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My grandfather was in nursing home care for three weeks. He had used up his 20 day Medicare paid nursing home care a couple of months before so they started the Medicaid application process. He died suddenly before he was approved for Medicaid and his approval is still pending. Now the nursing home is billing me for his time there. He had a whole life insurance policy and I am the beneficiary of the $8,000. The funeral expenses will come out of that and the nursing home is telling me that they will get the rest. I'm still waiting on the check to come but now I'm confused about my rights. Can Medicaid or the nursing home take the life insurance from me? He had no estate (nothing of worth) and no probate has been opened so most of his hospital bills have just written them off. I'm overwhelmed and confused.

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I agree with igloo 572. Do not cash the check until you visit with a lawyer. Most will give you one visit for free for consultation. I can't believe you can do a funeral for $8,000, unless you cremate and don't have an actual funeral service. Keep waiting until you get an answer from Medicaid.
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Do NOT deposit the check. It will likely have several months allowed before it gets cancelled. I'd suggest you make a copy of it and put it in a safe deposit box. Then schedule an appt with a law office that does elder law & probate. You may have to call around to find such a practice. If you are not the person named to be executor in grandpas will, they will need to go to the atty. meeting with you as the decisions made affects them as well.

Pam's right that if he had a whole life policy it would have needed to be cashed in & spent down for Medicaid to approve him. But since his application hadn't gotten into a request from the state to be done before he died, it could be that as the insurance policy was still fully a beneficiary designation, & so it passed outside of probate to you as you are the BD. If so, its not an asset of his estate. Its your $ to spend however you like (so you do not have to pay funeral unless you choose to).

Unless you personally signed off financial responsibility to the NH in his admissions contract, NH is not your bill. It's a question for legal to answer definetly to you.

The NH will continue to pressure you or other family to pay. Could even threaten to turn it over for collections. But unless someone personally signed off responsibility, little NH can actually do. 3 weeks NH maybe 5k. Maybe even less. Not enough to warrant going after IMO as there's no assets.

If you open probate, there likely would be no $ for NH either. 8k less 2-3k for atty & court fees; less 5 - 10k for funeral & burial. There's no $$. It may actually be negative. Funeral, burial & legal costs are usually priority estate expenses. Those expenses will use up all the 8k. NH knows this. Plus they will need to pay to have thier atty file a claim in probate court...... For the amount owed, probably not worth it.

If your a bit of a pitt bully of a personality, you can out last the NH calls & collections cycle.
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Medicaid requires you to cash in whole life and use it to pay the nursing home. I doubt if the approval will go through with Medicaid. See a lawyer to probate properly.
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