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My step sister took control of all my step dad's finances and so wondering if it is unreasonable to expect since my step dad has VA pension, social security and a job pension that he would help with paying expenses to assist my mom in making car payments, heating, and other expenses of maintaining their home. They have been married nearly 38 years.

Is it unreasonable? Of course not, they are still married. Him being placed in a home does not absolve him of his responsibilities.
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Reply to Samsung137
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FloridaDD Dec 9, 2019
It is not that simple.   If he goes into a nursing home, he may lose his other VA benefits.  As to social security, an attorney should be able to divide that up.   You need an eldercare attorney, protecting the community spouse is difficult
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Seek out an elder law attorney.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Your stepsister ought to realise that even though she is in charge of her father's finances she is acting on his behalf, and he is still half of a long-established married couple. Are you just apprehensive about this or has she already cut up rough? How have you always got on as a family?

What happens about joint finances when one spouse goes into a nursing home is often complicated, and it might be best to get professional advice for everyone's peace of mind and clarity anyway.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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talk to an atty. he is her legal spouse and the home is still 'their' home. the bills are probably all still 'their' bills
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Reply to my2cents
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Take mom to see an elder care lawyer. Step sister may have no legal right to control her dad’s finances.
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Reply to kdcm1011
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I am a %100 disabled veteran, retired . Check with VA.gov. There is a option under "contact us", called IRIS, were you can ask detailed questions. It is my understanding if I go into the VA extended care facility (VA run) I will not receive my VA disability pension.
Again check with the VA. They have alot of options.
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Reply to ktk5858
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Didn't see any answer mention the possibility of a prenuptial agreement. You might want to check on that possibility. Also, consider what happens if the husband died. Is your mom entitled to any of his pension? Are there life insurance policies and, if so, who is the beneficiary? What are the provisions of his will?
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Reply to annandpaul1629
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Interesting. In order for anyone to 'take' over a Veteran's finances, they have to be appointed by the VA as a fiduciary. If they aren't, they are not allowed to handle his VA funds at all.
I was approved and appointed by the VA for my husband last year. I have only been his wife for 26 years. Rare that a non spouse would be appointed.
I'd find out more about that.
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Reply to Val3rie
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disgustedtoo Dec 8, 2019
It isn't necessarily rare that a non-spouse is appointed. I started the process for my mother as my father is deceased, but there are provisions for widow/widowers. The initial attempt failed because the 3rd party (no charge involved) sent me expired forms. Because the finances changed in the interim (increase in SS and federal pension, plus the rules changed), it would have required redoing everything rather than just copying all the information provided. At some point I just decided I had too much on my plate to wage that battle. I suspect due to the rule changes (similar to Medicaid looking at all income/sources of financing) it would probably have been denied anyway. Thankfully managing the finances she had ensures many years of ability to pay for the MC place.

I would, however, suggest making contact with the VA. There should be some provisions in place, like Medicaid has, for ensuring the spouse isn't impoverished. She might qualify for the aid/assistance benefit, even if she can't tap into his income. Recommend also consult with EC atty.
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My father was in a VA nursing home (state run). It was not free, but much lower than private nursing homes. It was based on my father’s income. A small percentage was left for my mom to use. Any property, joint accounts etc was assessed in determining how much my Dad had to pay. You need to talk to the financial officer at that VA facility to determine how your step dad is charged. They should have outlined that when he checked in. Hope this helps.

BTW property should not be in anybody’s name that is in a nursing home if you want the house to stay in the family.
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Reply to JColl7
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If they are married then it should be fine for your father's income to help pay for your mother's lifestyle as before he went into a nursing home. The trick is going to be if he needs Medicaid, then life starts to breakdown. Unfortunately, our Medicaid rules are convoluted. For the sake of clarity, I would see an Elder Law/Medicaid attorney for 200-300 dollars so you are clear on what's what. It's good information to have in your hip pocket so there are no surprises.
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Reply to ArtMom58
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If he wants the house to continue in joint names then it seems reasonable he pays some of the costs.
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Reply to TaylorUK
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Yes, she needs to talk to an attorney. To me, she is entitled to some of his income.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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VA operated facilities are NO cost to veterans. A VA Contracted NH is, and anything above the authorized monthly cost is up to veteran to pay. Does mother have access to funds?
If not, you need an attorney, and should also find the local VA Benefits office to see what she might be entitled to. Go to VA.org and search for Benefits. Good luck!
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Reply to ML4444
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Has your mother consulted with an eldercare attorney? How are dad's assets and accounts titled?

Is there any share of cost to him for the VA nursing home?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I'm not sure how it works with a VA nursing home but I do know that Medicaid for instance allows for a percentage of the income and assets to stay with the spouse still living in the community (or residential care probably) and I find it hard to believe the VA would shut out the spouse given that they allow the spouse to continue drawing some benefit after the passing of the vet as well. Now that said Medicare stuff varies state to state and VA may too I don't know but if your SD's income was either supporting or helping to support them it sure doesn't seem unreasonable to expect that to continue (within reason). It's like someone going to the hospital or rehab, their bills outside still need to be paid, family supported, it might change but the other way to look at it is what would he want? Did they plan for this eventuality and Mom has her own assets to live on or did they plan for it and he took care of her? Is her care or just Mom a part of his estate or have they kept things separate for 38 years because they each had kids and didn't need each other for financial support? Does the house belong to both of them or just Mom?

Guess I'm coming up with more questions than answers, I will have a similar situation with my dad and his wife of 31 years so far but they have at least partially mapped that out thank goodness. Anyway it might be advisable to consult an elder law attorney about this for all of you, I don't mean hire one to fight step sibling I mean all go to one perhaps to figure it out together if possible It should be paid for out of parents accounts and it will go a long way for relations in the future if you can all do it together, work together at least on the financial piece.
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Reply to Lymie61
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disgustedtoo Dec 8, 2019
"Now that said Medicare stuff varies state to state and VA may too" I am sure you meant Medicaid, as indeed it DOES vary from state to state. However, the VA is federal, so there should be no difference in benefits regardless of what state you live in. They did recently change rules, so they DO take finances and property into account, but they should also allow for mom to be able to survive without being impoverished. It would be best to consult the VA itself and perhaps an EC attorney. I do know that the VA has benefits for spouses - tried to get this for mom, but for various reasons (posted elsewhere) I gave up on this (dad was deceased, but it should still be available to a spouse if the veteran is still living.)
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Are you sure that all of his money isn't going towards his care?

Not sure how VA facilities work, but if he does have excess funds after his care is paid for then that money belongs to his wife.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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rovana Dec 6, 2019
How would that work in terms of community property/non-community property? Did they keep their finances separate all of their marriage?  Could be tricky.
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