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First, I am an only child. I was left out of my mother's business affairs. But when I began to take over I learned many things, one is that she had taken out a mortgage on a home that had been paid for several years earlier according to my knowledge. When I had to take charge because of a broken hip and signs of dementia, I learned a lot of things that were going on in her life I never knew. People that used her to get what they wanted (many were relatives) and it hurt, but I never treated them any different. They just don't know I have seen papers where she used her credit cards for them.
She is at a point where I would like to place her in a NH, but I wonder about the mortgage on the house. I cannot afford an attorney, therefore, I am waiting for help from our local Aging Service Agency. My name has been placed on the waiting list. I just wonder if anyone has had a similar experience, please share! Thanks!

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Your Mom gets social security and perhaps a retirement too, so she has income and can & should pay for her legal costs for the two of you to see an elder law attorney. You need to have the document to show you are her DPOA & MPOA before you begin doing her Medicaid application or dealing with house issues. This site has a drop down list of elder law attorney names by state too.

One critical in all this is just what kind of mortgage did she get? if it is a traditional second mortgage or perhaps a HELOC, that is quite a different & more manageable creature than if you are going to be dealing with a reverse mortgage which will be pose quite a set of it's own problems to deal with.Either way she will need good legal to review everything to come up with options in how to deal with the Medicaid application.

As an aside, for my mom's Medicaid application, they needed 3 years and 6 months of all financials & banking statements. And for each account that was closed (like a CD or Tbill that got cashed out rather than rolled over & renewed), I need to show where the funds went. Fortunately as they came up for renewal, they went into mom's main checking account so no issues there. I had to get a letter on bank letterhead signed off by bank officer as to the disposition on all closed accounts, the #, amount and date and what account # it went into. If any of those had just been cashed out, I'm sure mom would have gotten a transfer penalty. Mom did not have to provide for any credit card statements for Medicaid. State did a 5 year look back on all real property owned by her which they accessed through state database for home, land and auto registration.
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It is your mother who needs to be able to afford a consultation with an attorney specializing in Elder Law. I think that she cannot afford to do without you seeing a lawyer on her behalf. The "gifts" she has given in the last five years are likely to be an obstacle. I don't mean a $50 gift she gave her niece on her birthday as she does every year -- I mean charging hundreds of dollars on her credit cards for various people.

Gather as much financial data as you can for the past 5 years, and then see an Elder Law attorney. The stakes are too high.
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Get together five full years of financial documents and find out where all the money went. If you don't know, you don't get Medicaid.
As for the house, a high mortgage would not preclude eligibility.
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