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Originally Posted By: writer1
We did talk to her about increasing the $400. But she didn't want to touch any of her savings in the bank. She was trying to live off only the $700/month she received in SS. Impossible, I know. Which lead to us having to contribute way more to the household expenses than we could possibly afford. Which brings us to our current situation, where we have no money left and can no longer pay the bills.

You gave her the right to dictate that she would live with you, and not only that but that she would keep her money and you would subside her living costs. You must see that this cannot go on.

You have to take control of her finances and either use them to pay for her care in a home or to pay for her care in your home, including a proper contribution towards the rent.


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Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Originally Posted By: writer1
I do feel bad for feeling like I can't properly care for her at home. I don't really care what anyone else thinks. But she is my mom and she has no other family to help out.

But few people would have the ability to care for a seriously ill person at home. That is why we have hospitals and care homes. Do you think that having her cared for in a good quality care home, with frequent visits from you, would be a bad thing? Do you think it's wrong to come to that decision? I'm not talking talking about leaving her alone in an apartment, after all.


No, I don't think that's bad.

It's just weird, because the places we're being referred to are basically just regular houses owned by RN's or professional caregivers. They don't look much different than our house, and the level of care they provide is similar to what one could do at home. I'm guessing they may have more than one nurse/caregiver, since I don't see how one person could do that 24/7 alone for 6 different patients on average.

The next level of care is a skilled nursing facility. But those are double the cost of the boarding care facilities. At that rate ($5500+/month) my mother's savings would run out a lot faster.


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Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Originally Posted By: writer1
We did talk to her about increasing the $400. But she didn't want to touch any of her savings in the bank. She was trying to live off only the $700/month she received in SS. Impossible, I know. Which lead to us having to contribute way more to the household expenses than we could possibly afford. Which brings us to our current situation, where we have no money left and can no longer pay the bills.

You gave her the right to dictate that she would live with you, and not only that but that she would keep her money and you would subside her living costs. You must see that this cannot go on.

You have to take control of her finances and either use them to pay for her care in a home or to pay for her care in your home, including a proper contribution towards the rent.


This is probably the only solution.

I just need to figure out how to handle it from a legal standpoint.


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Originally Posted By: writer1
We get evicted? I don't know how long that would take, but I'm assuming that would be the end result.

And after an eviction, along with our bankruptcy last year, we'd probably never find another apartment. It was hard enough finding one after a bankruptcy only.

The alternative to moving - not moving - is therefore worse.

You have to act before that happens. If your mother moves back in it's not so critical, but she might not be well enough to do that, or not for long. Start working on a move before you are evicted and in an even worse position.


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Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Originally Posted By: writer1
We get evicted? I don't know how long that would take, but I'm assuming that would be the end result.

And after an eviction, along with our bankruptcy last year, we'd probably never find another apartment. It was hard enough finding one after a bankruptcy only.

The alternative to moving - not moving - is therefore worse.

You have to act before that happens. If your mother moves back in it's not so critical, but she might not be well enough to do that, or not for long. Start working on a move before you are evicted and in an even worse position.


The problem of course with moving at this point is that it would take away any possibility of my mother ever being able to come home again, even if her condition improves. We would have to move into a much smaller place in order to find something we could afford. There's no way we would have room to care for her if we ended up back in a tiny 2-bedroom apartment like we were in before.

And right now, the doctors can't tell us what's going to happen. They don't know if the treatments are going to work and improve her quality of life and ability to function or not. It's kind of a wait and see game.


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Originally Posted By: writer1
This is probably the only solution.

I just need to figure out how to handle it from a legal standpoint.

Tomorrow, make an appointment with a lawyer and find out how power of attorney is done. Eventually, you'll pay the legal bill with your mother's money


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Originally Posted By: writer1
Originally Posted By: SugarCane
Originally Posted By: writer1
We get evicted? I don't know how long that would take, but I'm assuming that would be the end result.

And after an eviction, along with our bankruptcy last year, we'd probably never find another apartment. It was hard enough finding one after a bankruptcy only.

The alternative to moving - not moving - is therefore worse.

You have to act before that happens. If your mother moves back in it's not so critical, but she might not be well enough to do that, or not for long. Start working on a move before you are evicted and in an even worse position.


The problem of course with moving at this point is that it would take away any possibility of my mother ever being able to come home again, even if her condition improves. We would have to move into a much smaller place in order to find something we could afford. There's no way we would have room to care for her if we ended up back in a tiny 2-bedroom apartment like we were in before.

And right now, the doctors can't tell us what's going to happen. They don't know if the treatments are going to work and improve her quality of life and ability to function or not. It's kind of a wait and see game.


I'll be blunt, writer1. This is the least of your problems right now. Let that one go.

YOu are in a crisis. I'm sorry.

Last edited by kerala; 11/20/13 08:49 PM.
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writer1, I read almost daily, rarely post, but I feel compelled to post to you. I am so sorry for what you are going through with your mother. Cyber hugs are so little, yet all I have to offer. You are in my prayers.

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Originally Posted By: Deacon_Blues
writer1, I read almost daily, rarely post, but I feel compelled to post to you. I am so sorry for what you are going through with your mother. Cyber hugs are so little, yet all I have to offer. You are in my prayers.


Thank you. It really is very much appreciated.

She sounded a little better when I spoke to her on the phone tonight. She was able to talk coherently for about twenty minutes. I know it isn't much, but I'll take it.


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Writer, you can download a generic Power of Attorney form from the Internet. It would more than likely would have to be witnessed and notarized. Does your mom have any life insurance? The reason I ask is that when my husband's cancer came back for the last time and his only income was SS because he was too sick to work, we were able to apply for accelerated benefits from his life insurance, which saved our financial situation for awhile.

It was a very small policy that I had purchased through my job. We only took 1/2 of it to use for living expenses, and the remaining $$ paid for his funeral. That $$ was non-taxable and we had to have a written diagnosis from the doc that he only had six months to live. It was really a simple process-- just a matter of filling out some forms and having a doc sign off on the diagnosis. it took about two weeks to complete.

With power of attorney, you could request the benefit on her behalf. Just a thought.


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Just make sure you have all the t's crossed and I's dotted to prevent delay of the disbursement. Follow up with phone calls to let them know how dire the situation is. You really have to stay on top of the insurance company to get it pushed through quickly.


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Originally Posted By: princessmeggy
Writer, you can download a generic Power of Attorney form from the Internet. It would more than likely would have to be witnessed and notarized. Does your mom have any life insurance? The reason I ask is that when my husband's cancer came back for the last time and his only income was SS because he was too sick to work, we were able to apply for accelerated benefits from his life insurance, which saved our financial situation for awhile.

It was a very small policy that I had purchased through my job. We only took 1/2 of it to use for living expenses, and the remaining $$ paid for his funeral. That $$ was non-taxable and we had to have a written diagnosis from the doc that he only had six months to live. It was really a simple process-- just a matter of filling out some forms and having a doc sign off on the diagnosis. it took about two weeks to complete.

With power of attorney, you could request the benefit on her behalf. Just a thought.


Unfortunately, the only life insurance policy my mom has is $1000 one that she bought probably 30-40 years ago. And it wasn't the kind that grew in value with time, so it's still only worth $1000.

I'm learning so many lessons from this experience about planning ahead.

Last edited by writer1; 11/21/13 09:48 AM.

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Originally Posted By: writer1

Unfortunately, the only life insurance policy my mom has is $1000 one that she bought probably 30-40 years ago. And it wasn't the kind that grew in value with time, so it's still only worth $1000.

I'm learning so many lessons from this experience about planning ahead.


It may only have a $1,000 redemption value back at the life insurance company but you can sell it. There are investors who do this. If your mother has only a few months left, you should be able to get almost the full insured (face) amount of the policy. I suggest you see if there is a local charity in your area that can advise you on this.

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Ok writer

Yes, get power of attorney, ASAP. Also make sure you have living directives, medical power of attorney and all of that set up.

Do you know about all of her checking accounts, savings accounts, where her will is, etc. Do you know who the executor is on the will? Does she happen to have any IRA's anywhere?? Savings bonds?

I was very lucky. I filed all of my dad's financial papers when he moved here ( helped me make sure he was current on his bills and he wouldn't do it). He had a little box where he kept all of his important papers: wills, life insurance, etc. So it was a lot easier than it could be. His will still had my uncle as executor because I was only 10 or so when it was written. My uncle turned over his rights to me because he lived so far away and my sister was fine with it. That said, I was surprised at some of the assets he had like savings bonds. He died 5 years ago now, but just this past summer a bank tracked me down about an IRA that I guess my dad forgot he had. It was from when my parents were still married and my mom was the beneficiary so she got the money even though they had divorced and he had remairred and divorced again. That was fine. I didn't need it and I figured it was payment for the horrible 25 years she spent with him. In your case, I probably would have tried to see if I could receive it somehow.

It isn't fun and I'm not sure exactly how lucid your mom is right now, but you have got to have this hard conversation so you can be prepared.

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Originally Posted By: tiredwife45

Do you know about all of her checking accounts, savings accounts, where her will is, etc. Do you know who the executor is on the will? Does she happen to have any IRA's anywhere?? Savings bonds?



I do have the info for her bank accounts. My name is even on these accounts.

I know she has no other assets. My mother worked in fast food and at the height of her career, she was earning $9.50/hr. and bringing home around $1000/month. At one time, she had a small 401k plan, but she cashed that in several years ago when she broke her ankle and had to quit work and go on disability. That money is long gone. Other than the insurance policy and the money from the sale of my grandmother's house, my mother has nothing. And the insurance policy is supposed to be used for her cremation expenses after she passes away. It won't even cover all of that. I know because we just went through this with my grandmother last February and she had the exact same policy, also no other assets except for her house.


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Hi writer I hope you all get through this okay. Did you send the letter for the radio? It sounds like your situation has got you both way down and you both would benefit from having a fresh set of eyes to look at the situation and help you two get on the same page and make a long term plan you both can get excited about.

I talked to a friend who said her parents set up a "Special Needs Trust." Their estate attorney advised them to do it so that a stay in a nursing home would not wipe out their assets.

She said you can probably get a free phone consultation with an estate attorney to see if anything can still be done. A special needs trust with you as the decision maker might make your mom eligible for medicaid for nursing home costs and have her money available to use for her "special needs," which is a legal term that means whatever you all wanted to use it for.


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Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
I talked to a friend who said her parents set up a "Special Needs Trust." Their estate attorney advised them to do it so that a stay in a nursing home would not wipe out their assets.


These need to be done YEARS ahead of time. There are "look back" rules (used to be 3 years). Medicaid will look back 3 years through all financial records BEFORE granting medicaid benefits to see if the family/patient hid money and/or assets. Attorneys can even be prosecuted for helping families/patients illegally hide assets. Sure you may be able to do a little of this if there's hardly any money and she pays you reasonable monies for the care you give her OR if you had a bunch of money to pay creative risk taking attorneys as well as a bunch of money to hide. I'm not thinking that is the case here.


Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay

She said you can probably get a free phone consultation with an estate attorney to see if anything can still be done. A special needs trust with you as the decision maker might make your mom eligible for medicaid for nursing home costs and have her money available to use for her "special needs," which is a legal term that means whatever you all wanted to use it for.


It's not a horrible idea to seek counsel in your state and your area. Medicaid is a federal program so I doubt the rules are that different out there but I'm not presuming to know what I don't know. It's probably too late to protect much of it and then there's the problem of getting into a facility. Many facilities only give medicaid beds to established "residents" that first private paid for a time. Medicaid bed availability walking in off the street can be very difficult in some places.

As far as such trust meaning you can spend her money on "whatever you all wanted to use it for" sounds a little like a elder abuse and theft. A trustee of a special needs trust has a fiduciary duty to protect and use the assets of the trust for the benefit of the beneficiary(ies). Doing "whatever you like with the money" is a breach of that obligation and a violation of the law. This is a criminal. Your friend sounds a little unscrupulous, Ned...if her parent is still living I'd have you consider reporting her to adult protective services.


Sorry to read about this predicament...what a tough spot. You guys should just leave and go somewhere else where the jobs are more plentiful and the cost of living is much less. We are praying for you writer.

Mr. Wondering

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Sorry it came out that way. It sounds legitimate to me recoup the costs of moving to a larger place and the new vehicle as writer needed to transport her mom and didn't have reliable transportation before.


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Originally Posted By: MrWondering

Sorry to read about this predicament...what a tough spot. You guys should just leave and go somewhere else where the jobs are more plentiful and the cost of living is much less.


Unfortunately, this simply won't be possible until after my mother passes away. I can't just leave her and there's no way we'd be able to move her very far in her condition.


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Originally Posted By: MrWondering


These need to be done YEARS ahead of time. There are "look back" rules (used to be 3 years). Medicaid will look back 3 years through all financial records BEFORE granting medicaid benefits to see if the family/patient hid money and/or assets. Attorneys can even be prosecuted for helping families/patients illegally hide assets. Sure you may be able to do a little of this if there's hardly any money and she pays you reasonable monies for the care you give her OR if you had a bunch of money to pay creative risk taking attorneys as well as a bunch of money to hide. I'm not thinking that is the case here.


I'm not sure if it's quite the same, but I think my mom and uncle did something very similar to this with my grandmother's house before my grandmother passed away. They had a trust set up and transferred the title of the house out of my grandma's name and into my mother's and uncle's names. It only cost about $3000 to do it. They did it expressly to protect the home from having to be sold in order to pay for my grandmother's care. In their case, my grandmother never got to the point where she needed Medi-Cal (that's what they call it here in CA). She was in a skilled nursing facility that was being paid for by Medicare for three weeks, they sent her home, and she passed away three days later. The transfer of the home only went through a week before her death.

I don't know if it would work the same with liquid assets in a bank.


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