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My friends sister is a recent widow. She can no longer make her mortgage payments. She owes too much for a RM to be of benefit. Plus she can't afford the HOA fees and taxes even if she could get a RM to cover the mortgage payment. The irony is that all the sr housing choices (that are available) cost more than where she lives now. She actually lives in a very nice sr community. She has about $125k in equity. She's 69 and has diabetes, hypertension and is overweight but her numbers are responding appropriately to medication. She also has a dependent personality disorder that has kept her from working the last 20 years. My friend has had her sister to several drs. She is now on antidepressants, is going to therapy and is walking. The sister wants someone to take care of her. She lives in Orange Co. Has no family in the area but wants to stay there. Friend lives in NM. Their extended family lives in Texas. Friend is considering buying an interest in her sisters condo. She wants to structure it so that she pays her sister enough to make the mortgage payment, taxes, insurance and a portion of the HOA on a monthly basis in exchange for 25% of the condo. She wants the sister to take care of all her other expenses. Sister has a car note, car insurance, utilities. The sister is very attached to her cat so that's an additional concern with moving and expense. She was severly depressed but seems to be doing better after being on medication for about 6 weeks. She also has a lottery ticket problem....
At the present time her mortgage is paid through March. She got signed up for Cal-Fresh today which is the food stamp program.
They visited one housing location that has an 8 year waiting list where she would only have to pay 30% of her income for rent. But she couldn't even put her name on the list because it's so long. They are supposed to visit group homes later in the week, primarily so that sister can see what her options are if they aren't able to figure anything else out. My friend doesn't really want to be involved with her sisters care but is willing to help if the sister will try to help herself. Friend is 71 and is also single with no children so she has to watch out for her own future. Living together is not an option at this point. My friend is self employed and will probably and easily work until her 80s. So what should my friend watch out for? How should she structure her contract with her sister to protect both of their interests? She doesn't see a good solution but wants to help her sister if she can. She's interviewed realtors and knows the condo will sell easily, is a good investment but once it sells where is sister to go? I've encouraged her to find an elder attorney that understands California and Texas Medicaid rules. She has a DPOA for her sisters home but that is all at this point. Friend would really appreciate your input.

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Thanks for your reply. I had to laugh when you asked about sister spending friends housing money on a lottery ticket. She can't say the words lottery ticket or cat without spitting. I think friends prepared to pay Aprils house note but will wait to see if sister will follow up on a part time job application, go to her prearranged meetings and classes etc. and see if the antidepressants continue to lift her spirits. I've pushed the idea of the attorney but friend says she's not ready to go. She's assigned sister the job of contacting ones that offer free consults to see what they advise. That should be interesting.
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I think your friend is being very kind and responsible to help her sister explore all the options. That is a loving thing to do. Sometimes none of the options are totally satisfactory, and the goal is to find the least unsatisfactory one.

What will happen if the sister spends some of your friend's money on lottery tickets instead of her housing responsibilities? Your friend should definitely consult an Elder Law attorney before taking any on any binding obligations. The specialty is important. The sister is likely to need Medicaid help someday, and anything done now should be structured so as it doesn't interfere with Medicaid eligibility (as well as, of course, protecting your friend).

It sounds like your friend has done great work in trying to get her sister on a more independent path. It is awesome to hear that she is in therapy and is improving.
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Thanks for the answer Barb. Friend has to get back to NM tomorrow. Her sister visited alternate housing on Friday. I think they are both having a hard time accepting the reality of the situation.
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I"m bumping this up, but agree with you that your friend needs to find a good eldercare attorney who can protect HER interests.

The sister has ongoing mental health issues. As much as one loves one's family members, sometimes tying your financial well-being to someone who is mentally ill is fraught with lots of bad outcomes.

It very much sounds as though sister would benefit from being in a location that keeps her closer to family members, going forward. She might want to stay in SoCal, but as the saying goes, beggers can't be choosers.
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