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The will once filed is public record.
Im in NOLA and my experience with LA courthouses is it will likely be hard to get the will via online as a payable document download. It will be easier to go to whatever Parish courthouse to get the will. You need the PC file # and there should be NOC (notice to creditors) printed in the local paper that has the PC#. Or you can try to play nice and get CH probate staff to give you the # so you can pay for a copy of the filed will.

If you get asked why, it’s cause your POA for your mom and you believe that she has “standing” and her standing is as the surviving spouse. Take a copy of their marriage certificate, PC staff may waive the fee for a will copy as she’s surviving spouse. “Standing” is a true fixed legal term for probate btw. So get a copy of his will and read through the will to see how it excludes your mom. LA law is totally different than all other states as our laws are French based so leaving out family - wife, children, even illegitimate kids - is kinda hard to do entirely. Unlike English law that totally allows for it. LA did have a big update to make this easier to do, but older wills have to have something for everybody who can show standing. What usually happens for LA is that for 2nd & later marriages, the hubs will put in a “usufruct statement”. The property or asset may be inherited by kids from first marriage as per will but 2nd or later wife has a usufruct.

Usufruct allows for later wife and later kids & even sometimes her kids from her prior marriage to have full use of the assets of his estate till she/they no longer wants to. So like that house Uptown NOLA and the weekend place over on Dauphin Island, dad left to his kids actually are hers to use till forever...... unless his kids negotiate with her a settlement to give up her usafruct. Which means they gotta do something to entice Brittany / Tiffany / whatever later wife name is to relinquish her usafruct which means they gotta buy her out. Or they all become totally kum-ba-ya with each other for years and work out a sharing arrangement.

If theres bad blood in this marriage, you can throw a total wrench for the heirs by getting a probate atty that does litigation to file for “dependent administration” (all actions require court supervision and your guy can file for discovery on all transfer they want to do) to be done for probate to safeguard the standing by the surviving spouse. If his kids have done things and as of yet not notified your mom as his surviving spouse, the court will likely not find this amusing. At 70-90k plus property your atty will know that they will get paid as Estate has assets. If late hubs was a real POS to your mom, I’d do this just out of pure payback witch enjoyment factor. You might have to pay litigation guy a small like 1k retainer to start.

regarding Medicaid, if she’s only been at this one NH, they might have a copy of her initial admissions paperwork and Medicaid application on file to print up for you. If not, you can request it from Medicaid if your now her DPOA. If it was hubs who did the initial application and any renewals, that 401k should have been disclosed as a joint asset. Whether or not it matters would to me kinda depend if it plus their other assets, like savings, took him over 119k, then it would have needed to be spent down before your mom would have been eligible. If it was in payout mode, it was just his income so not a factor for that aspect of Medicaid.
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If none of the property ever belonged to or has now been willed to your mother, the estate won't affect her Medicaid eligibility at all. How could it? - she won't benefit by a single penny.

On the minus side, it doesn't say much for her second husband qua husband.

Are you in touch with step siblings, to know how their father actually left things? Ideally, can't the person who did do the original application get in touch with them?

Or, you could contact Medicaid yourself, explain the limited amount you know, and ask them what questions they'll want answered so that you can find out if there might be a problem.
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2nd marriage, so not my dad. Left a will and all to his children, etc. Was mostly IRA. Not sure if this was exempt property when my mom went into to Medicaid many years ago. I did not complete the paperwork. She has been on Medicaid 8 to 10 years.
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igloo572 Dec 2018
Comm - you’re not in Louisiana, right?
Word to the wise, you have got to have an atty who holds LA law license and has experience in LA probate litigation. We’re French based law and for family stuff it’s different approach to law.

As an aside LA Medicaid has a huge shortfall. There was a special session this summer forced to deal with it via sales tax increase. If Medicaid were to find out that she has “standing” to an estate with assets, state might file a claim as a matter of routine once he as the community spouse has died. If it was him who did her initial Medicaid application and renewals, within the documents is a paragraph regarding “Estate Recovery” that allows for state to attempt a recoup of costs paid by Medicaid from his OR her Estate as they were married. She would have had to be on LTC Medicaid before 2008 in order to be on Medicaid before Estate Recovery/ MERP required to be attempted.

There will be a caseworker assigned to this NH. You might want to reach out to the caseworker for her and ask if Recovery needs to notified of community spouses death. LA Medicaid has an outside contractor with on staff legal that deals with Recovery from Estates. Imo you still want to get a copy of the will whatever path you take. Good luck.
If she is a beneficiary and its money, it will need to be used for her care. Medicaid will stop and you will need to spend down again and reapply to Medicaid. If property, this could be out up for sale. But, none of her money can be used for upkeep or taxes. If it sells while she is living. the same thing goes like I explained above.
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How small?

No will?
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commstate Dec 2018
Think about $50 to $70 thousand. Not sure, I am not in the will. I only have been told what happened. Some property and some IRA.
what does the “estate” consist of?
Did he did with a will?
is Estate from a life insurance policy?
Or is it real property and if so Is it in LA?
Was the asset considered exempt for when she did her Medicaid application?

Is he your dad or is this a second marriage for them. If so, did he have his own children as heirs as well as your mom?
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