Sister is being admitted to nursing home. She has Medicare and TennMedicaid. Her house will be taken by the state whenever she passes away. In the meantime who pays taxes and insurance until estate recovery.

Find Care & Housing
I’m going to approach this from a different angle.... is it worthwhile to bother with the house? You wrote “sister is being admitted to NH”, so I’m guessing something happened to finally push her into a facility. & yeah I read your backstory, my what nasty nasty situation. & I’ll guess she’s in the hospital about to be discharged to NH & it’s under “rehab” orders into NH. My answer is based on this scenario:

if “rehab” orders, then she’s going into NH on Medicare as rehab is a Medicare covered benefit. Usual time is 20/21 days paid for rehab & Medicare pays 100% for this initial period. This is important as 20/21 day window is when imho Sissy, hubs & you have to make decisions & stick to the choices made. Why? Cause after day 21, or earlier if she’s not participating in “rehab”, either she stays on rehab but has to pay 20% of the rehab costs OR she shifts from rehab patient to becoming a long term care resident at NH which is NOT paid by Medicare but can be paid by LTC Medicaid assuming she is eligible financially to be “at need” or she has to private pay to stay.

That is IF y’all (hubs & you) choose to get involved in all this.
& I say this as you have the extra problems of y’all live in MS but Sissys in TN & it’s not a storybook cute grandparents home, so....
- Does hubs have a solid DPOA & MPOA that right now allows for him, a MS resident, to sell her TN property totally on her behalf?
- is hubs a signatory on her accounts & has access to her banking so that say if he needed to buy locks he can do this from her funds?
- Will Sissy agree to selling? Or will she not be at all agreeable?

- Her house is basically a hoarder house with pet crap, right?
Is it worth anything? Is what it could realistically sell for within 5-10% of what county tax assessor has value at? Has county written it up / blight notice posted? Are the majors - roof, plumbing, foundation, electrical- ok to current code? This is important as it might not be able to get FHA lending for a buyer, & that’s 90% of buyers. Would someone need to spend time & $ to get it cleared & cleaned up enough to have anyone look at it? My point is, could it actually get sold? I know where your at as I’ve had to fly into Memphis and then drive to Ole Miss.... it’s not exactly the most prosperous area. Imo the TN side is way worse unless it’s the road down from Collierville. So could house get sold and for what price? If Sissy doesn’t have $ or hubs doesn’t have access to her banking to use her $ to do anything house, will you and hubs or other family happily pay to fix it up to sell? Realize that getting reimbursed from house sale will be difficult as the house is Sissys & if she’s on Medicaid all her $ must be spent on her care or her needs. Medicaid tends to view what we do or spend as done out of a sense of familial duty and for free.

- Is Sissy delinquent on property taxes & how many years? I’d find this out ASAP. Interest crazy high. & it may have gone up for tax sale.

what others have posted regarding Medicaid liens, after death Medicaid estate recovery issues if property is continued to be owned, the Medicaid requirements to use her monthly income to do a copay at NH so Sissy has zero-no-nada $ for house stuff are all accurate.

But I’m thinking more about IF it makes sense for you & hubs to actually get involved in all this. If he’s not dpoa, if she has no $, if she’ll fight selling her place, if there's loads of maintenance, taxes, house nastiness, etc. it may be better to let her become a ward of the state of TN. They can deal with it and w/out family dramarama. SW at NH should be able to explain how that works for TN. Yes I know this is harsh.

I’d suggest to use her 20/21 day rehab period to gather up as much info on what her legal & financials are & to what degree of a craphole her house is and make a decision on what to do, or not to do, and stick with the decision. Good luck, it won’t be easy.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to igloo572
igloo572 18 hours ago
Ere- listen I know it’s got to be especially maddening to deal with Sissy and to stay positive. You look at your folks in thier 80’s who manage to keep themselves independent and tidy and then at your SIL, who is your contemporary, who is anything but. Hoarding, especially if they hoard pets as well, is a disease that seems beyond hard to get past. Although it does make great binge watching on TV. If hubs really isn’t a strong pittbullie type in dealing with his sister, and there's not another family member who can be this, really think about having her become a ward of the State of TN. States tend to have a list of vetted guardians that the judge (usually heard in probate court) will name. They can get things done in days that might take y’all weeks to get done. Hubs & you and other family are still there to be in her life, but the guardian deals with all the minutia of her life and finances. We all only have so much time & nice.
Why not talk with an atty in your state. You may be able to get the house sold and pay for her care now and then go back to Medicaid when money is gone.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to my2cents

TN doesn't have an income tax. Everyone pays property taxes!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Kashi60

I thought that Tennessee didn’t have property taxes?? My mother is from TN and she had said that a while ago. Please check on this with the County Courthouse where she lives.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to mbradley35
JoAnn29 Sep 12, 2020
All states have property taxes. Its what pays for schools, roads, etc.
See 1 more reply
As said sister would have no money to pay taxes or upkeep. Even the cap that was spent down to can only be used on her as is her PNA, Personal Needs Acct. If some has been residing in the house with sister and is a family member, they may be able to stay but need to prove they can afford to keep the house up meaning also paying taxes. POA is not responsible neither are family members.

The State will not take her house. A lean will be placed on it by Medicaid at her death. I would say that the County she resides in will take her house for unpaid taxes before Medicaid gets involved. It will be sold, probably, in a Sheriffs sale.

The POA can sell it but must sell at Market Value. The proceeds will then go to her care. Meaning Medicaid stops, proceeds spent down and Medicaid takes over again.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29
worriedinCali Sep 9, 2020
Medicaid places a LIEN. They don’t make houses LEAN 😉
See 1 more reply
who will be living in the house once she’s in LTC? Whoever is still in the house would be responsible for the upkeep of the house. If it will sit empty, then no one is really responsible. If the family wants to keep the home then they need to take over the costs of maintaining it. Otherwise it can be sold now & the money used to pay for the nursing home.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to worriedinCali

There are no funds left for upkeep of the home. The home is exempt and so is a car as long as there is stated intention to return to the home. But Medicaid requires the patient to pay with their social security and all income and assets towards their care. A small personal needs allowance is allowed and usually around $2000. States vary on exact amounts.
Often a family member, who has POA, will pay the expense to keep the home going for their own purposes or to make sure the owner doesn’t want to return. As Grandma1954 mentioned, it’s a good idea to sell the home and use the proceeds to pay for Sisters care now. Then the home is not sitting unoccupied until sister passes. Insurance is very expensive for empty homes. The taxes usually will go unpaid if the home has a Medicaid lien on it. Medicaid being in the superior position. Any taxes owed at the time of sale would be deducted from the profits. The house if sold must be sold for FMV. See a certified elder attorney for assistance.
I just read your profile. I’m sure it’s a great relief for you to have help caring for your SIL.
I will just add that since your SIL has a home to sale, the attorney fees could be taken from the sale of the home. SIL would go off Medicaid temporarily until the profits were spent down for her care. This would be the time to get her to the dentist, be fitted for new glasses, pay her end of life expenses, whatever she needs.
Regardless by selling the home now, she would realize a bit of a benefit and the home would be better cared for. The attorney would advise you on all the details. Just make sure you choose a qualified attorney. Interview several or get a trusted referral for an attorney who is experienced with this procedure. This will hopefully provide funds to help you clear and clean the home as well. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
And yes, igloo ‘s comments are always very informative. In fact use the search on this forum for ‘igloo house’ and you will learn a great deal from many of igloos very detailed answers.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to 97yroldmom

What a good question. I will be following this one. I am certain most would suggest that your Sister and her POA are still responsible for taxes, but one wonders why. The entire estate will be going to someone; perhaps one should watch them fight for it. I am halfway kidding here, but it is a good point. I would check with a lawyer in that area is someone a good deal smarter here doesn't have a better answer for you. Calling on Igloo again for an answer; often has such great information on these subjects.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to AlvaDeer

Her funds should provide for the upkeep of the property.
Consulting an Elder Care Attorney might be the best option.
Logic to me would be to sell the house ASAP and use funds to pay any costs now including Funeral and much of it will go to the Nursing Home.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Grandma1954
worriedinCali Sep 9, 2020
Her funds cannot be used on the upkeep of the home because she’s going in to LTC on Medicaid. All her money will go to the nursing home minus a small monthly allowance.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter