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Anyone delt with aging parents with possible Alzheimers, protecting assets etc?

Discussion in 'General' started by USracer900, Mar 28, 2024.

  1. USracer900

    USracer900 Well-Known Member

    Just brought my 82 year old dad home to Kentucky from Florida to live with us two weeks ago. Let me say, it ain't been easy. He had a stroke 4 years ago, little movement on his left side plus his logic/common sense has really been declining. Short term memory is bad, long term memory pretty good actually.

    Details: He bought a house with a woman in FL 5 years ago, both on deed (not married). Living together for 5 years, past 9 months she's been trying to get rid of him, he's too much, she can't take it anymore. She's 78. She's owns paid for house in New England, 2 dead husbands pensions, 500K in stocks, dividend income, she and dad have this paid for house in FL, worth 400K. 6 months ago he falls and breaks hip, a big chain store's door closed on his walker. Got a big name lawyer, slam dunk case evidently, probably settle for 500K in 9-12 months. (lawyers get 40%). A month ago they get the call from the lawyer with the news he's getting money, the DAY of the call she's flips her sentiments 180, now everything is fine, "we need to do what your dad wants to do and he wants to live here in FL". He parrots everything she says. Huge red flag for my sister and I, I still go down and get him, trailer back most of his stuff for a "month long visit". Start talks with girlfriend on splitting up finances, she's got some Ladybird clause that says if he dies, she gets the house. If she dies, her KIDS get the house. WTF. I'm not making this up. He's got 110K in the house, original purchase price was 300K, asking for 120 from her. She doesn't want to pay him, of course. Also, she's power of attorney for him.

    If you're still with me, met with buddy who's an attorney, his firm is changing his will and POA to myself and my sister, should be finalized tomorrow. Taking girlfriend off everything, my dad agrees but still "loves her". He's not in his right mind, mind you. Will see how much she still loves him after the dust clears. Setting up a trust for him, not sure whether to go revocable or irrevocable. I've researched some but still undecided. My dad wants to buy everything in sight, self driving cars that don't exist, wasted $200 in Costco a week ago on food that went bad in 2 days. Stuff like that. Might have to pursue a guardianship with him also, this is all new to me.

    Then, there's the topic of nursing home and getting medicaid. Will let him live with us as long as I can but he's a bit of a handful as is. If he gets medicaid to pay for it they seize all his assets. If he pays out of pocket it's like 10K/month, he'll be out of money in a matter of months. There has to be some way to protect his money? There's a 5 year look back period also which is the catch. Anyone want to have pitty on me and give some much welcomed advice? This is all new to me, you guys have always given solid advice in the past, I do appreciate the time and help.
    Senna likes this.
  2. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    You've got a great start with getting the POA handled.

    No help on the medicaid stuff sorry, all my relatives either had insurance that covered it or no assets (more the latter than the former).
    USracer900 likes this.
  3. USracer900

    USracer900 Well-Known Member

    I've been told when you get old, you either want to be extremely rich or extremely poor. Anyone in the middle gets screwed. I'm starting to believe that.
    evakat likes this.
  4. Mongo

    Mongo Administrator

    Eh, happens when you're a lot younger too :crackup:
    SteveThompson, BlueR32 and USracer900 like this.
  5. elvee

    elvee Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you are headed for a guardianship, which will also help with unraveling things with the lady friend.

    As far as the care costs, that is how it goes. One way or another your dad spends all his money. My wife is managing some of this stuff for her aunt. Fortunately the aunt has long term care insurance, but only about five years worth. After that it will be an asset burn (retirement accounts) and then Medicaid - if she lives that long. Sorry you are going through it. We will be heading into a similar road with wife's mother in the not too distant future. She at least has done a lot of the planning, and the long-term boyfriend isn't a total ass.
    ToofPic likes this.
  6. gixer1100

    gixer1100 CEREAL KILLER

    she had POA already? tread carefully...your new POA can be challenged i would think - as you dad isnt of sound mind and cant make that decision, where as he was of sound mind when he made it with her. my mom has dementia...no POA etc was put in place when it couldve been. now when i tried to do it the lawyer refused as she was too far gone. your friend might be willing to do it, but that doesnt mean it cant be contested i dont think. our only option at this point is a court imposed decision on this. everthing from the house etc is in limbo. doesnt help that i live in the USA (mom is in canada), i cant take her here, my brother is in no shape to take care of her. my step dad is doing it, but wont be able to much longer and she will need to be placed in a home. and still none of us have legal ability to handle her finances, house etc...eventually it will all just end up in probate. good luck! i wish i could say it gets easier - but it definitely gets harder - and harder. :(
  7. Past Glory

    Past Glory I still have several AVON calendars from the 90's

    I believe as long as he has not been declared incompetent, he can sign legal contracts.
    As far as the Alzheimer's/dementia side of it, you have my sympathy. I went through this with my mother. It will consume you without mercy, as it destroys everyone around the afflicted.
    I strongly recommend 'The 36 Hour Day' by Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins, though no amount of reading or advice from me will prepare you for what awaits. No matter how bad I describe it, the reality of being full immersion is exponentially worse.
    Ken Roberts likes this.
  8. kenessex

    kenessex unregistered user

    First, consult with an attorny who specializes in the elderly in your state. We had to go through this with my parents as my dad became delusional with regards to his finances. We set up a family trust to manage their financial affairs with my brother-in-law, a retired attorny, as the conservator of their finances. This was all court appointed as my father did not agree to it. His appearance before the judge cemented the opinion that he was unable to manage his own affairs. This took place in Oregon and their state laws regarding support of the elderly gave them some substantial benefits regarding paid in home care and respite care for the family care givers.
    Once a Wanker.. likes this.
  9. Hyperdyne

    Hyperdyne Indy United SBK

    If your dad needs around the clock care, just go the medicare route. Honestly, when dealing with my grandmother, they will come after everything, back to 7 years. So it may come back that they try to get some of the funds from her. I just remember that it wasn't worth the fighting over money in the end because she got what she needed, and that was around the clock care that none of my family was able to provide.
  10. In Your Corner

    In Your Corner Dungeonesque Crab AI Version

    If you have the ability, add a "mother-in-law" apartment to
    your home or move to a house that has one. Nursing homes
    all suck and your father won't be well-cared for in one, they will,
    however, make sure they get ahold of every last dime your father
    ever had. They are all under-staffed and the staff they do have
    will be untrained and poorly supervised for the most part. They
    may have a medical person or two on staff who knows what they
    are doing but the rest of the employees won't be worth a damn.
    Take care of Dad in your own home and hire people to come in
    to provide whatever care he needs.
    My MIL had Alzheimer's for over 15 years before she died and
    she and my FIL ended up in a nursing home and it was a horror
    show. If you love your father, don't let him end up in one of those
    Can't give you any advice on the POA thing except fight like hell
    to get it switched to you and put his money toward taking care of
    him at home.
    tony 340 and Once a Wanker.. like this.
  11. Spang308

    Spang308 Well-Known Member

    This is a solid option. You can hire a caregiver for a shitload less than those homes charge and you'll be around to oversee how he's treated.
    R Acree, tony 340 and Once a Wanker.. like this.
  12. Ken Roberts

    Ken Roberts Active Member

    The truth in this post is overwhelmingly on point. It's something I never want to go through again. Do everything you can to keep your sanity.
  13. YoshiHNS

    YoshiHNS Mr. Slowly

    Had to do my part with my grandmother who had dementia. She wasn't terrible from a difficult to deal with most days. My dad got POA. We didn't move the house under anyone elses name. Not sure what the main issue was, if it was conflict with other family member or if it was the '5-year look back'. It would have been safer had we done it. Kept the house because we thought it was good for her to still be able to visit her own home every so often. Her accounts were kept under her name, and house bills came out of her accounts (pension, SS, savings). In the end, probate court changed house to dad and uncles name, accounts split, and they went from there.
    She moved in with my parents, and I moved in later to help. Honestly, best of luck. Pretty sure those years aged me 3x faster. Was getting 4-7 hrs of sleep for years. As the years went on, we had to 'baby-proof' the house. Locks on the stove, cameras in the house, gates/door locks, ect. Tried the home visiting nurse for part of the day, but that didn't work out. We had one start, then they changed clients and stopped. Took a bit to get another one, but they didn't last long either. They were expensive to where half a day visit was close enough to my pay that we had a discussion if it was better if I quit my job and watch instead. I'm sure now its even more expensive. This was pre-pandemic, so WFO was not an option like it would be now.
    If its just you trying to do it alone, I would think if you or another family member need his money / property / assets. If the FL house is the only one and you think he's got many years left in him, I'd think about letting him go to a home and give up the assets. Save your own health and make sure he ends up in a decent place. It would save so much stress. Not sure what your neighborhood is like, but fill your neighbors in on the situation, just in case he goes for a walk and gets confused.
  14. Once a Wanker..

    Once a Wanker.. Always a Wanker!

    Amen to this! I've experienced most all of the various options caring for my parents for well over 15 years. The difficulties of keeping help employed pale compared to the down-sides of ANY elder care facility, no matter what one can afford.

    I'll add much more to this discussion later. I was able to successfully transfer almost all of my folks assets out of their names, but I started planning it out early in the process. My siblings would have wanted to be involved with a trust, so I chose a different route.

    Look up and start learning about Palliative Care. It provides medicare benefits similar to Hospice Care, but it's for long-term care for those with permanent health issues.

    Look for a good elder care attorney in the state of your Dad's permanent residency immediately. They'll usually give you a free consult discussion.
  15. Badger

    Badger Member

    There's a lot of really good advice here. I went through this with my mom over the last 3-4 years until she succumbed to Alzheimer's last year. A few tips for you.

    1) Ask for help. Don't do this alone.
    2) Get the POA, both medical and durable (for finances) done ASAP, getting yourself or another sibling as POA.
    3) Not all assisted living places are crap. If you find one you like, grab it! BUT ask what happens when Dad runs out of money. Many places (in WI) have policies that if you can pay for x number of months, when the money runs out they'll take Medicare.
    4) Become a signer on your Dad's bank accounts. Not only can you pay for stuff if he becomes able to, it makes things MUCH easier when he passes.
    5) The courts can get at Dad's house proceeds to pay for his care, but the contents are YOURS.
    6) DON'T argue with him, regardless of how silly what he says is. You won't win.
    7) The best piece of advise I got from a social worker was that it was OK to lie to Mom if it was for her own good. This was tough bc I was always raised to tell the truth. But if lying will reduce their stress and make them feel better, don't feel bad about it. Example, we found a place for Mom that she agreed to, but she was adamite that she wasn't going to commit to it; just try it for a month. "Of course Mom, no pressure. Totally up to you." She never wanted to leave as she knew deep down she needed that level of help.

    Alzheimer's is a terrible disease. You have my thoughts and best wishes!
    Once a Wanker.. likes this.
  16. USracer900

    USracer900 Well-Known Member

    Thank you everyone SO much. Truly means a lot that you took the time to reply. I've read every response and will go through them all again. The situation with the girlfriend is tricky but at least he's up here surrounded by family. We should know more tomorrow about the house situation with her. I don't know 100% if he has Alzheimers at this point, only had one doctor visit. He's not completely gone by any means but some of his decision making skills are very questionable. And yes, it's a LOT of work. He's in our walk out walk out basement so he can't come upstairs and get into too much trouble. We have two younger kids that he adores, they bring him a lot of joy. My wife is tolerating everything at the moment but not sure long term how she will cope. Although I do 99.9% of everything for him, it's no big deal. All I can say is do everything in your power to prevent having a stroke. 4 years ago my dad was a different man, full of life, energy, played golf, pickleball. Chased old women around the retirement community. He lost the use of his left side with the stroke, his spirits are still pretty good after the stroke but he's far more emotional. I have a picture of him somewhere riding a little Honda motorcycle up this grass hill in the mid 70's. Will see if I can find it.
    Once a Wanker.. likes this.
  17. tony 340

    tony 340 Well-Known Member

    There's a lot of solid advice in here.

    One thing I'd add.....whatever elderhome you think you want to put him in.....remember if you want him out it is a hassle.

    Check your states laws and tax rules. ....talk to a pro

    Depending on income you may be ahead of the game investing in your house a bit and one of you working less and giving him care yourselves.
  18. R Acree

    R Acree Banned

    We went the home care route with my mom, my father in law and mother in law. It is exhausting, but knowing you did your best for those that raised you was worth it. That said, dealing with the estate is a PITA. When money is at stake, all those who did nothing will have something to say about what you did wrong and why they should get more. It has happened to more peoplem than I can count. Good advice in previous posts. Take great care in changing the POA because mental condition is a way that it can be overturned. That said, consider how old the on the GF had done is. Odds are she took advantage of your dad knowing he was not as sharp as he could have been. Seems she has a good bit of experience at gold digging.
    Once a Wanker.. likes this.
  19. Once a Wanker..

    Once a Wanker.. Always a Wanker!

    I love your attitude, @USracer900 !
    Remaining optimistic is a huge part of your battle. There's no hill too tall for a climber! I'll be adding more content regularly.
  20. Motofun352

    Motofun352 Well-Known Member

    I took care of my Mom after my Dad passed. I was lucky enough to be in complete control with POAs and all bank accounts while she was still able to sign all the proper documents in front of a notarized lawyer. She eventually had to go to a nursing home where they did a pretty good job of taking care of her. I still had to watch over everything like a hawk, though. She was a cash customer who met her monthly obligations on time. I used that fact as a hammer to get everything taken care of properly. If they didn't want to get her a better mattress, the treat of moving her to a "nicer" facility was enough to get things taken care of. It sucks to have to be a hardass but it was my Mom so I did what I had to.
    Once a Wanker.. likes this.

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