Caregiving resources for every stage of the disease.
RSS Feed Print
Frustrating Family!
NanaSherri
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 9:55 AM
Joined: 1/31/2018
Posts: 19


So, where to begin? I will tell you first this is a venting session for me and I don't know what to do. My husband and I have been living with and caring for my MIL since late October. I have quit my job and we have left our house to live with her. We have been appointed guardianship and conservatorship. There are 2 other siblings one of which is causing my frustration. We called a family meeting to discuss financials, MIL only can cover less than half of her expenses and debt. We have asked the siblings to sign a letter saying we get the deed to the house(as we are willing to let ours go back to the bank.We are unable to sell) This is the only way we can afford to take care of her. Since October we have been paying all of our bills and having to catch up all of  hers(taxes had not been paid, all bills were 2,3,and 4 months behind. All are caught up now(Whew) I am all about taking care of her, but I will be homeless! and already without a job! I don't understand what the hang up is why would you not want us to do this, I do have to add that the same sibling wanted to put her in a home. In the last 3 months we have depleted our savings, on bills and attorney fees, court fees, and can not afford to pay anymore. We are not asking them to pay anything at this point, just want to make sure we have somewhere to live, when, if she needs to be in a home or passes.If anyone has any advice it would be greatly welcomed!
kellly
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 9:59 AM
Joined: 6/12/2015
Posts: 1021


SEE AN ELDER CARE ATTORNEY. If she has no assets and you have depleted everything, she might qualify for Medicaid. Each state is different, so please get some legal advice. You shouldn't have to become homeless in order to care for an in-law. An elder care attorney can advise.
ruthmendez
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 10:22 AM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 358


Can you do what you want to do without their signatures?  I can understand why the sibling prefers her going to a home, it would probably be better for everyone in the long run...but, if you prefer to take full care of her, then see if you don't really need their consent.
King Boo
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 10:37 AM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 2597


It is good you have come here for information.  However, from what you have written, you are in dire need of a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA).  They are well worth their rate.  Go to www.nelf.org to find one.  This will yield a REAL elder law attorney.  Saying you are an elder law attorney is merely advertising, many do not have the expertise.

A lot of what you write is water under the bridge already, but  I must comment on it because it deals directly with your current situation.   Anecdotal, always confirm everything with your state specific legal counsel.  Also, please don't be offended, I am not saying you would do any of this, but am offering the reasons why the other family members would not want to do this.  I too, had a family member that wanted to be given a house, they didn't understand the consequences of such an action for the PWD.

1.  Using your own savings, funds, etc to provide care was only a stop gap measure that lasted a few months.  Your MIL may qualify for Medicaid if her income qualifies her, and if not, other state based or county based assistance for low income elderly.  Stop spending your money.

2.  The house is not your to ask for.   I understand why the family will not do that.  It is a valuable asset for your MIL which may help her in the future, particularly with long term care under Medicaid.  From a legal standpoint, putting the deed in your name makes your MIL very vulnerable.  I mean, from their viewpoint, deed goes in your name, you guys sell the house, leave MIL homeless and without assets and could dump her.  Not saying you would, but you certainly could.   Also, MIL could pass away next month -and you get a whole house and disinherit them?   This is why their ' no' makes sense.

Also, doing that would be considered gifting and would disqualify her from receiving Medicaid for the penalty period.  5 year look back.    This is the stuff you need an elder law attorney for.  

3.  As you say you are 'letting your house go', does that mean the bank has it for short sale?  Another potential reason why family members wouldn't want it in your name.

WWID?

-CELA for planning

-While at CELA, draw up a legal family caregiving agreement that spells out how you get paid, how much you get paid, and how to discontinue this agreement.   Have all family members meet with the CELA so everyone understands and it is fair.  Your pay should come from MIL's current resources, if a legal agreement is done, it could help her get more help.

It would also help to visit quality area care facilities so you know what is out there, it will also help you with your perception that the sibling who wanted to place in a facility is a bad guy.  There are lots of reasons to be placed in a home, one of which is needing care without resources, or care needs exceeding what a family can provide, or it stops them from being able to earn a living themselves.

The CELA will help you sort out your options.


kellly
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 10:43 AM
Joined: 6/12/2015
Posts: 1021


King Boo's advice was WAY better than mine, specifically what questions to ask and what to specify in any agreement(s). Definitely see a CELA. You won't regret it, but you might regret it if you don't.
jfkoc
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 12:53 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 14068


Shop around a bit for an Elder Care attorney and be certain to have put together all papers before an appointment.

I would definitely start the process for Medicaid and do not, starting today, move around money. That is important.

Also, there is a lot of info online you can read.


NanaSherri
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 4:20 PM
Joined: 1/31/2018
Posts: 19


Thanks I have contacted an attorney. The house is not really an asset. It was remortgaged, and more is owed than what it would sell for. I do not agree that she would be better in a home as she is only in middle stages and has lived in the same house since the early 60's. I have checked into homes in our area and getting one that will accept Medicaid is difficult. I have also said I would be happy to stay in our house, not be put on the deed, but would have to go back to work, and would have to have an aid. Insurance will not cover any of the cost. as i said she is only able to pay about 1/2 of her bills. We have been paying them but can no longer afford to pay bills for mortgages on both.I would gladly keep things as they are if they agree to pay 1/3 of hers. I guess the worst thing I did was trust them, this was all discussed before my FIL passed away. Now that it is time to make every thing legal they are changing their minds. I could see if we were gaining something they may react this way, but were really not. We would be willing to have a legal document saying we would keep her hare and take care of her, and no we do not have to pay our own money, but if we wouldn't have she could have lost a lot, we couldn't let that happen! Again thank you it really helps to see other points of view. We just want to make sure the rest of her life is as happy and comfortable as possible.
NanaSherri
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 4:41 PM
Joined: 1/31/2018
Posts: 19


To follow up, we are not asking that she be taken off the deed, only want us to be added.
ruthmendez
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 5:00 PM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 358


And this is the reason why we can't trust family (or anyone). They most likely don't want to pitch in any financial help in the future..
NanaSherri
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 5:23 PM
Joined: 1/31/2018
Posts: 19


Sad, but true.
NanaSherri
Posted: Friday, February 9, 2018 6:19 PM
Joined: 1/31/2018
Posts: 19


Thank you!I have talked to my husband about all you said. I have contacted and will set up a meeting with ECA. You gave me great information, and points I had not thought of. I just want things to settle down so we don't feel like were sinking. You have really made us feel better.
bela
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 1:44 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 3998


I'm not a lawyer or tax person but here is the thought I had; 

If you can afford to stay in the home that belonged to you and your husband (if not disregard my idea), the three of you could live there.

Then you sell MIL's home and use the assets for her care- an aid in your home a few days a week.  This might permit you to work part time perhaps.  Also, you should be repaid for the money you and your husband have used to care for her from the sale of her home.

There is no doubt in my mind you need to be reimbursed for everything you have paid for related to her care to date.

When MIL's assets begin to run out begin applying for medicaid for her- In other words, even though she is living with you and your husband she still will have medical bills, and other day to day essentials (clothing, medicine, etc).  Like anyone that is poor and lacking assets she likely would be eligible for no cost medical care, food stamps and so on.

How much debt does she have (approximate)? Or, the better question is if you sold her home would she be able to pay off any or all of her debts? 

Has anyone considered filing for bankruptsy?  Not sure if doing so would be beneficial. Bullet point each idea 1, 2 and 3.  Then list the suggestions given for each idea (1, 2 and 3).  When you meet with a CELA all the questions/considerations will be on paper for yur convenience. 

I'd recommend bullet points vs lengthy content.  I'd also suggest that when you are ready to meet with an attorney you provide him/her with the list you created a few weeks in advance. This will give him/her an opportunity to review same so he can give the different options due consideration as to which is the best way to go.  

If  we use a O's assets for their care, sometimes there is no inheritance for anyone.  If she moves into a facility you will need her assets to pay for MC or AL.  If she qualifies for a NH she will likely qualify for medicaid given that she lacks assets.  Most of her SS check will also go toward the NH cost leaving her with approximately only $35 per month (each state differs).

A few members here have reported that they received a medicaid waiver- in sort I believe you will be paid for providing care.
Fingers crossed for all concerned.  

Many people have provided ideas.  


King Boo
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:58 AM
Joined: 1/9/2012
Posts: 2597


There is no doubt that you need a certified elder law attorney, this is a complicated situation, do not rely on ANY of our advice as applying 100% to you.  1 fact that is different or different state rules can make any of what we write irrelevant.

I did not say she would be better in a home, only that if you do what you proposed without legal consult you could cost her being eligible for benefits such as Medicaid, which in turn could create heaploads of problems for you if nursing home is ever needed (sometimes, situations change beyond what we can anticipate - i.e. your own health makes continued care impossible, or a massive medical issue for MIL, ventilator dependency, etc). What seems like a  solution to your current problem could create a huge problem for your MIL, at a great cost to MIL.  Even a simple action like being put on the deed could be viewed as 'gifting' and if it is 'gifting', this will be counted against her for her Medicaid application.  If this house scenario is feasible the lawyer will tell you how to do it another way so it works well for MIL and the caregivers, is legal with the paperwork to back up the caregiving you can do.

It pays to do everything the right way to keep all care paths open.  WWID?

1.  Find a Certified Elder Law Attorney (www.nelf.org)

2.  Have a legal document, Family Caregivers agreement, drawn up.  Have all family members sign it (let the lawyer do the talking since there is arguments in the family - he will know what to say to get family on board.  Heck, have separate meetings if needed)

3.  Get medical documentation that MIL needs nursing home level care from a physicians.

4.  Provide said care for MIL for a period of 2 years in her home.

The lawyer will tell you why this approach is the way to go, instead of just being put on the deed.  Disclaimer - this does not apply to all people, this is not legal advice but this is what I would do, doing what I know, with what you have told us , but only if I had an elder law attorney.  Find that lawyer to help you.

What does doing things this way do?

-Guarantees that family is on board because they signed the document.

-Pacifies family because your reward/pay for caregiving is received AFTER the 2 years of care are provided 

-Lets the lawyer deal with family members

-Makes sure MIL still qualifies for Medicaid, which is sounds like she needs sooner rather than later. 

The big question is whether this even makes sense.  If you did not have the finances to keep your past house, you could get this house and end up loosing it too.  Can you pay the taxes, utilities, get it our of debt?  Is owning this house way more trouble down the road that it is worth?  

If so, getting paid for caregiving may be the way to go.

Just chatting. . . .you definitely need legal/financial help to sort this out.  Remember, too, MIL's situation is one thing, yours is another.  The puzzle pieces have to fit.


NanaSherri
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:59 AM
Joined: 1/31/2018
Posts: 19


Yes we are going to see an attorney, you brought many points that we did not realize. W have no idea what the state laws are. I guess they way I thought about it was MIL and home need to be taken care of period. This is the way my family operated, so assumed( we all know what that means) my husbands family was the same. I had to leave a message for the attny, hopefully they will contact me Monday. We are not going to discuss any more with the family, we will let the attny handle all from here on out. I was not saying we cant afford housing we just cant afford 2 households. Also we have done nothing with our own home yet, just trying to get every thing in order before we do, haven't decided if we want to rent, sell. This is why I wanted to post on here for the different opinions and support!
dayn2nite2
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:53 AM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 1292


NanaSherri wrote:
To follow up, we are not asking that she be taken off the deed, only want us to be added.
If you're adding your name(s) to her deed, you are affecting her ownership in the home.  Depending on your state's laws, you could be affecting her Medicaid eligibility.

Attorney.  Immediately.  Also, why would you let your own home go back to the bank in order to live in a home that is underwater mortgage-wise?

I don't understand any of this, but I think you should go back to work, both of you should go back to your own home and she should be placed.  You obviously need the income of your job in order to live and you shouldn't be giving up your job to be a caregiver.

ruthmendez
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:14 AM
Joined: 9/8/2017
Posts: 358


is there a lawyer in town? I have a question...is it still considered gifting if you're assuming the loan/debt of the house??
NanaSherri
Posted: Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:58 AM
Joined: 1/31/2018
Posts: 19


I am not sure of the state laws, we are going to meet with ECA. We will let them decide, other than putting her in a home. I did not have to work, only did so because I wanted to. We are not in financial trouble on our own. If it has to be we will sell her house and move her into ours. None of us are expecting her to go anytime soon she id very healthy other than Dementia. There was a lot of debt left to her and no life ins for my FIL. He only passed in November and told none of his sons what kind of shape they were in. As I said we only thought to get her out of trouble and had the money to do it so we did. We just can't continue to pay for both! We did not want to get rid of her house, it is only house the sons grew up in. It is a nice house,just needs many repairs to get it to where it would sell for profit.We are willing to do them also, but do not want to spend all of our money, and believe the others should help, one agrees the other does not. I will also add it was agreed by all parties that my husband and I would take this on because we were in the best shape financially. I am not looking to get anything out of this other than her living the best life she can, and not getting screwed in the process. We will do what ever the ECA thinks is the best option.
 
× Close Menu