Where to turn for advice. Mom inherited money/Medicare look back? - AgingCare.com

Where to turn for advice. Mom inherited money/Medicare look back?

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I am executrix of my uncle's trust. We made all necessary arrangements that his assets were all funded under trust account. I ran into a problem with one of his annuities, the largest asset. I worked with my uncle's lawyer and my uncles financial planner to to change the owner of the annuity to the Trust. I thought all was well. Unfortunately, I found out after my uncle passed that the name of the owner had changed but the beneficiary didn't- it still listed my mother!! ...
To follow my uncles wishes with his disbursement- I need the annuity money... now it all goes to my mom... The company that has the annuity- their response- I can always sue my mom, they take no responsibility, nor does the financial advisor.
My mother lives with me, her income is just SS and she has no assets. Everything was set for her to have a minimum amount in assets, just her living expenses.
My mom is in agreement that when the money does arrives that it will be disbursed as my uncle wished, but how will that effect the Medicare look back period... I assume this will be considered gifting money... will i be able to show proof that the money should never have been hers because their was a problem with the annuity? Does she have to now pay taxes on all of this?
thanks everyone..

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Flutter - what you will concerned about is the MedicAID look-back not MediCARE.
You want to try to understand what each does and more importantly doesn't do. this site has some very good articles on MediCARE & MediAID.

I'd suggest getting a new experienced elder law attorney. NAELA certified too as your situation is going to be complex. Trusts are really high-cotton finance to understand & can be complex. I would not go back to anyone associated with what was done previously. Get your own team together.

Depending on how your state manages MedicAID will have a huge difference and you need someone who is throughly immersed in all that. Although our uncle may have had an estate attorney (estate attorney is what we did with my mom about 12 years ago, he was very good) but much has changed since then especially how states now are more aggressive in the look-back and Medicaid estate recovery. Most couples have their beneficiary as each other and for the elderly facing NH in the very near future it is the single worse thing to have in place & having each other as the owner of the policy coming in a close second as both provide for a windfall of $$ when you need to be poor for Medicaid.

Now in some states the beneficiary from a will does not have to accept the item. I was executrix for an aunt with a pretty big mess of an estate, one of the inheritors declined acceptance of a property because they just did not want to deal with the estate taxes that it would involve as their home state has them. When the will was drawn up, he was younger and still lived in TX and it never was changed to remove him in later codicils to her will. As it was declined, it got placed back into the property pool for me & the attorney to decide what then to do with it. Perhaps your state allows for something similar to this to happen if mom declines the asset and then it passes to whomever is next to inherit?

Also I'd suggest getting all the paperwork on the annuity together and then writing a letter to the compliance department of the brokerage firm who had the annuity. Keep it to 1 page and be very concise and emphasize what was supposed to have been done as per your uncles directives and what is now a problem. Forget about contacting the office or regional manager of the brokerage house too. What you want is the compliance officer name for that unit and the compliance address. Most large firms have compliance done by regions and they investigate independently of the broker or the branch manager and are required to do this to any concern brought to their attention. Send it either Fed Ex or certified mail too. It could make things happen. Whatever the case, it will be a proactive step to solving this mess. Good luck too.
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How would the annuity proceeds be distributed according to your uncle's trust?
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I would call the lawyer you worked with originally and ask him.
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