I have a question concerning expenses....

carrie630February 9, 2013

and how you go about accounting for them if your elderly mother lives with you.

Okay, of course, as many of your have read my posts, I not only ask these questions because I am curious to know what to do in the future, but also asking for friends who are wondering pretty much the same, as we all have parents getting up there.

First of all, when I ask this question, I am NOT looking for any handouts if a parent came to live with us temporarily while looking for an assisted living. I was just curious about something.

My mother did not raise me, but I assumed the duty of POA for her health. She does not give me any money, she is long distance and I have just been realizing that when she goes into an assisted living, I want it to be near me.

She (we) would have to sell her little house, adding to whatever she has, plus her Social Security - which would hopefully pay for assisted living.

My question is: If she has to stay with us for a certain amount of time, and she offers to let's say pay for groceries, or putting the heat up higher or just simple expenses as those - can she use her money or would that be a case of "giving it away" and having us account for what she spent.

I probably didn't word this right, but bottom line is - what is she allowed to spend of her money that would not be questioned in the case of applying for medicaid down the road? Do we pay for everything? Food, etc. (which we could but probably she would insist to chip in). Do you keep a record of what she spent while living with us?

Shambo - you have given such wonderful advice here, and have been so patient with my questions - did you also have a similar situation? Can't remember if you did.

Thanks for any replies


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I don't think they would look into any amount that small. They look for larges sums of money that disappears or a recent name change in the home title. One thing I didn't know until lately is that our state will pay a family member for taking care of your mother. Don't know if that includes a spouse or not. I met a lady who was paid for taking care of hers. You might want to check into that.

My Mom always insisted paying for gas when we did things for her. We wouldn't take it for awhile then we realized she felt better paying her way.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:40PM
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CA Kate

I'm no expert in this area since I've never had a parent (or other family member ) live with us, but I can recommend that: you keep all receipts of money you spend on her care; and, document any extra cost for utilities, food, etc.

You may need these, especially if her stay is longer than anticipated. It is far better to have these saved, and then thrown away, than to need and not have them a year from now. If she stays with you for a good while there may be tax ramifications as well.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:38PM
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If you have a POA for her health who has the POA for her finances? These can be two or more different people.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:58PM
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I have both ...finance and health power

Now if she ends up with us, those documents will be void since I would be moving her into another state...again, another problem :0(

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:37PM
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Is she mentally unable to understand and sign new POAs?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:44PM
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I am guessing if she stays the same as she is now, they would agree to her wishes. I see no signs of dementia and certainly this would be a simple request since I have documents from another state showing me as POA health. Good point, thanks


    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:29PM
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About a year ago we were advised to update both our health and financial POAs while DH could still do so. Since DH can no longer speak or write we are glad we did. If her POAs are older and from the other State you probably should have them redone as soon as she arrives, then you know there won't be any problems with any authority or hospital.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:10PM
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Maybe it is because this is a two state area both types of POA's work in both states. You could do a web search for POA's to see if there is any difference in forms.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:53PM
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Her POAs were updated last year...that's good

State to state issues? I guess I will ask and see how that works
Maybe I could call her lawyer. Thx

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:14AM
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Sorry it took me so long to respond. Carrie,I think the others have given you good advice. Regarding POA, the laws might differ from state to state, especially when it comes to health care. You'd be wise to consult with an elder care attorney before any move. You wouldn't want to get stuck waiting for the legalities to work out before you can take charge.

I also agree about keeping fastidious records of everything. Keep receipts, label them carefully so you know exactly what they are for. Make copies of everything if you can. It's extra work but might save you a lot of heartaches in the future.

My mom lived with us for a while and then moved to an assisted living/memory care facility. The finances were easy because she had enough money on her own to pay for everything. So I don't have first hand experience dealing with Medicaid issues.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 10:34PM
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to answer the original question, even though she is living with you, if she gives you money for food or contributes to the utility bill, she is contributing to her own support and that will not be questioned by Medicaid.
Keep records anyway, though. I had a sister who wanted to know what happened to "all her money"!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 6:53PM
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