My father remarried and is now in a high level assisted living facility due to dementia. His spouse doesn’t want to pay for my father’s care from their joint checking account and feels his assets (that I am POA over) needs to pay for his care instead. Since all of his social security payments were put in their joint checking account over the past 16.5 years and the balance of their checking account was $42,000 when he entered the assisted living facility, I feel his spouse should spend down the $42000 before I take over paying for his care. She’s contacted a lawyer and her lawyer says my father's assets are to be used to pay for his care, not the $42000 in their joint checking account the day he entered the facility. Help!

Find Care & Housing
The wife that has control of the checking account does not want to spend any of that combined money for his care. At least dad has some of his own assets to use. Keep in mind that Medicaid cares nothing about prenuptial agreements. But, Locust cannot get his wife to cooperate. There is a huge problem with remedying at any time. I wonder how often those that marry later in life understand this.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to gladimhere

So she should be impoverished because he needs care?

Pay his bills from his assets.

Their joint account is her money too. He set it up that way, he married her and stayed with her, respect that for his benefit.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

I don't see anything about Medicaid.

I think you and his wife need to see an elder law. The assets you claim are his may be his wife's too. Depends on the laws of your State. If he came into the marriage with assets, your State may protect those assets from her, they may not. IMO his SS and any pension are his, but then u don't want to leave her high and dry, she is his wife. That 42k is jointly owned and Dad is entitled to half of that, at least.

Medicaid allows splitting of assets. Assets can be split and Dads split gets spent down and then Medicaid can be applied for. His wife is then a Community Spouse remaining in the home and getting a car. Their monthly income will be looked at and she will get enough or all of it to live on. When Dad passes Medicaid will put a lien on Dads half of the house that will need to be satisfied at his wifes death, house is sold or she leaves the house.

Again, you need an Elder Lawyer to help set this all up.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29

Spousal impoverishment rules for Medicaid are complicated and vary by state. Here is Pennsylvania’s site:

If he isn’t on Medicaid yet, I’d suggest working with an elder law lawyer familiar with estranged spouse issues.

Meanwhile you can only pay bills with money that the POA gives you access to.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Frebrowser

Your father's assets should pay for his care. If you are POA you have a fiduciary duty to use your father's assets to pay for his care. The money in their joint checking account is theirs jointly. If that money is used it will be divided; his wife should see her own attorney to ask for division of assets. Then your father will have half the assets of that marriage to spend as well as any assets you hold as his POA. This is not your money. It belongs to your father. And Stacy is correct, you do not use any of YOUR OWN money to pay for your father's care. At the point that his assets you are POA for are gone AND his half assets from this marriage are gone, your father will go on Medicaid. His spouse will still have her one half of the assets of the joint account of the marriage. See an attorney. You are POA. This is paid for out of your father's assets.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to AlvaDeer

The lawyer is right. Apply for Medicaid and do not use one cent of your money to pay.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Stacy122

Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter