Question about inheritance while in Nursing Home

carrie630December 17, 2011

Let's say - made up story - That mother has some money - not much - maybe 60,000 and goes into a Nursing Home - which she would pay for every month and if it is 10,000 a month - pay for the six months and then the state takes over.

If she receives an inheritance - let's make up amount...100,000 but has been in the home which state has been paying for six months - would the home then take that 100,000 to pay for the last six months which were "free" for her and then take out the 10,000 for the rest of the four months? I guess that would make sense, right?

And what happens to her house if she decides to go into a home? Would it have to be sold BEFORE she gets into home or does the Nursing Home "own" the house to get the money to pay for the months that otherwise the state would pay for?

I make up these scenarios to get an idea of how things work.


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The state will have a lien against any inheritance or property your mother has, to go to paying back whatever the state paid for her care.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 8:33PM
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Okay - that makes sense but here's what I have trouble understanding. If she owns a house/condo - and it's not sold before she enters a nursing home, then how do the taxes, upkeep get paid if there is a lien. Obviously, I know nothing about "liens" so bear with me. These are questions that I've always wondered about, even for ourselves as we get older and we also own our house...

I would guess that if she's paying for the home, then she would add the expenses of a condo or house until she runs out of money to pay for home/expenses? So then they sell it for her? This is where I am confused and.... ignorant of procedures.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 9:05PM
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If the house is vacant, her family might want to keep it up, but are not required to do so. It may fall into neglect and be broken into. Happens all the time. Taxes are liens against the property, and will be collected when the property is sold.

Didn't we have these same discussions some time before? You might want to look at older threads on this forum for info you may have missed that time around this Maypole.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 10:12AM
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THanks.... OOPs - I guess I should have searched liens, taxes etc. for other threads on this forum - thanks for the reminder...


    Bookmark   December 18, 2011 at 10:39AM
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If the person owns property, He/she will not be able to get any kind of governmental assistance until that property is sold and the money used to pay for her care. If he/she has a spouse that is living on the property, it will not be sold as long as he/she is there.

Just how and when this is done depends of the State laws in which it happens.

A lien is a claim against property that is collected at the time of sale. A First Lien, gets paid first, then the Second, etc. until the money is all gone. The IRS often will have a First lien against any bank account if taxes are owed.

A hospital often will rush a lien on property, including bank accounts, on any patient that come into the Emergency Room that looks on the verge of death. That way, the bill gets paid even it the patient dies. This comes before the distribution of funds to heirs.

It's complicated, and, at times, it seems unfair. But Hospitals, nursing homes, etc. simply cannot exsist if there was not some means of collecting unpaid money at the time of death. Even with liens on estates, a tremendous amount of money has to be written off. We have to take care of people with no funds. So it's taken from those that do have it....after death.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2012 at 5:11PM
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