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How do I deal with elder law issues regarding mom’s care?

I am 70, mom is 96, and she won't help me pay for her care. We share a home 1/2 hers 1/2 mine but I am NOT on the title to the house. She won't put me on the tittle though I paid for 1/2 of the home. She had long term care insurance and dropped it without telling me. We are in a deadlock and I feel lost in this life. I am a travel agent for over 30 years, now having to work from home but must pay $$$ anytime I need to travel. I live on SS and commissions which are very small and not dependable. I need legal help but cannot afford it. She is losing ground due to mild dementia and bad balance. She refuses to help me. Where can I turn? I can put her into a home and use up the last of her savings but don't want to be forced to sell OUR home. We are in Southern California. Any help is greatly appreciated. I have a sister who seems to be on my side she is in Florida. Mother has an old living trust. I have been told that if mother is in a facility and paying for it then run's out of money that Medi-Cal will step in and help us continue to pay the bill and that she can keep "her" home and car AND stay in the same facility.... though in the beginning that same facility would NOT have accepted her as a Medi-Cal recipient. Is this true??

Status: Open    Feb 08, 2016 - 09:10 AM

Elder Law, Medicare/Medicaid

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Expert Answers

Feb 10, 2016 - 07:13 AM

My heart goes out to you. You have quite a situation. My first thought is you should consider filing for guardianship and conservatorship for your mother. If she will not pay for her own care it could be argued that she is not making rational decisions about her well being. Ask her doctor about whether he/she thinks your mother is competent. If not, file for guardianship. If you are her guardian and conservator you can make decisions about her care and pay her bills.

As to the house - it is all hers since you are on a deed. To protect yourself you may have to sue her for your half of the house. If you can prove that you paid for half the house it can be done.

As to the trust - it depends on the trust. The house may not be a countable asset now if it is the right type of trust. If it is hers she will very likely not be able to keep it and have medi-Cal pay the nursing home bill. This varies from state to state. If she runs out of all money and other financial resources like the house then she could be eligible for Medi-Cal.

I strongly suggest you see an attorney about the guardianship. When you are appointed guardian her money would be used to pay for most of the things I have discussed here.
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