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My mother, who has moderate Alzheimer's has over one and a half million dollars in assets; her income (government pensions) amounts to over $75,400 a year. My brother and his common law wife are trying to change her present estate plan (revocable trust) and put her assets and income into a pure grantor irrevocable trust and a Miller trust to 'protect' them - in order to qualify her for Medicaid. This sounds like welfare fraud and elder exploitation - hiding her income and making the funds available for 'gifting' to 'beneficiaries'. What do you think I should do?

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I have an update - my brother and his wife came down this week - we all ended up yelling at each other - and both of us found that Mom had played a narcissistic game of "let's you and him fight" -- so neither of us had trusted the other; we decided to go to mediation to help us figure out what to do. After that meeting he agreed that the Jacksonville attorney's plan was unnecessary; we both agreed to work together and communicate. My mother is very narcissistic and has always played games for attention. We are going ahead with the plan to put her in memory care in a couple of weeks when he returns; he realizes the strain I am under trying to do everything here.
I also learned that his pacemaker needs replacing; and that he is worried about the surgery, as the operation didn't go smoothly the first time.
Hopefully this will start a new chapter. Thank you all for your advice... I have good information and resources, in any event. Again, thank goodness for this site.
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This might be legal if they are setting up a Special Needs Trust for a disabled grandchild or relative.

How did you come to hear of this?

Is she currently in a care facility?
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Pair of vultures circling. Do what needs to be done to protect Mom's assets like yesterday. Medicaid is not a benevolent charity and Mom deserves better accommodation than they will provide. She obviously was not a slcker during her working like to aquire pensions like that.
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Wondergirl, so you are a wonder! - I can't tell you how pleased and impressed I am by the way you and your brother have managed to get this situation under control together. Brilliant teamwork, well done to both of you.
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Thank you all so much for your input. My mom and I live in the Melbourne/Palm Bay area of Florida - I'm about 20 miles away and see her often. My brother and his wife live in South Carolina. They contacted an attorney in Jacksonville - not the original attorney-- and called to tell me about this wonderful attorney and this wonderful plan. They have a history of trying to get "their" inheritance early, so they had a phone conference with the attorney from Jacksonville, them, and me - to try to 'sell' me this idea ... We have a dual durable POA - with both of us able to act independently.
After the phone conference, I called Mom's original attorney (the alarm bells went off in my head), and made an appointment - unfortunately he is on vacation for the next two weeks - but will talk to him then and get his opinion. I have though of APS, as this feels like elder exploitation. Mom's estate isn't J.G. Wentworth -- it was set up for her benefit and care...but they don't seem to care.
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Don't wait two weeks!! A lot can happen in two weeks especially if your brother is planning to do something with your Mom's money. Talk with one of Mom's original law partners. If there is no law partner, then talk to a Elder Care Attorney ASAP and explain to him/her that your regular attorney is on vacation for 2 weeks and why you feel the need for legal aid NOW.
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Wondergirl- the new oh so wonderful atty your bro found in Jacksonville do they have a NAELA or CELA certification? That’s speciality level for elder law attornies. If you mom does have M+ in assets, she needs to have top flight legal done as whatever she does has to be right for taxes and FL laws and that means NAELA CELA imo. 

There could be changes made to her estate plan perhaps to streamline her assets or stretch them out further, or lessen tax liability.....
HOWEVER, Your mom has way way way too much in assets to get financially eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid can require 5 years of all legal, banking and other financial info. That means if mom did something to change her situation before Summer of 2023 - 5 years from now -  it would be subject to a transfer penalty Medicaid. 

Transfer penalty means she’s ineligible for Medicaid and the sticky is that in order to apply for LTC Medicaid they need to be “at need” both financially & medically so their now needing & living in a facility & are now impoverished. Right now if your mom is kinda OK on her ADLs and still a living in her home somewhat independently even with “moderate dementia” she won’t be eligible medically for LTC Medicaid. Its only when she totally is needing a facility will she be at need medically. And honey dealing with that hot mess will fall you to as your the one living in FL.

At 75k a yr in retirement, that’s about $6250 PER MONTH in income so she can easily afford AL and with her assets can more than afford a NH or MC. Only till she spends down her over a M in assets can she do a Miller for the overage needed IF a Medicaid bed in a FL NH is more than $6250 a mo. Southern states Medicaid programs tend to pay a low daily room & board rate. Like TX is abt $ 172 a day/$5,350 a mo, LA last I checked was $165/$5,100, so if FL Medicaid pays under $6250 a mo, she cannot qualify for a Miller. 

Plus she has a home as an asset as well....

Could she do something to reduce or change her assets so she’s more Medicaid compliant for Summer 2023? Yeah totally she could do something with that M+. But it has to be carefully planned out to domino fall with a little risk for mom’s ability to private pay for whatever care level she needs in the future. And planning will depend on more than just $ amounts but her age and medical risks. If there has been no talk of her current health care and likely future needs by your bro & the Jacksonville atty, you need to be proactive in getting whatever done to beyond protect you mom to make sure she has funds to private pay for caregivers in her home or private pay at a nicer facility. 

Let us know what happens ok!
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Wonder girl, With the assets and income that your mother has available there should be no attempt to shelter her income. She needs to foot the bill for her own needs, not have tax payers paying for her care. She doesn’t need to provide money for her children and grandchildren. If she is married she should assure that her spouse is not left in poverty.
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With that much $$ in assets, I just do not see how they will be successful, with Medicaid look back.
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Thanks for the update, explanations and for the positive outlook after the mediation. It's unfortunate that so much strife was caused, but there is a good result, and that's that you now know how and why that happened, can move beyond it to work together, and will be prepared if it happens again.

Congratulations and best wishes for moving forward in a different environment.
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