My sister took mom in to care for her in her husband's home for a few years. She took control of moms income but now that mom lives in a nursing home my sister continues to have access over moms income claimed she keeping moms bills paid but has not paid moms house taxes or anything else in a few years but her and her husband seem to have money to go out often and purchase a new car under her husband's name of course. Something just doesn't seem right. I asked her why not just let the nursing home take care of things but she comes up with several excuses and seems worried now. Both her and her husband are also disabled and collecting disability. We also have to figure out what to do with our family home and the belongings in it. Does my sister and her husband have the right to continue to have access to mom money even though mom hasn't lived with them in a few years?

The entire time my mother was in a nursing home, both private pay and using Medicaid, her whole SS check went to the nursing home to pay for her care. Our family wasn’t given any choice about it, it was simply expected as part of payment
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to Daughterof1930
igloo572 May 27, 2024
Quite honestly for those who have a parent in a NH only with SSA income and they are on LTC Medicaid and have no still retained home and maybe a car as exempt assets, letting the NH become their representative payee for the SSA is a simple easy solution to deal with the required copay / Share of cost.
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Sounds like your sister is the POA as you mention she has papers.
She was caring directly for your mom until she could no longer, and now is managing the finances.
If you have PROOF of elder fraud then do check in with APS and present said proof of fraud to them; they will open a case to investigate.

For someone estranged from the sister you seem to claim to know an awful lot about her business.
I am sorry, but just have to let you know that siblings at war over a still living mom is one of my least favorite subjects.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
BurntCaregiver May 27, 2024

There's no need to bring APS into it. They don't even get involved in such cases.

If the nursing home bill is not getting paid, they will petition the court for financial conservatorship over the mother's money. A nursing home couldn't care less who makes the medical/health decisions so long as they get paid.

The sister in this case could very well be handling the situation exactly like I did. Paying the nursing home what they are OWED, not what they demand. Two different things entirely.
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Sis could be in trouble with SS. Mom's new address which is the facility must be reported to them. This report will reduce her monthly payments to $30 or $50 per month.

She also could be in trouble if hubby and she aren't reporting money that they're getting outside of the benefits.

She should be worried.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to cover9339

Who pays for nursing home? Usually if your only income is social security, it goes to NH and Medicaid pays whatever her income doesn't cover.
Mom gets to keep only $30 or $60 out of her income. There wouldn't be any other money out of her social security to pay anything for bills.
I can't imagine any NH letting mom stay without payment.
Call NH and ask if they are getting paid. If not, contact social security so they can change payee to be NH
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to my2cents

Ok the determining factors in this drama are HOW is:
- the NH being paid for your moms custodial care costs. Like private pay or LTC Medicaid?
- what health insurance is she on and how are their premiums (if any) being paid?
and the NH needs to know this as they have to have reassurance as to the bills being paid and how health insurance billing can be done. Nh will want someone to sign off on a final responsibility agreement or contract in some way. Mom cannot stay there without some type of financial responsibility determined.

if you don’t know this ask someone in billing office in her Nh. Tell them you want to make sure mom has enough $ in her personal needs in-house account to pay for beauty shoppe (this would be a totally private pay out of pocket cost and not ever paid by Medicaid). That you just want to make sure all is ok or if not you’ll put some $ in. Be casual and nice. Billing doesn’t get visitors or if they do its someone pissed about something, so trust me on this, they will be virtual font of information as to your moms billing ledger. Also if your Sis kinda a witch, go in especially sweet and nice as they will be glad to commiserate with you on dealing with Sissy. All off the record of course.

You have to HAVE TO find out how things are being paid because if mom is on LTC Medicaid for her room & board stuff, that program has very tight compulsory requirements as to the residents $. If she is on this there is no-zero-nada of moms $ to pay for any of the still on her home property costs anymore. They have to be impoverished and stay impoverished. And both the NH and the State will require documentation as to that being and staying the case. So the NH will,have to know her financial status. As to that still in moms name property, as they have zero $ family needs to pay its costs or it defaults on taxes, insurance, utilities.

And if that is what is happening, Sis could be doing the right move. Except if she hasn’t paid property taxes (more below) Why? .the house will have to have an attempt at Medicaid Estate Recovery MERP done. Spending $ on it outside of whatever absolutely necessary is a total waste of time $ and energy as this is always the risk that MERP will be more than house is worth or that exemptions and exclusions are not feasible and any funds from the act of Sale all revert to the State. So u paid $2,345.67 for emergency plumbing work on the vacant house, too bad, so sad, as not going to be reimbursed by house sale $ for that.

now a way this can go bad is if property taxes were not paid, then the county will place it up for its annual tax sale. And if not paid up along with its hefty interest, it will be sold after 3-5 consecutive nonpayment years. Tax sale DNGAF about anything MERP related either. You can on your own scour the Co courthouse & tax assessor records to see the status on the house. The recordings give you a lot of info and you pay small fee to get a download of the documents so you know exactly what’s what’s.

so house has been sitting empty for years? If prop taxes not paid, and it has gone to seed so to speak it could have so much in tax liens and its interest and blight fees that it’s an albatross. Add MERP to the mix, you might be best to walk away from it.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to igloo572
AlvaDeer May 28, 2024
Somehow, the higher the drama is ramped up the more the certainty that our OP will never return to answer questions.
Such is the case here and I am not surprised.
I do know that often families can get so ensconced in the drama of caregiving disagreements that they simply cannot think straight any more, and I satisfy myself with that supposition.
Report your sister to the Social Security Dept.
When I was the social security payee representative for my friend (handling all his legal matters), I had to justify EVERY expense.

Contact an attorney.
These are legal matters.

Gena / Touch Matters
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to TouchMatters

Is your sister your Mom's FPoA? If so, then she is supposed to be managing her money (so when you say "control" I'm not sure what that means?)

If your sister is the PoA then hopefully she knows what she's doing so that she doesn't cause your Mom to be delayed or disqualified for Medicaid, if she ever needs it (and many elderly in facilities do).

If you think your sister is perpetrating a financial crime, you will need to take your evidence to an elder law attorney. Stealing someone's SS is a felony that can result in prison time.

We are only getting your side of the story and we're not attorneys so really this forum can't help you much -- you need to see an attorney. And, if you're wrong about this you will be liable to pay the legal fees.

FYI facilities don't handle paying people's bills unless they have legal guardianship for someone.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Geaton777

Is Mom on Medicaid? If so, that SS check and any pension Mom receives goes to the NH. If it isn't going to NH, I will bet there is a balance due at the NH.

If Mom is paying privately, the NH does not get the SS and pension. If Sister has not been paying taxes for years, I am surprised the house has not gone to auction by now. You will lose your house quicker to nonpayment of taxes then not paying the Mortgage. Sis is only digging herself into a hole if Medicaid is involved. I would consult with a lawyer.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to JoAnn29

As far as the house. She might not be selling it for 1) there is no value in it
2) there is some value in it however if mom is on Medicaid and the house is sold, then mom will become off of Medicaid and have to pay her own way until eligable again. I cannot see a disabled sister and SIL wanting to enter the home and clean it up just to sell it. Again the value just might not be there. Your sister might just be taking the easy way to avoid the filing process again. Once mom passes, then Medicaid will have a lien on it so when it is sold, the proceeds go back to the government. There might be a lien on it with the town for taxes too. So mom and her money is practically moot to you.
You might ask if you can enter the home to see if there is some momento you can take home.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to MACinCT

Your moms social security check is supposed to be used to pay for the cost of the nursing home minus the $50-$80(depending on which state you're in)that is left to buy incidentals for your mom, like clothing, toiletries and the like.
If your sister isn't paying the nursing home with moms SS check(which typically someone's SS check is automatically given to the nursing facility once placed)it will mean that your mom will have a huge bill due to the nursing facility here shortly, and your sister will have to pay up, as the nursing home will not continue to let your mom live there for free.
Best wishes in getting this hot mess all figured out, and if your sister and husband are up to no good with your moms money they should be VERY worried.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to funkygrandma59
BurntCaregiver May 27, 2024

No, the nursing home is not owed her SS check nor should they have access to any of her banking information or other assets.

If the nursing home bill is getting paid every month the amount they are owed, it's none of their business where that money comes from. No one is legally obligated to pay in advance either regardless of what the nursing home demands.

Nursing homes will intimidate families and even downright lie in order to get more than they're owed and to fleece every cent. That does not mean that a family has to go along with their threats and hand everything over on day one.
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