Follow
Share

My mom has Alzheimer's and lives in Assisted Living. I am with her anywhere from 4 to 5 days a week taking care of her needs with doctor's appointments, her shopping, she loves to go out to lunch and stocking her kitchenette. My question is: when I work a normal work week she gets very angry and it brings up behaviors so I try to make myself available most of the time. The house we bought together 3 years ago the deed is in my name and my mother is a lifetime tenant. I do bring her home from time to time to see the kids and the pets, holidays and whatever she wants to come. I am guardian and POA. Is it legal for me to use some of her money to help me with my monthly expenses and maintaining the home? She has no other family around and I am her sole caregiver.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Pam - good catch! I missed "guardian"
Life2 - so you mention being her DPOA & guardian. Being court appointed guardian supersedes DPOA. If you are her appointed guardian (rather than POA), speak with the atty who did the guardianship to go over what mom's LE means and what responsibilities mom has regarding the property as Tenant and then your role as Remainder. If you are living there, it may be that you need to be paying rent (which would be income for mom) so that mom will have enough funds to cover the property expenses. Try to figure out what to do now & before you have to report to the court as a required part of your guardianship.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

As a Guardian, any payment to you has to be approved by the Surrogate's Court when you submit your annual report of the Ward's finances. I seriously doubt that the court would look kindly on this.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Life2 - please please see an elder law atty ASAP to review the "deed", "life tenacy" etc & all other legal & clearly explain to you whats what. It sounds like you are comingling assets & income which is problematic both for what a DPOA can do and a hornets nest IF mom should need a NH and applies for Medicaid.

As FF said, LE have very specific terms. LE usually means moms interest in the property remains in her name for life (mom is a Life Tenant) and then to whomever named (the remainder owner) only after her death. During moms life, she is still the owner & responsible for taxes, insurance, maintenance. If its rented, rental income is moms income. If you as remainder have judgements, or other financial issues, it in no way affects the property as its in her name.

LEs transfer ownership outside of probate & are relatively simple to do (as the Deed prep, & recording is low-cost) & usually no/neutral estate taxes.... all reasons why done. If it was done to avoid a Medicaid lookback, pls realize that some states now seek recovery of costs paid by Medicaid from LEs or require a full 5 year transfer to LE to be excluded from recovery. Really find out which approach your states Medicaid is taking.

Mom should be paying all property costs plus all her AL costs. Hopefully mom has enough monthly income plus 150/250k to pay all property costs, AL costs and and NH (if needed) for the next 2 -3 years so the LE is totally beyond any 5 yr look back.

Should mom eventually apply for medicaid, pls pls pls realize that once she's on Medicaid, Medicaid requires all her $ less a small allowance to be paid as her copay or SOC (share of cost) to the facility. That house is still hers but she will have no-none-nada-zero of her funds to pay on anything house. All property costs will have to be paid by you on a property that you do not own but are just the remaindermen on.

I mention this 'cause in your ? you ask about if its ok for mom to pay for some monthly expenses right now both for your own living costs & property upkeep. If mom somewhat recently moved into AL and $ (yours & hers) is all in flux, try to look at all costs on the property & her AL cost & your personal living expenses; add it up to see if the $$$ is there to keep all this going & for just how long. If mom pays any of your living expenses and needs medicaid, all that $ she paid from 5 years back from day 1 of her medicaid application will get a transfer penalty period of which mom although qualified for medicaid will be ineligible for payment by Medicaid till penalty period of time has passed.

All of this is a lot to wade through, really speak with an atty to see just how to deal with what was already done and perhaps rethink for the future.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

That's interesting, FF, thank you for explaining about the life estate. That being so, would it be reasonable then for the mother to be seen as having a continuing liability to maintain the house? Not herself personally, of course, but her as an economic unit?

Life2sh, the plot thickens! Hope you can access some professional advice very soon.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Life2sh, time to back off on the number of days you visit Mom at Assisted Living.   Your Mother needs to learn to depend on the Staff and for her to make friends.   Don't make her bully you into spending a lot of time with her.   It will burn you out to a point where you wouldn't be able to visit at all.

When my Dad moved into senior living, I eventually narrowed down my visits to one day a week, and that is when I brought him items he needed.   I stayed maybe an hour at the most.   He was happy as a clam staying in.   And he learned to rely on the Staff for his needs.   He did have his own private caregiver that he paid, who came only in the mornings, and she would take him to doctor appointments, and hair cuts, and as a treat would take him to Burger King which he enjoyed :)

With "life estate" your Mom has the house until the time that she passes.   The house cannot even be sold even if Mom is living in Assisted Living.  You may want to check with an Elder Law Attorney to see how the "life estate" can be reversed.   And ask if Mom is responsible in the mean time for the cost of care of the house  as this is complex.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This sounds seriously not okay. Since your mother has Alzheimers Disease and you are her guardian, you have to make decisions in her best interests - and paying for the upkeep of your home, where she no longer lives... well, how is that in her interest? Moreover there will certainly be rules about not benefiting financially from your guardianship or POA which you are going to run into, painfully.

When you bought the house, did any agreement between you commit your mother to meeting a share of the maintenance costs? If you took legal advice about buying the house together, perhaps you could go back to that attorney and see if he or she has any constructive suggestions.

The whole point of your mother's being in the ALF, though, is for her to have maximum support for her wellbeing including her daily quality of life.

Essentially, you seem to have bought the dog but be still barking yourself. Have you discussed her reactions to your working with the staff at the ALF?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter