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Christopher J. Berry
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Christopher Berry’s Answers

55 total


  • Can the state hold a secondary home for 5 years on the premise that the owner goes in a nursing home? Can it be warded to son?

    Need help clarifying the question of an elderly parent having a secondary home and it being used to pay her bills in nursing home. State is not letting it go to her son, instead they are holding it for a 5 year period.

    Christopher’s Answer

    A primary residence is exempt during your life time from Medicaid, however a second home would be countable. There are legal strategies to protect assets so you don't have to spend down to the $2000 asset limit.

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  • Is the homeowners' policy still effective as long as it remains in their names and is paid? Thank you.

    My sister and I are named as owners of our late parents' home on a ladybird deed that we secured several months before my mother passed away (my father had preceded her in death). Their homeowners' insurance remains their names. No one lives in th...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You'd have to reference the policy agreement, but it may be void because it's an unoccupied home. You might want to get a new policy or sell the home.

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  • What can I do to protect my grandmother and stop my family from forcing her to do things she don't want to do?

    I moved in with my grandmother after my grandfather passed away because she wanted me to and she wants me to be her caregiver but my family don't want me to be because they want the money instead, I have no problem doing it for my gran and I would...

    Christopher’s Answer

    It sounds like you're taking care of your grandma. If she doesn't she should appoint you as power of attorney for both medical as well as financial. Also, if she is going to be paying you, she should have a personal care contract in place so as to not disqualify her from Medicaid if she needs it. Also, was your grandfather a Veteran? Your grandma could be receiving $1149 per month to pay for home care (even to pay you). A lot of issues here, you will want to contact a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) soon before your sister takes any action if what you've stated is in Grandma's best interest.

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  • I'm preparing to enter a nursing home. I'm on disability social security. How do my spouse and I proceed to protect assets?

    I have MS and have private insurance. My spouse is employed. I'm 61, my spouse is 62. My spouse has life insurance, 401k we'd like to protect. We still have a mortgage.

    Christopher’s Answer

    You may want to look at an asset protection trust to shelter assets. You'll want to consult with an elder law attorney in KS, ideally a Certified Elder Law Attorney. One issue will be the 401k. If you put them into the trust, you'd have to pay income tax. Really, your best bet will be to consult with an elder law attorney.

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  • What should my mom do with her house now at 80, in case she needs to go to a nursing home within 5 years

    what can we do to protect from losing the home to medicaid

    Christopher’s Answer

    Some states allow for a lady bird deed as a way to avoid losing the home to the nursing home and estate recovery. You'll want to talk to an elder law attorney in New York. Ideally a Certified Elder Law Attorney. If you think she can make it more than 5 years before needing care, an irrevocable trust may make sense instead.

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  • Can my mothers doctor force her out of her home. she is 83

    mothers 83

    Christopher’s Answer

    Really need to know more information here, but I'd go with no. The doctor can make recommendations, but I don't see how a Dr. could force her out. There may be a recommendation for a guardianship, or DHHS may be brought in if it's an unfit situation, but as for a Dr. forcing her out of her home, my initial reaction would be no.

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  • My parent has a home in Michigan,she is moving to an Assisted living facility in North Dakota.will a Ladybird deed work here?

    I am told the ladybird deed may not work if she becomes a resident of NORTH DAKOTA . If so ND i believe has a similar program..will we need to apply there

    Christopher’s Answer

    I assume you're using a lady bird deed to avoid estate recovery and protect the home from nursing home costs or a lien. In Michigan, it avoids estate recovery if done properly. I can't speak to North Dakota. If your mom is going to be in an assisted living in North Dakota, and then transitioning to a nursing home there where you are looking at Medicaid to help pay for her care, then you need to follow North Dakota Medicaid rules, but you'll need a Michigan attorney to draft the deed. First consult with a North Dakota elder law attorney. I recommend working with a CERTIFIED elder law attorney. Find one here. http://nelf.org/find-a-cela/north-dakota

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  • Can I have medical rights to my elder father's care if he is married?

    My 80 year old father is married and is incapacitated due to a stroke. He physically is having a tough time getting around and cannot speak or write his name. Communication is minimal. Me and my 2 brothers have concerns that my dad is not get...

    Christopher’s Answer

    You may want to consider a guardianship, which is generally the last resort, because you have to goto court. But if your father doesn't have capacity to sign a medical poa, that may be the only option. Talk to an elder law attorney in your area.

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  • Mother 68 disabled w/Medicare & Medicaid sold her home moving closer to her children. What are her options with the money made?

    lives in Texas

    Christopher’s Answer

    She may very well be disqualified for Medicaid. Medicaid, in Michigan, has a $2,000 asset limit for the type of Medicaid I normally deal with as an elder law attorney. The home is an exempt asset, but when sold and turned into cash, it becomes a countable asset.

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  • 92 man daily customer at Village Inn has Dementia,has been paying other peoples tabs without permission,responsible for my Dad?

    Ya my dad has Dementia still drives and has been going to eat at the Village Inn for a long time, I just found out today that he has been picking up peoples tabs without there permission at resturant. He doesnt have the money to do this, can the V...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Maybe, maybe not. I'd have a discussion with the Village Inn. You'll for sure want to have POA, but if you need to terminate his ability to make his own decisions and do things like this, you would need a guardianship. It's a last resort in my book, because you are taking away someone's independence and you are getting a court involved.

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