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I have a Aunt that I am her DPOA. Her dementia became worse. I now have to place her into a nurcing home. I learned that Medicare will only pay for 20 days in a nurcing home. After that it goes 80-20 for 100 days. After 100 days the nurcing home will start draining her savings at $8,700 per month.After they drain her savings then they will be seeking her car & home. She's not on Medicaid yet. The next 3 months I think she will be drained of her savings. It's sad to see this happen.
I'm worried about when it's time for her to apply for Medicaid.I 'm worried about the spending I must do to fix, repair her home. Example, right now she's in the nurcing home. She's been in their for about 14 days now. As her POA I must keep up on her home as mowing the lawn, replacing carpet, tile as repairs to get the house ready for sale. Do I turn off the electric & gas to the home ASAP? I need electric for tools to repair her home as I am doing. When do I shut off this sevice to the home? My Aunt's lawn mower broke today while mowing the grass. I bought a new lawn mower so I can mow her grass using her funds as I am her DPOA. Is this ok to do so? Do I need to be worried? I keep all records & reciepts I spend of her funds.
Another example,
Two weeks ago,when my Aunt got worse we thought we was gonna move in her home to care for her.Her fridge went out and her stove oven didn't work we learned.So,I used her funds as POA to buy a new fridge & stove.
Now she isn't coming home.She's staying in the nurcing home we decided.Because,we thought about it and we just can't take on that large task of moving in to care for her.When it's time for her to apply for Medicaid.Will Medicaid frown on me buying these items?Do I need to worry?Her vacume cleaner was junk.I bought a new vacume so I can clean her house.Will that come back to bite me later?
I was told by the attorney that as long as I have a paper trail I'm ok.
Another example,
My Aunt's home was very bad.Smelled of urine thru out the home.I was told by the attorney regardless if my Aunt is coming home or going into a nurcing home the home needs to be cleaned,fixed,repaired either for her or to sell the home.That's how you spend down her money to apply for medicaid.If you don't put the money into her home The nurcing home will take the funds.that's how the system works I was told.My worry is,I hate to be placing tons of money of my aunt's funds into her home then in the long run later Medicaid will come after me as why I fixed this and that .What do I need to know?
My Aunt has a large yard.Her push mower is junk.It's my job as her DPOA to keep up on grass mowing until the home sells.I wanted to buy a rider mower to use to mow her grass using her funds to buy it.Can I buy a $1,500 rider with her funds to do the job or is that too much money in Medicaid's eyes?How much is too much?How do I know what amount is too much to spend?Or what not to buy?She's not applying for Medicaid yet for me to know what is ok and what is not to spend.I'm doing all of this my self.Can I pay my self for mowing the grass?Who mows grass for free?If you know one a person send him my way.I'm trying to save her some money by doing some repairs in her home my self.I replaced her dirty carpet with nice new tile.Can I pay my self for the labor of doing that job?I was told by the attorney that I can fix & repair the things in the home that need repaired,replaced as a tolet example.I installed a new tolet.What about my labor of do that job.How do I pay my self for these repairs I'm doing in her home inorder for it to be ready for sale?Why should I pay someone $400 to install a simple tolet when I can do it my self and charge her lets say $50 labor cost?What do I have to do to get paid for my labor of fixing the home?What?Write a check to a friend for $400 and have him agree to give me half and give me a reciept for $400?Sounds crooked to me but,sounds like the only way for me to be paid for my labor.I heard of POA's writing their grandchildren checks to obtain money under the table.Do I need to go that far crooked inorder to be paid for my labor or what?I think it's unfair the nurcing home will be seeking her home and all assets.Then in turn accept the pay from medicaid later.What happened to the american dream of owning your home and passing it down to your child?Sounds like by your retirement time you better have a good $500,000 or more banked.At the cost of a nurcing home at $9,000 per month.Can anyone give advice?

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Dogabone, I agree someone should go after the people who she gifted money to. Medicaid won't do this, but you as a POA could ask the District Attorney to investigate any fraud that occurred prior to you being appointed.
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"The date my DPOA was created.This means what ever funds my Aunt spent prior of my involvement I have nothing to do with it. And is no paper trail pointing me into 5 yrs ago lookback." Your aunt owns a house. Was she paying taxes and utilities? Paper trail. Go to the town hall where she lives. Did she have a checking account with a bank? A savings account? Paper trail. I'm assuming said aunt didn't keep her money in a jar burried in the backyard. Again, I think there is some confusion here on your part. Dogabone - I'm in your shoes and have walked them for many a mile. I don't think you're listening. The five year look back applies to your aunt's estate; and NOT TO YOU specifically. You don't have anything to be afraid of. It's the federal government's policy to do a five year look back, not anybody elses, and there is no way around it. If you are her durable power of attorney, you are responsible for pulling together the records. If she has a bank account, you go to the bank where the account(s) is/are and request the statements for 5 years back. The banks know what this is and will help you as long as you present the power of attorney documents. Don't pay yourself out of her estate - that is outside of your financial fiduciary responsiblity.
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In reply to pamstegman,
I became involved with my Aunt about 6 months ago.Before that I was never involved with her.6 months ago I recieved a call stating that my cousin beat my Aunt up.My cousin was arrested for battery & her husband.My Aunt contacted me for help with things.So nice me I came to her problems.I took her to her attorney.Her attorney told me that he felt she needed a POA before her dementia gets any worse.Other then I there is no other family members willing to help her.So,I'm the last hope she had and I agreed 6 months ago to be her DPOA.I have only been involved with my Aunt for the past 6 months.The date my DPOA was created.This means what ever funds my Aunt spent prior of my involvement I have nothing to do with it.And is no paper trail pointing me into 5 yrs ago lookback.
Medicaid can only look at me for the past 6 months I became involved.There is no way of me knowing where my Aunt's money went prior of my signing this DPOA six months ago.I was not involved prior of six months ago.So if my Aunt gifted,wrote checks to others 1-5 yrs ago?Those people are the people Medicaid needs to be contacting not me.I'm understanding everyones oppinions here on this topic thread I posted.The attorney told me it's ok for me to do house repairs.
"If the stove is broke buy a new one is what I was told."if it needs repaired?Repair or replace it .Your all telling me don't spend a dime on repairs of the home.As be gun shy.The attorney told me stop leasoning to online forums.They all have not a clue about things.And for me to stop being so gun shy.You are her attorney in fact and she gave me permission to act when she is unable to do so for her self.That is what a DPOA is for.My job is to keep a paper trail of my spending.As for guardenship.The main reason for getting guardenship is so my Aunt can't sign her self out of the nurcing home.That is the main concern and reason for it.
The only reason I started cleaning,repairing things in her home was for her to come back home.She couldn't come home to a trashy,smelly house.Many things needed and still needs to be fix.We decided not to have her come home because,she will need 24hr care that we can't provide.As of now I'm fixing the home in thought of selling the home for healthcare cost.I'm looking for someone that can give me advice that's been in my shoes?
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My Aunt just went into a nurcing home about 2 weeks ago.I explained to the attorney that her house smells of Urine and the carpet,flooring needs to be replaced inorder to get the smell out of the house.The attorney told me that you got to do what needs to be done.Regardless if my Aunt was coming home or going into a nurcing home.Doesn't matter.Either way the house needs to be fixed either to be sold or for her to come home.When it comes to applying for Medicaid.Medicaid will require me to spend her money on home repairs inorder to spend her money down.So,you either let the nurcing home drain her savings or put some of her savings into her home as home repairs.Again,reguardless when it comes to Medicaid.They will make her spend her money,assets down until she is at $1,500 remaining to apply for Medicaid.I explained to the attorney that I'm working on her house now as we speek.He stated that my DPOA is my Aunt's say so on spending.This means that if the house needs to be repaired I have every right to do so as long as I keep a paper trail of all spending I do.
"COUNTED IN THE LOOKBACK period" I have asked the attorney about every question I can think of to cover my behind.I told the attorney that I have been repairing the problems in the house as we speek.As new flooring,carpet,tile new fridge,stove,tolet ect.The attorney knows I'm doing this stuff and stated to me if it needs fixed fix it.Your the DPOA.Your Aunt gave you permission to act as her attorney in fact when she is no longer able to do it her self.As long as you keep a paper trail I'm fine is what I was told by the attorney.I'm sure Medicaid will come to me asking of the spending of the home repairs.Medicaid has no idea what condition this house is in right now and when I started fixing it.Medicaid is not involved yet until her savings is below $1,500 to apply.Knowone has given me a list of what I'm allowed to fix and not to know the rules of this 5 yr look back.Any way it goes the nurcing home will get the home,seize it.The money from the home will go towards my Aunt's nurcing home care.So,by fixing the house makes the value go up better for the nurcing home.I was told if I rent the house out that is income and the nurcing home wont touch the house if there is income.
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Dogabone: you cannot pay yourself as a power of attorney from your aunt's estate. I STRONGLY recommend you read the POA document. Near the end of the document, there should be language in there that refers to no payment for individual services rendered. Think about it. You are her POA which means you have fiduciary responsibility to make payments, enter into contracts, pay rents, establish insurance policies etc. for your charge (Aunt). If you could draw money from her accounts to benefit yourself, you would be logically cancelling the purpose of the POA. Do the work on the house with no expectation of "salary" to yourself. ON THE OTHER HAND, if you are appointed her guardian by the court, some states allow payment from the estate for limited guardianship services. The guardianship document will spell out what those services are and what may be renumerated. WITH REGARD TO MEDICAID, most states allow for 90 days private pay. THEN they go to Medicaid. There are attorneys that PROTECT senior assets from the "spend-down". Often, you can put the remaining monies after the 90 day private pay into an annuity (set-up by the attorney), and you can also block sale of the home, IF, it was set-up as a joint tenancy with survivorship rights on the deed with you or another person who has primary residence there. Medicaid could place a lein on the house, as long as said aunt is alive, but after her death, the lein is released, as she no longer has an interest in the property. The annuity will pay-out across a maximum of 8.9 years. The monies the annuity pays out will be in addition to Medicaid and Social Security and can be used to enhance payment to the nursing home, and provide cash for her personal needs account. I don't know what kind of money you are talking about, but if I were you, I would find a good "Senior Asset Protection" attorney and retain them. Now, with regard to the FIVE YEAR LOOKBACK: it is just how it sounds. The Medicaid examiner will look at all of her expenditures for the last five years (say from today). Example: your aunt gifted you $30,000 last year. That money would more than likely be excluded from Medicaid's payments to the nursing home. Once your aunt accrued $30,000 in nursing home bills, Medicaid would start up. I would be very careful about burning your aunt's money up on home repairs because, they can be COUNTED IN THE LOOKBACK period. I think you may want to talk to your attorney again, because what you've expressed sounds out of balance. I hope I have clarified some of this for you. Good luck.
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Dogabone, start by pulling up 5 years of bank statements. You need to have good explanation for where all the money went. That should take a while.
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dogabone, you've asked an attorney are are following legal advice. If you want more specific instructions about paying yourself, ask that attorney.

Writing a check to a friend and splitting it with him would indeed be crooked.

The American Dream has to confront a new reality of many more people living beyond the point where they can take care of themselves than ever in our history. You can only pass on to your relatives what you don't need to take care of yourself. When you have to pay for medical care at the end of your life, it is only a vague dream to be able to pass things to your heirs.

Advice? Follow the legal advice you have paid for. Ask the lawyer a few more questions regarding paying for your own labor. Avoid doing crooked things.
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