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Can I be sued by a nursing home for additional money after the resident of the home was discharged and our balance due was zero?

Pittsburgh, PA |

My wife , myself and my sister in law have power of attorney . My father in law went into the home after a stroke and could not sign the contract so I did . Both the home and our county case worker told us he met the spend down requirements . but then changed their story . Unfortunately I do not have anything in writing from either stating this only verbal discussions that I can't prove . What I think happened was that we got the $ 6 , 000 from mother in law insurance and the county worker said she would ignore it but then she said she had to count it as an asset and the home is claiming it . I don't think I have a documented case to stand on and should pay the $ 7000 but am concerned about the attorney's fees and court costs which I will owe as well . Should I just pay it and not get a lawyer

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Without seeing the actual document you signed and without understanding the capacity in which you signed the document, it is not possible to advise you. If you signed the document under the power of attorney, you would not necessarily have been obligating yourself personally for anything, but rather your signature stood for your relative, not you personally. I suggest you take the documents and related information to an attorney for a consultation where everything can be reviewed and better understood.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.

    This ans. does not create an attorney/client relationship.


  2. No, you would want a lawyer in Pittsburgh to investigate the situation. Use Avvo's "find a lawyer" tool for a lawyer in your city. Good luck.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com


  3. A comprehensive binding release upon payment would preclude further liability but unless you get a lawyer you won't know whether you should pay anything in the first place and whether the release is properly worded. Try John Payne, Esq. He is knowledgeable and reasonably priced.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.


  4. The receipt of a lump sum is not counted as a resource in the month of receipt, but is counted thereafter. I believe you can get to the bottom of this by meeting with a local elder law attorney for a consultation. It should not be too expensive for a consultation, and you will be in a better position after the meeting to determine whether you should fight this or cut your losses. The elder law attorney might be able to make phone calls during the meeting to 1) the DPW caseworker, and 2) to the nursing facility business office. Those two calls would help the lawyer to give you advice on what happened and how to proceed. I don't see the harm in your calling the DPW caseworker at this point in order to obtain additional information about what happened.


  5. This seems like a situation that I would fight. The cost of an attorney to review the matter may well save you $6000.00

    Good luck.

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