Please help, Father dying & losing homes

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ConfusedNTN
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Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by ConfusedNTN » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:59 pm

Hello, I am desperately needing some advice. I do intend to hire a lawyer but we have zero cash at the moment and need to start figuring out things now.
Our story:
My father owns 2 homes. He lives in 1 with my special needs brother and I live in the other with my wife and 2 kids.
Both homes are in my fathers name and are owned free and clear and we don not pay any rent to him.

My father does not have any income other than 600$ a month my brother receives for disability. My brother has autism and has been disabled his whole life.

My father is 60 and had a major heart attack 2 days ago. He is currently in ICU and does not have any insurance or cash. He and my brother live off of my brothers disability check and I help them whenever they need something.

I need to get my father approved for Medicaid or tenncare to help with care or a pacemaker while protecting both houses and my brothers disability benefits.

I am thinking we can quitclaim both houses to my brother and make me the executor. Since he is a special needs child I read this will not disqualify my dad from Medicare. This is what I read on the internet but I also read that owning a 2nd home may disqualify my brother from his disability benefits.

Again, I do not have any knowledge of how this works and just got this info from searching the internet. Can anyone please help or give me some insight or direction? This is all in Tennessee BTW.

delamer
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by delamer » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:41 pm

I am sorry for your family’s situation.

There should be social workers at your father’s hospital that can help you get find legal resources to figure out your best options.

Topic Author
ConfusedNTN
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by ConfusedNTN » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:49 pm

Thank you for your condolences. There are social workers there but they really dont have any knowledge as to how to protect my fathers assets. Especially in a multifaceted situation like this.......

Broadway2018
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by Broadway2018 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:54 pm

You need to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. My dad had a stroke and my mom had nothing setup.

A lawyer will help you get the right paperwork through faster. It will take weeks to get this done and I cannot stress enough that you need to start now.

Also, you need a power of attorney which the lawyer can help with. If you need help message me and I can help you find someone.

psteinx
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by psteinx » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:54 pm

I wouldn't necessarily expect the social workers at the hospital to offer legal expertise directly, but they may know of available legal resources.

If no good, free, legal resources are available, you may need to dig deeper into your own pockets for paid legal help. Ideally, you've got some financial reserves, somewhere, that you can dip into (often called emergency funds on this forum). But if not that, then credit cards or other means of borrowing, or asking other family members or friends for assistance, among other possibilities.

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celia
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by celia » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:57 pm

I am thinking we can quitclaim both houses to my brother and make me the executor. Since he is a special needs child I read this will not disqualify my dad from Medicare.
I think it is the other way around. The special needs brother should not own any assets or he will lose his Medicaid. Is there a special needs trust for your brother? That's where I would start as that is where any assets would go to cover his long term needs without impacting his government assistance. See an elder law attorney who also knows the rules for Medicaid.

As far as your father not having any income or insurance, what are his state's rules for Medicaid eligibility? If he was married and his spouse needed to stay in the house, he would likely be eligible for Medicaid. But since the relationship in the house is father/son, it probably depends on what his state's rules are. The lawyer should be able to help here too.

If your father was in the military during wartime, he and your brother might be eligible for VA benefits. But it can take up to a year for the eligibility to be granted (retroactive to when the claim was submitted). Contact a VA health facility and ask to speak to someone who can point you to VA benefits. The key to submitting a claim that will be accepted is to have a veterans organization that is trained to help submit claims, help you submit it. Don't do it on your own. They know the exact things (including phrasing) that the VA is looking for. Veteran organizations such as Disabled American Veterans (DAV) or Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) can help any veteran, not just those affiliated with them. (They are paid by the VA, not the person needing benefits.)

I'm sorry to hear that several things seem to be happening at once. Getting the information you need will help you make the best choices for everyone involved.
Last edited by celia on Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A dollar in Roth is worth more than a dollar in a taxable account. A dollar in taxable is worth more than a dollar in a tax-deferred account.

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ConfusedNTN
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by ConfusedNTN » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:58 pm

Thank you guys for the advice. I will be contacting a lawyer in the morning. Hopefully I can find someone in my small town that knows something about this sort of thing.........

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willthrill81
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by willthrill81 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:59 pm

My condolences on a very difficult situation.

I agree that you need a good attorney ASAP. Whatever you have to pay for one will be money very well spent.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

chessknt
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by chessknt » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:05 pm

Maybe I am missing something but the hospital costs will be figured out much much later and I don't think this needs to be of paramount concern to the point where you are meeting with lawyers all day while your dad is alone in an icu.

Is he expected to survive?

Broadway2018
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by Broadway2018 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:07 pm

chessknt wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:05 pm
Maybe I am missing something but the hospital costs will be figured out much much later and I don't think this needs to be of paramount concern to the point where you are meeting with lawyers all day while your dad is alone in an icu.

Is he expected to survive?
If he doesn’t have power of attorney or Medicaid setup, it’s very risky. My dad had to go to a home and could not go until Medicaid was setup. So its kinda of a mess if something happens. Better to be proactive.

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celia
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by celia » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:15 pm

ConfusedNTN wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:58 pm
Thank you guys for the advice. I will be contacting a lawyer in the morning. Hopefully I can find someone in my small town that knows something about this sort of thing.........
Don't limit yourself to your small town. You need a specialist in a certain area of the law. Expand your geographic range to find the right lawyer.

Fortunately, many lawyers will do a free consultation over the phone to explain various options suitable for you. They will often also refer you to another lawyer who can handle your case better if they aren't experienced in what you need. So just write down all the questions you have and keep asking questions until you are comfortable with the answers.

P.S. "Executor" is the person settling the will/estate. Unless your father has already died, you aren't an executor (yet).
A dollar in Roth is worth more than a dollar in a taxable account. A dollar in taxable is worth more than a dollar in a tax-deferred account.

delamer
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by delamer » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:17 pm

psteinx wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:54 pm
I wouldn't necessarily expect the social workers at the hospital to offer legal expertise directly, but they may know of available legal resources.

If no good, free, legal resources are available, you may need to dig deeper into your own pockets for paid legal help. Ideally, you've got some financial reserves, somewhere, that you can dip into (often called emergency funds on this forum). But if not that, then credit cards or other means of borrowing, or asking other family members or friends for assistance, among other possibilities.
Yes, my point was that the social workers might be able to refer you to lawyers with experience in Medicaid and special needs legal issues. I wouldn’t expect them to actually to provide you with advice.

McGilicutty
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by McGilicutty » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:10 am

Deleted
Last edited by McGilicutty on Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Valuethinker
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:48 am

celia wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:57 pm
I am thinking we can quitclaim both houses to my brother and make me the executor. Since he is a special needs child I read this will not disqualify my dad from Medicare.
I think it is the other way around. The special needs brother should not own any assets or he will lose his Medicaid. Is there a special needs trust for your brother? That's where I would start as that is where any assets would go to cover his long term needs without impacting his government assistance. See an elder law attorney who also knows the rules for Medicaid.

As far as your father not having any income or insurance, what are his state's rules for Medicaid eligibility? If he was married and his spouse needed to stay in the house, he would likely be eligible for Medicaid. But since the relationship in the house is father/son, it probably depends on what his state's rules are. The lawyer should be able to help here too.

If your father was in the military during wartime, he and your brother might be eligible for VA benefits. But it can take up to a year for the eligibility to be granted (retroactive to when the claim was submitted). Contact a VA health facility and ask to speak to someone who can point you to VA benefits. The key to submitting a claim that will be accepted is to have a veterans organization that is trained to help submit claims, help you submit it. Don't do it on your own. They know the exact things (including phrasing) that the VA is looking for. Veteran organizations such as Disabled American Veterans (DAV) or Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) can help any veteran, not just those affiliated with them. (They are paid by the VA, not the person needing benefits.)

I'm sorry to hear that several things seem to be happening at once. Getting the information you need will help you make the best choices for everyone involved.
VA is a really good idea.

A 60 year old would have been eligible for the draft during the Vietnam War period and might well have served (even if not in VIetnam). From memory Selective Service ended in 1972 or 73?

robphoto
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by robphoto » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:09 am

Definitely worth checking if VA applies; as far as Vietnam draft, he would have been too young. This from Wikipedia:

"The draft numbers issued from 1972 to 1975 were not used to call any men into service as the last draft call was on December 7, and authority to induct expired July 1, 1973."

In 1975, even, a 60 year old now would have been around 16 years old.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:11 am

ConfusedNTN wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:58 pm
Thank you guys for the advice. I will be contacting a lawyer in the morning. Hopefully I can find someone in my small town that knows something about this sort of thing.........
make sure it's an elder law attorney. Their job is to know the medicaid rules.
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

Nissanzx1
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by Nissanzx1 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:57 am

Attorney for sure. Dad May be in real trouble here depending on rules in your particular state. Doing a quick switcheroo on property titles could open recipient up to gift taxes depending how this gets done. Additionally, whatever you do make sure Dad isn’t going to get in trouble later for hiding assets.

Sorry to hear about this situation. My suspicion is at some point there will need to be some sort of special needs trust left for your brother’s care. Not sure if Dad had life insurance before this heart incident or not...

pennywise
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by pennywise » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:30 am

I'm sorry to hear about your father's situation.

It might not be possible to claim government need-based financial aid if your father owns real estate other than his residence. Not sure of the legal standards in your state but wouldn't the second house be considered an asset that has to count toward someone's financial profile?

If so your situation may include the need to sell the second house and find another place for you and your family to live to liquidate funds for your father and your brother's current and future needs. It sounds cold I know, but I don't believe the system is set up to allow people with a fully paid off house they don't live in to claim indigence (and IMO it should not be).

Or perhaps it is, but as someone else mentioned trying to game the system by frantically switching ownership/title days after the owner has a severe medical problem most likely won't fly.

bsteiner
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by bsteiner » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:43 am

ConfusedNTN wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:59 pm
...
I am thinking we can quitclaim both houses to my brother ....
Why a quitclaim deed?

InMyDreams
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by InMyDreams » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:51 am

Although the social worker cannot help you with real estate issues, s/he should be able to help you and your father apply for medicaid and for the hospital's own financial assistance. Hopefully the hospital has such assistance available and this process has already started.

Best wishes to you and your family.

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CAsage
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by CAsage » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:51 pm

Unclear what other income is available to your father = why are you not paying him rent? Perhaps one answer would be to sell one house, or see what other income can be found.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

finite_difference
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by finite_difference » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:01 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:11 am
ConfusedNTN wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:58 pm
Thank you guys for the advice. I will be contacting a lawyer in the morning. Hopefully I can find someone in my small town that knows something about this sort of thing.........
make sure it's an elder law attorney. Their job is to know the medicaid rules.
+1. You need a (good) lawyer.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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TexasPE
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Re: Please help, Father dying & losing homes

Post by TexasPE » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:17 pm

Eldercare attorney locator

https://www.naela.org/
At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill (?)

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