Hi all,

My father was admitted to a nursing home and I received his admissions agreement. It's really long so I asked the admissions lady if I can take it home and bring it back because I wanted to read it thoroughly. She said that was fine but marked the areas that needed signatures. I told her that I was my father's POA and that I would sign as the POA under the "resident" signature line (father's name, by my name, as agent). However, the lady said that the "responsible party/resident representative" signature line also needed to be signed. I told her I would look into it at home and fill it out accordingly. She insisted that the responsible party/resident rep needed to be signed. I don't understand why I would sign under the responsible party/resident rep, if I can just sign as POA on the 'resident' signature line. I thought I am signing on his behalf? Wouldn't a signature on the 'resident' line be good enough?

Also, the lady assured me that I won't be financially responsible to pay for services with my own funds, and it would only come out of my father's funds. She said to read page 1, where it indicates that "responsible party refers to an individual who has legal access ot the Resident's income and resources." Honestly, I do not feel comfortable signing as "responsible party/resident representative." Can they discharge or kick out my father because I refuse to sign as responsible party? I live in the state of NY.

The contract also states that, "The responsible party may be held liable to the extent that the facility relies to its detriment on false, misleading or incomplete information and documentation supplied by the Responsible party regarding matters, including, but not to limited to, the Resident's financial resources, and for third party insurance coverage."

I am not sure what to do, I cannot afford to pay for an elder attorney. Any help would be greatly appreciated. The nursing home wants me to complete the admissions paperwork ASAP.

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I have been to an elder attorney, to discuss just these things. He advised that I should never sign any document as:
Jane Doe, POA FOR John Smith

Rather, he stated to sign all legal docs as:
John Smith BY Jane Doe, POA

He said this would insure that the doc was clear that the parent was responsible for payment, and NH could not come after me for unpaid bills. I live in Texas, and have done all my POA signing for both parents in this way. Best of luck.
Helpful Answer (16)
jacobsonbob Mar 2019
Excellent point!
When dad went into MC I signed everything as POA.. no arguments allowed. Take it or leave it. They took it.
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I think you are very wise to be cautious, and I applaud you for sticking to your guns. I HATE it when officious administrators stick forms under your nose, say sign here, and then roll their eyes and huff when you're so picky as to want to read it first.

Having said that, I do have a twinge of sympathy for what I think the contract is getting at - that they have been burned before by (ir)responsible parties getting their charges admitted by telling shameless taratiddles about the person's insurance, assets and income.

Not your problem! You are signing for, with power of attorney. That is the limit of your responsibility, and good for you for minding those lines don't blur.
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yep, have seen this myself in a family member. What anyone forgets is IF assets are hidden that truly are the patient's, then what is being asked is the taxpayer of that state, or the nation, to cover costs for your parent/loved one, while (they) escape legitimate costs. the ones who raised and cared for us did not steal from neighbors to raise us, but when the reverse is happening family wants to take all that grant had and spend it, as their "DUE" and they deserve it, thus sticking eveyoe else to pay for their last months or years of care. There is some evil finagling going on by all relatives often to keep all the assets that SHOULD be used for granny's last year of life. but when it is seen as Medicaid" socked for it, no one usually care. this is theft, sad but true. No one should beggar themselves, but ask"how much is my mother's care worth to me?" isn't SOME cost born by the family worth it to see them properly cared for..landing in a state ward..I shudder.
Some people will attempt to hide their loved one's money, which can be seen as fraud; in most states, all a person can have in their account is $2,000 or less to be on Medicaid. There are a lot of hidden charges a nursing home will not tell you such as cost of TRANSPORT such as to a doctor's office, and other non-emergent issues. If your loved one is hospitalized, and is ready for discharge either you will have to take them back to the nursing home in your car, or you pay for cost of transport since going back home is non-emergent. Medicaid will also not pay for hair cuts. ALSO if he owns his own home and is under his name, when he passes everything will go into probate and the nursing home will seize it. This is known as an estate recovery law, which is Federally mandated. If your name is also on the deed then it will not go through probate so Medicaid can't touch it. that's why it is wise to see an eldercare attorney prior to getting him on Medicaid for estate planning. I did..and it wasn't that bad only a few hundred dollars BUT it saved me a great deal in the long run and prevented headaches.
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Sign as POA, your name, AS POA for dad's name.

Sign everything this way or you will find some sleazy company trying to make you personally responsible.
Helpful Answer (6)

What that means is in the event of your father's death, any outstanding bills owed to the nursing home have to be settled by you. You'd also have to send back his full SS benefit for the month he died. Be prepared.
Helpful Answer (6)
JoAnn29 Mar 2019
I made my Moms NH payee of her SS check. That way it was their headache when Mom died.
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Check to see if you or your dad is eligible for Legal Aid. You may be able to get a free hour consultation. Your local college or University may have access to Legal Aid.
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My advice is see an attorney. Yes, there will be an expense but you will have a greater peace of mind. I went to see the attorney who prepared my parents wills and Aldo their financial and medical POAs. So, we already had a relationship. I paid for this out of my parent’s funds. It was not expensive....And I always felt sure that I knew what I was doing. Peace of mind is important when you’re looking after your loved ones. I was always distrustful of the nursing home office staff and with good reason. Please get good legal advice for yourself.
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It is worth seeing an elder law attorney. Check in your town where there may be free advice through some institutions at weekly meetings and etc. But as I understand it you are not responsible to pay out of your funds. BUT as POA you ARE responsible to apprise those caring for your relative of their funds, which are now in your control basically. So what they are saying is that you are responsible to divulge your relative's financial things when money is needed for your relative. In the case all funds are exhausted you would be responsible in divulging this to the federal government, medicare, medicaid as well, and then those funs would take over care. It is sometimes a good hours pay to get the opinion of an attorney and be able to rest assured.
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I did this for my mother and had POA. They need someone who will make decisions as needed that your father may not be capable making.
I was not responsible for my mother financially, but needed to make sure her monthly payments to assisted care were made. They need to make sure the meds. they give are given correctly. I assume that you are the person they call if they have an issue or concern. In all these cases are you the responsible person they can call on?
I think you said you were told that you are not responsible financially and assume you understand they can’t care for your father unless you know payments can be made.
Knowing he is safe and cared for is a blessing. Ignore the horror stories some like to tell without having the whole story and all the facts.
Your father is blessed knowing you’re there for him.
God bless you with the guidance, strength and love you need.
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