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My 83 year old mother refuses to talk about any planning at all for what to do in case she requires long term care. She gets very angry about this. My brother and I have both tried to approach her. She refuses to talk about any financial planning and will not do a quit claim, or even deem us to have power of attorney if she becomes unable to care for herself . She says that we are after our inheritance and says that she will live alone and will never want our help. Or she says that she feels that it is wrong to worry about the future.


I know it doesn't seem like it, but we've always had a close relationship. My brother and I have tried for years to talk about the subject and the response has always been the same.


We are very willing to come and care for her one day in her own home if she'd like. But the home and her farm will never be in our name. Would it be taken away from her to pay for expenses even if we are living with her to care for her?

I recommend going to www.nelf.org and finding a certified elder law attorney in your area that can help you understand what the laws are for your state.

If your mom ever needs care and you plan on providing it I don't know what you are worrying about. You would not have to worry about a lien against anything if you are not planning on putting her in long term care facility.

I would not listen to any advice on a caregiver forum about what is and isn't allowed, there are variables that we don't know and those can affect what your personal situation is.

Go see an attorney.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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My mom refused to plan . .still does. and now we're on trip #5 to the hospital this year . .as of this morning. She "showtimes" for the doctors really well when it comes to 'cognitive' issues. She has lost all reason ability as far as I'm concerned. She recently refused to buy a script for lasix, after last weeks hospital discharge. I told her "buy it this time - we'll find a way to get the cost down, otherwise your going to end up in the hospital again- and the next time Medicare won't pick up the tab because you didn't take your meds"


Sometimes I think I'm just waiting for the state to call me. Or someone to call me to tell me she's dead. I hate what I'm going through with my mother. But there is not much I can do. I'm sorry for your dilema. I wish elderly would understand the the human body is just not built to last forever, and it fails at some point, and it's really very important to put affairs in order before the inevitable happens. Its a shame when adult children have to suffer a parents catastrophic decision to not prepare for the end of life.

My MIL made her end of life a 'memorable' one, not a resentful one.
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Beatty Jun 14, 2020
Blue24 (((hugs to you))).
I think it's the combination effect. Some people were always planners, some not. Then add cog problems (reasoning first to go it seems) - this is the result. I feel for you. I am on a similar trajectory watching close family members & seeing lack of planning/reasoning.

I am trying (where I can) to work behind the scenes instead.
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Wrong to worry about the future? Does she believe that the Lord will take care of the future for her? She certainly knows how she would like to spend her final days. Without documenting those wants, the Lord may assign a judge or a doctor to make those decisions for her, which may be entirely opposite of what she would want. At the minimum she should have a living will so her last days are what she wants, not what someone choses for her. This is a document that says what she wants for herself, not one that gives decisions to others on her behalf. Nor does it address any asset distribution. It's strictly by her for her.

If she's receptive to the living will, it might open the door to complete the other necessary documents... POAs and a will or trust.

Good luck.
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Reply to sjplegacy
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The State does not automatically take over someone's care. They will find a family member willing to do that first or talk them into it. The State taking guardianship only comes into play if there is no one to care for the person. Or family members give up their rights because they have a very good reason why they cannot care for the person.

At 83, your Mom remembers what Nursing Homes were like back when she was young. Not someplace you want to be if you could help it. They have improved a lot. Now we have Assisted Livings which were not around years ago.

For now the one thing I would try to talk her into was POAs. Explain that a POA does not give you the authority to take her money. Its a tool for you to help her if for some reason she can't do for herself. Make sure bills are paid for one thing. With Both financial and Medical, you follow her wishs. Hopefully there is a Will in place.

Do not promise you will take care of her. If her actions are the beginning of a Dementia, that becomes a 24/7 job. Not everyone can care for someone that long.

I think you should get familiar with the Medicaid laws in your State. Especially where a farm is involved. As Margaret responded the house may not be counted but the land may be an asset that can be sold for Moms care. There is a 5 yr look back with Medicaid so don't do anything concerning the farm until you have talked to a lawyer well versed in Medicaid.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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A Councelor told me it usually takes at least 6 attempts for 'The Talk' to lead to any action 😕.

Sometimes after a health scare, a crack opens in their denial & it can be arranged. I call that being whacked by a reality stick.

Sometimes cognitive decline arrives before 'the talk' is successful. The planning & practical part of the brain is already becoming inaffective. The *I'll manage* stage sets in. (Easier to just say that then actually plan...)

Past that is no longer denial but 'lack of insight'. Sometimes a firm Doctor can sway them, otherwise you are left waiting for a health crisis to force change. Guardianship may be required.

One Doctor described that to me as *RIP* Rotting in Place.

(I have 2 x I'll manage & 1 rotting in my family).

Keep trying with 'the talk'. Wouldn't it be nice for Mom to plan what SHE wants rather than have it forced on her? 🤗
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Medicaid doesn’t take away homes and farms. Why would you think it could be taken away if you were living with her and taking care of her? She owns it. As long as she pays the property taxes & the
property is mortgage free, no one can take it. And Medicaid has special rules when it comes to farms. If she needed to go in to long term care and couldn’t afford it, that’s when Medicaid would come in to play and they again they don’t just take houses.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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MargaretMcKen Jun 13, 2020
I think there's a misunderstanding here. Medicaid (and it's equivalent here) doesn't 'take away farms'. However it has income and asset limits for eligibility. The house is usually exempt, but a lot of farmed land may not be, and it may exceed the asset limit. That's why you need a local lawyer.
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I’d get a legal consult on asset protection before signing any deed or transferring sums of money.

Does your mother have any friends who have signed POAs? Sometimes, if their peers speak positively about it, their friends will take heed. My parents refused for years, but after their friend bragged on how she had signed HCPOA, DPOA and Advance Medical Directive, my parents changed their minds and did too. Their friend was thrilled to have it done and over, so she didn’t have to concern herself with it anymore.

Another incentive is that without POA, it will be up to the courts who handles matters. I told my parents, I’ll have to take all your financial records to the courthouse so they can review everything, which is true. Most people would not like that loss of privacy. The Guardian has to provide accountings and show records to support it.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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My best guess is that your mother is terrified of what the future will bring, and that is why she won’t face it. Unless the farm has a manager, it may be running at a loss, and money may be a real problem. The best thing might be for you and your brother to work out alternatives with a lawyer, and put them to her. For example:

- Where I live, there is a limit on how much land you can own while being eligible for any government benefits (about 4 acres). There are some more complicated rules for family farms which are being passed down, but you need to check your own rules, not mine. If your mother has heard about this sort of limit, she may be thinking that she will be forced to sell and move if she applies for a benefit. However the details may not be like that for her.
- Does she know about the 5 year look-back for Medicaid? If she can stay there for more than 5 years, the farm can pass ownership now without future problems. (And again, check locally)
- As she thinks you are after your inheritance, does she realise that a sale to you can include a life interest for her, so that she has the right to live there permanently? (And again, check the implications of that for you and your brother)

These are complicated questions for which you need legal help, but knowing the answers can lead you to a couple of very simple options. Don’t talk about the complications with your mother, sort out the options with the lawyer. It would make sense to write the simple options down and leave the letter with her. Give it a heading like ‘How to protect your farm’. She’ll probably scream blue murder, and then read it when you’ve gone. Perhaps send her a copy in the post, just in case she puts it in the fire in the ‘blue murder’ stage. I’d probably tackle this side of things first, because she is likely to find the idea of a POA very threatening. If you can deal with the farm and benefits, the POA is likely to be less of a problem in a year or so.

Best of luck, Margaret
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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I think your mom probably has cognitive issues and that may be why she's so resistant to it, and beyond reason. I would not put any emotional energy into arguing or cajoling her. You will need to come to peace with what the options are for her. If you and your brother don't pursue guardianship of her through the courts, then the county will. You will need to prove incapacity in order to be granted guardianship. This will cost time and money but is probably your best option. If you don't do this, the county will control everything while she is alive. You won't be privy to any of her medical and financial dealings. You will be locked out of her accounts. They will decide what facility she goes to. They will most likely not allow you or brother to care for her in her home. Then when she passes, all her assets will go to probate if she doesn't have a will. Probate court will take a large chunk of her estate. I'm not sure what happens to her estate if you are the guardian. I would consult with an elder law attorney who specializes in guardianship issues and start with being informed. So, there are your options: you have guardianship and provide care for her that's in her best interests, or the county will be in charge of all decisions. I wish you all the best as you sort this out.
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