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I've seen some things on here lately that have made me wonder about Mom's care down the road. She became physically disabled very late in her working career, other wise had worked and paid in all her life. So when she became disabled, she got a disability check for 7 or 8 years. Then it switched over to Social Security more recently, she's 70.

This entire time my lazy little niece has been bumming rent, cell phone bill, utils, an occasional car-outright cash, and $ for junk for her kids, (shoes toys clothes etc). I suppose around a grand a month. Will this be held against my Mom as "gifting" later? Is there an amount a month she is OK to give her without penalty? Is there a difference if it came out of savings or if it was part of her "monthly income", her SS check. Or is it simply if she gives $ to a grandkid at all and it ends up being within the 5 year look back it's held against her?

I'd imagine when she needs to go to a NH she will be self pay due to her husband's modest savings. But when that runs out or he passes and his income stops, would she have to go on medicaid? I could see a situation where within 2 or 3 years he could be gone, she could be broke after the couple years of self pay, and wind up in the look back window. Wondering if the gifting she's doing today is going to burn her later? I'm the only kid left, not in great health, may not be around then. Niece lives in filth and doesn't care, ha- I seriously wouldn't want to leave a goldfish in her care. What would happen to Mom when her and stepdad's $ is dried up, I am not here to take care of her, and she's given most of her SS check away to the grandkid for years?

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Thank you friends, for your input.
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And Gramzie please remember the 5 year look back will apply to your mother 's help whether she remembers or not. It's a shame that she feels insecure and worried now. She may be worried that the money she has will run out. Mom may qualify for The VA Aid & Attendance but unless your dad paid extra per paycheck his veterans pension died with him. There are a variety of vet support organizations that can help navigate the maze. Hope you can make her more secure feeling.
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Well, really granny shouldn't be giving all her funds away b/c she will need it for herself, e.g. NH care. If and when she goes on Medicaid, she is allowed to own $2, 000 and no more. Yes, it will be a 5 yr lookback. Does this niece have two broken legs?
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Money is a touchy subject...a bit off topic here though, just before my Dad passed away 2 years ago, I made an arrangement with my parents & asked for help getting out of debt...they agreed wholeheartedly.
Now that my Mom has early stage Alzheimer's, there are times when she doesn't remember our agreement. She despises my husband, who happens to be a huge help & support...he continues to help in her care even though her attitude towards him is hateful...at times she says we want her money which hurts me & makes me feel guilty. I have power of attorney so I can take care of all her finances & medical decisions. I'm in the process of trying to get her my Dad's veteran benefits that stopped when he passed. She says I'm doing this to get more of her money...then she offers to help...I'm crazy with guilt & stress all the time...anyone have a similar issue?
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The other thing that happens later is that grand-daughter fails to grow up and stand on her own two feet...or worse still, sinks deeper into the drug addiction and/or whatever problems she has that makes her unable to pay her own bills and leaves her morally capable of taking and taking from someone who they should realize needs to take care of their own needs.
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Thanks you guys, I think you are right.
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New2, So sorry to hear that. Keep yourself separate from that mess. So very apart from it all. You cannot help mom's future if there is welfare fraud, that is probably why it is a secret. Just accept it as her husband seems to have done.
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I have no idea what NH costs are in Missouri. In Connecticut, where my mom is, private pay is $15,000 per month. Yes, MONTH. You have to be able to do 2 years of private pay to be able to become a Medicaid patient there. Not a fancy place by any stretch. Kind of shabby, but pretty good staff. I hope your mom realizes what kind of money she's going to need to afford a decent place.

You also need to make it abundantly clear that you are not going to be taking mom into your home/nor moving into hers to do hand's on care during the Medicaid penalty period. That's going to be Missy ' s job.

You might also consider whether mom has some cognitive impairment, or even the beginnings of dementia. Poor judgement, especially with regards to money, is often an early sign.
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Hi Sendme,

Ha-the why question. :-) I wish I knew. Have thought myself in circles, no luck. I'm not good with that kind of thing. I'm just open/honest and proud to handle my own situations. I can't conceive of scheming like my niece does, but I think that it makes her feel proud that she's pulled something from how she talks about other things like that. Can't imagine what Mom is thinking doing things that need hidden either, because if you are hiding something you're doing then you know it's wrong to a degree, so why do it? Heehee, see, a circle. :-)

The kids are well fed, by food stamps and the school. Not clean, the niece isn't clean either, she never has been. She moved in with her Dad when he and Sis divorced, she wanted to go live with him because he had so much more money than her Mom. He never really made her keep up her hygiene, so she just doesn't place much value on it. Niece is my deceased Sister's, but wasn't very nice to my Sister while she was alive. Called her Dad's girlfriends "Mom" in front of my Sis, rarely called unless she wanted something after her Dad quit supporting her and told her to get a job and keep it when she hit her 30's. I've avoided niece most of her life since she moved with her Dad, she's always been in some sort of drama or trouble and always expects money and from everyone. I like peace in my down time. :-) No, she's not disabled, but yep, 4th boyfriend in a row with a record from selling drugs. It's not anything that makes people skinny or loose teeth though, both her and boyfriend are quite a bit over weight. Neither work most of the year, part time something for a couple weeks here and there, rest is welfare from having the kids and bumming off family.

Only thing I've ever come up with is that maybe it makes Mom feel "important" to be able to "fix" all her problems? If you know something I don't, feel free to shoot! :-) I am at a loss. Even when Sis was alive she'd tell Mom NOT to give her any more cars, etc., (they don't take care of them), was tired of Mom "enabling" her, so is the niece's Father, he was really mad about the last car they gave her, said that they "never learn". No clue, but thanks!
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New2, You may not have enough information to assist mom with changing things up. Ask yourself the following questions: Are the children well nourished and clean?
Has your Mom a favorite son/daughter, and niece is from those parents, but your siblings have passed? Has mom always played favorites? Is mom getting something out of the what sounds like excessive giving because you say except for the contacts to get money the niece does not call?
Do you have a relationship with the niece, one where you could just drop by on a Friday or Saturday night, without calling? How is the niece, excessively thin? How are her teeth? What is her usual source of income? Does she work?
Mom is disabled, and on pain medication. Is the niece disabled? There is a reason mom shares this information about her finances with you. Find out why.
And finally, does the niece have a drug-dealer for a boyfriend?
Excuse the questions from a complete stranger, you don't need to answer to me, just ask yourself. This story and level of dysfunction sounds a little like extortion rather than gifting. You are right to have concerns.
It could all be perfectly innocent, your mom could be administering the estate of niece's parents? Wishing you the best.
I would advise my mom to not give cash/money, but rather provide the needs directly, pay check to utilities, rent. Buy the clothes for children herself. Pay for a housekeeper for the niece. Shouldn't helping someone improve their lives instead of allowing the grand's to live in filth?
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Thanks again Guests, I do think it is stepdad's business also. Guess he's just trying to keep peace best he can. He's 12 years younger than Mom and still works, has paid off a nice little home for them, shoveled earnings into a decent savings, (although it's not ton), at least he didn't just spend it. The cars are paid for, although they're both really old and need replacing. He lets Mom blow "her" income on my always scheming and needy niece, but has at least refused to let her pry his money away for things for them too.

Sad, but it causes strife in their relationship when he has to say "no", to buying them another car, etc. Causes strife between Mom and me too, it makes me mad to see someone use her like that. Both myself and DH started with nothing, broke our little butts all our lives, owned businesses, put in many a 12-15 hour day, never got an ounce of help from anyone. We wouldn't have taken it though, (matter of honor), where she and boyfriend will flat locate a car or house they want and then hound Mom about getting it for them.

Stepdad's parents both passed due to heart attacks, his bro has had 2, he has had one. He fell off a ladder and wrecked his ankle, he can walk, but doesn't move around much as far as helping his heart out, smokes like a train, eats a lot of fried sweets. I could see how they could both end up needing daily care, (could see how he could plain have a fatal heart attack), it could very easily wipe out all of their resources. Reading here has really made me think, looks like some open discussions may be in order soon. Wish me luck, and thank you!
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Actually, it is stepdad's business as the household gifting will be held against him too if he needs to file for Medicaid for himself. It is a form of elder abuse, but if Mom has not been deemed incompetent there is little anyone else can do. If you gently tell Mom that giving to niece means that she will not have money for care when it comes her time, maybe that will help. My aunt quit giving money to her son (who was employed, wife was employed and lived in 5000+sf house and my aunt lived with my mother rent-free) when my mom told her that she would charge her rent monthly as long as aunt had money for the mooch. Take care of yourself, too!
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Thanks so much guests! I was starting to wonder about that as I watch them decline and have been reading here. I doubt she's even thought about it, probably figures it's no different to spend it on the grandkid's bills than to buy herself some dumb little statue for the curio cabinet, or new blinds/linens for the kitchen, etc. So it's basically if it's spent on someone else, (other than her and husband's own household), then it's gifting? Wow, glad I asked now, I better get it stopped. That's going to be hard all in itself, they guilt her with "the kids won't have a safe car to ride in, the kids won't have heat, what if something happens to the kids and I can't make a phone call". Ugggh. A bunch of it takes place behind my and my stepdad's back, kid emails 6 times a day and rings the phone off the hook over and over right at time for her check, then it goes silent. Will ask Mom if she wants to ride with me to a store I'm going to , in order to get something she's been needing, and she's "broke" already, (nothing to show for it), so what she needed to buy has to wait until next time. Happens every month, like clockwork. I've pointed it out to stepdad, he say's it's none of his business, but Mom is on pain meds that make her an easy target, I feel like it's a form of elder abuse. (?) My biggest concern is that stepdad and I could both be gone when she's out of their $, wouldn't want her in the street, and know full well the grandkid won't help her, as she won't help herself.
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Short answer - the money is viewed as gifting to the niece. For IRS purposes, there are annual gifts that can be given without requiring a form noting the gift. But there is not an "allowed gifting amount" per month or per year to safely give away to anyone that is not counted as Medicaid gifting. Otherwise, everyone would give away the money that should be used for their care to family and friends and leave the taxpayers (you and me) to pay for the person's care. Medicaid will look back 5 years. The state in which Mom files for Medicaid will not care if the money came from savings or from social security check or from the lottery. The state will care that money that could have been used for the care of your Mom was given to your niece or somebody else for purposes other than your parents' care. Your Mom will have to provide copies of bank statements, award letters from pensions and social security and investment records when she applies for Medicaid. Mom (or you depending on her mental status) will have to account for the difference between the income and expenses (unexplained cash withdrawals, payments made to vendors that are not medical or directly related to Mom/stepdad) during the period of the lookback. I'm sure igloo will probably post the more concrete details of what penalty periods are and how they are calculated, but the initial question is yes, the money is gifts and will be "held against" your Mom when she applies for Medicaid. And they should be if the money would otherwise have paid for Mom's care.
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