or even roughly when you might need to move, is a big deal. Truly, I sympathise.
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Thank you gladimhere and jeannegibbs. She has a small loan on house now. IF we sold it today we'd probably only get $100,000 and she owes 25,000. So I know it would not go far. gladimhere thanks for the website I'll check that out.
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