Mom is in a rest home now, leaving a house behind. The rest home is being paid for by my moms insurance and her money. So what is going on?
No way for anyone here on Avvo to know what's going on. I'll make a couple observations, however. If your mother is receiving skilled nursing care, then that's likely a huge monthly expense and after 100 days or less there is likely no help from Medicare, so any secondary insurance would be paying and that's often very limited or even non-existent. Once there's no insurance, it becomes a matter of private paying until such time as one can qualify for Medicaid assistance. You don't mention whether mother has a spouse, so I assume she doesn't. If that's the case, then she'd likely need to get down to less than $2000 in "countable" assets/resources to qualify for Medicaid. Not everything will count and often the primary residence is not counted toward Medicaid eligibility. There is a provision under the Medicaid laws that can permit the primary residence to be transferred to a caregiver child and perhaps that is the reason you are being asked to confirm that your sister has been caring for mother but there are a LOT of moving parts to those kinds of regulations so it would be impossible without a whole lot more information to know if this is what may be happening. Hopefully your sister and mother are engaged with an experienced local elder law attorney knowledgeable in all facets of Medicaid eligibility since this area of the law is not "do it yourself" territory and even experienced lawyers often make serious mistakes if they aren't completely familiar with Medicaid and the many ways Medicaid issues can arise when a senior is in a "rest home" (which by the way could mean anything from an assisted living facility or adult care home to a full blown skilled nursing facility). I think the best thing you can do is have some open communication with your sister to find out exactly what is happening and precisely what issues they are facing. One huge issue that confronts seniors who use certain kinds of Medicaid benefits is the issue of the state bringing an estate recovery claim once the senior has passed away in which the state will attempt to recoup the funds that Medicaid may have provided to pay for care during the lifetime. I'm sure all of these things are issues that your family needs to be looking at and again hopefully sister has got a highly experienced elder law attorney on the case. The professional ethics rules for lawyers prevent discussing cases with third parties but perhaps mother will agree to grant the lawyer permission if you want to talk with the lawyer yourself to get reassurance on what is or is not happening (and of course the lawyer will want to bill someone for that additional time spent working on the case).
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Why don't you ask your sister? We certainly can't tell from your description. Your sister may be trying to get the house, which may or may not be part of a Medicaid planning strategy. In any case, I wouldn't sign anything without having your own lawyer look at it.
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. Information on Avvo 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.
Who knows without having the paper to look at. I think you need a consult w/ a local elder law attorney.
There is no way to tell you what is "going on" with this vague information. Why don't you ask your sister? Or, ask her lawyer? Normally, Power of Attorney's and wills are not signed by all siblings. Deeds to houses may be but I am only guessing. You may want to talk to your own lawyer and have him look at what you are signing and explain it to you before you choose to sign.
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