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Question about how to best proceed with protecting assets while dealing with an elderly family member.

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Tom729

Junior Member
I am not sure where this tread should belong. I apologize in advance if estate planning is the wrong thread to ask this question. I live in the state of New York. My mom is 67 years old. She owns a house that has been paid off long ago, and has 403b plan as well as other accounts. She is planning on retiring by the time that she is 70. I am concerned that there may come a time when God forbid she may have to be placed in a nursing home. She does not have protective insurance. I am concerned that if this were to happen, then medicare would come after the house along with her other finances. I have discussed with my mom the possibility of adding my name (her oldest son and executor of her estate when she passes) on the deed to the house or any other property that she might purchase. She is reluctant due to the liability factor which I cannot blame her for. She does have some health issues right now but is able to go to work every single day.

Can anyone offer advice on what they would suggest doing or exploring in this kind of situation? Thanks. You input is greatly appreciated.
 
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Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Your question is not really a "legal question" for which this forum is designed. You and your mother ought to seek out estate planning assistance forums, or (better yet), estate planning professionals.
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
Sorry, we don't advise people on how to commit Medicare/Medicaid fraud.

If she needs a nursing home, she can pay for it herself, sell her home if she has to, and when she runs out of money she can be eligible for state aid.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Sorry, we don't advise people on how to commit Medicare/Medicaid fraud.

If she needs a nursing home, she can pay for it herself, sell her home if she has to, and when she runs out of money she can be eligible for state aid.
I don't agree that estate planning equates to medicare fraud. It's like the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Sonny wants to preserve Mom's assets for himself while the taxpayers pick up the nursing home bill. What would you call it?
I (and millions of others) call it proper estate planning.
The OP wants to help his mother in her quest to preserve her assets for all of those who may stand to inherit. Proper estate planning is crucial and perfectly legal. Let's say that mom sets up a trust and the trust owns the house. So long as the lookback period is exceeded, and the trust is properly structured, then that house is not subject to being seized to pay for medicare debts. It's perfectly legal. It's perfectly normal. It's the way the LAW is set up.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
In the interest of full disclosure...I feel the same as you do on a moral level, but from a legal perspective, and insofar as the current laws are concerned, there is nothing wrong with this.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
I am not sure where this tread should belong. I apologize in advance if estate planning is the wrong thread to ask this question. I live in the state of New York. My mom is 67 years old. She owns a house that has been paid off long ago, and has 403b plan as well as other accounts. She is planning on retiring by the time that she is 70. I am concerned that there may come a time when God forbid she may have to be placed in a nursing home. She does not have protective insurance. I am concerned that if this were to happen, then medicare would come after the house along with her other finances. I have discussed with my mom the possibility of adding my name (her oldest son and executor of her estate when she passes) on the deed to the house or any other property that she might purchase. She is reluctant due to the liability factor which I cannot blame her for. She does have some health issues right now but is able to go to work every single day.

Can anyone offer advice on what they would suggest doing or exploring in this kind of situation? Thanks. You input is greatly appreciated.
I suggest that you leave your mother be to plan her estate as she sees fit. Why shouldn't her assets go to pay for her care should she need it? She will get far better care than what Medicaid provides for.

Also, adding your name to the deed if it turns out that she doesn't need nursing home care could cost you 10s of thousands of dollars in unnecessary taxes as you would not get a stepped up basis to fair market value.
 

xylene

Senior Member
No they aren't.

Also, YOU are a New Yorker, like YOUR mom. Have some insight and get an estate PLAN, done by a LAWYER.

What are you from some jerkwater state? We invented this stuff.

They advertise it... ON TV. No one is insulting you with a lttile clue slap. Wake up!
Y'alls mom aught to have done this like age 57, what with a good job...
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
No they aren't.

Also, YOU are a New Yorker, like YOUR mom. Have some insight and get an estate PLAN, done by a LAWYER.

What are you from some jerkwater state? We invented this stuff.

They advertise it... ON TV. No one is insulting you with a lttile clue slap. Wake up!
Y'alls mom aught to have done this like age 57, what with a good job...
Why should she have done that? What if she wants to use her own assets to provide her really top notch care if she eventually needs it? This is not a case of her wanting to address this. Its the case of her adult child wanting to address this.

I am 62 and I have a few health issues and I am sure as heck not going to put my house in my daughter's name or anything else like that. I am going to spend what I have myself if I need to spend it.
 

commentator

Senior Member
Yeah, I'm kind of awed by the "elderly" things that this man is saying about his still fully employed, able to work every day pitiful aged broken down momma. And if "God forbid!" she should ever need to spend time in a nursing home.......he's wanting to be pre-planning it for her.

That line of thinking is becoming outdated, as outdated as most of those long term health care insurances have become. That old scare-you scenarios of mother spending months, even years in a long term health care facility have changed considerably. And many of those long ago policies do not even pay for assisted living facilities, memory care or at-home care which the older person is much more likely to need than months and months of long term care in a skilled nursing facility precisely.

Having lived long and seen much, I am always convinced of the arbitrary indiscriminate way that careful estate planning can turn out to be either a very good thing, or a very expensive unnecessary thing. I have seen people who faithfully paid in to long term care policies for years and had them turn out to be totally unnecessary as they went out in an unexpected random flash very early. Come to think of it, I have rarely seen it play out that getting that long term insurance turned out to be such a huge good thing, as it has usually turned out to be very hard to get it going and very selective as to what it will and will not cover in terms of long term care. I have seen people who have far outlived even their own children that they had so carefully planned to bless with their passing. I have seen people who forgot they were going to do this all last week and now aren't capable of it anymore.

But the key here is that it is very much up to the mother to plan at this point, and from the sound of it, she can afford to consult an attorney and discuss all the potential moves she might make to deal with distribution of her assets wisely in many scenarios. And that might not turn out to be signing everything over to her son or putting his name on everything now. In any case, her wishes should be all important. She is probably of sound mind even though she's a decrepit old 67 year old. Find a reputable reliable attorney she has faith in and suggest she talk to him/her. That's my suggestion.
 
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Ohiogal

Queen Bee
I am not sure where this tread should belong. I apologize in advance if estate planning is the wrong thread to ask this question. I live in the state of New York. My mom is 67 years old. She owns a house that has been paid off long ago, and has 403b plan as well as other accounts. She is planning on retiring by the time that she is 70. I am concerned that there may come a time when God forbid she may have to be placed in a nursing home. She does not have protective insurance. I am concerned that if this were to happen, then medicare would come after the house along with her other finances. I have discussed with my mom the possibility of adding my name (her oldest son and executor of her estate when she passes) on the deed to the house or any other property that she might purchase. She is reluctant due to the liability factor which I cannot blame her for. She does have some health issues right now but is able to go to work every single day.

Can anyone offer advice on what they would suggest doing or exploring in this kind of situation? Thanks. You input is greatly appreciated.
Why do you believe your mother should gift you with a portion of her house? You are not entitled to it. How many other children does she have? Why do you believe that you are the executor of her estate when she passes?
 

Tom729

Junior Member
Thank you to the people who gave their input and did not resort to making presumptuous statements or judicious comments. My wife's grandparents died several days apart about two weeks ago. This was a conversation that was had with my wife and her parents as I am a lay person and know very little about this kind of thing, that's why I came on here to ask this question. I absolutely respect my mom's decision in anything that she wishes to do at this point and I want to make that point known. My father who was divorced from my mother did not discuss any estate or financial matters with me prior to his premature passing. He was the type of person who very foolishly never made sound plans for the future. He did not own any real estate or have any major assets but left me to deal with anything without having conversations with me that should have been had at an earlier point. For that reason and others I am trying to educate myself on what options my mother has in case this scenario does arise in the future.

I think that it would be best for her to consult with an estate planning attorney or specialist and get their feedback.
 
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Tom729

Junior Member
Why do you believe your mother should gift you with a portion of her house? You are not entitled to it. How many other children does she have? Why do you believe that you are the executor of her estate when she passes?
1) I don't. And to answer your third question, I am to be the executor when she passes.
 
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