Desperate for a Clear Cut Legal answer- have paid lawyers but gotten no ANSWERS.
I'm sorry to pop up from nowhere begging for advice, but have beat my head on the wall for so long. (Have taken mom to see 2 different attorneys who each charged a fortune, gave no clear answers and offered to help her 'spend down' her money in what was said in a 'joking' tone but I don't think they were joking....)
Her situ is a bit Different from what I can find anywhere else. May I please ask opinions?
She and her husband both in 80's married for 2nd time as widow/widowers about 18 years ago. He put all his assets into his adult childrens names right before the marriage and even put the house they moved into (that he bought) into his childrens names (Unbeknownst to my mom) with a 'survivorship clause' so she could continue to live there if he died. Even had his nearby offspring on their joint checking acct and daughter has his power of attorney and medical power of attorney. (this has been a constant source of hard feelings between them for their entire marriage)
They kept finances seperate more or less (But did file taxes jointly until a couple years ago) She didn't have much, a couple of smallish IRA'S, Cd's. He always insisted she would never have to be responsible for his care if he needed a nursing home. He used his retirement/pension to pay household bills but 'gifted' anything extra at the end of the year to his children'/grandchildren.
Fast Forward to a couple years ago, he gets ill and dementia and ends up in nursing home. His daughter and his attorney have now filed for medicaid and from all we can determine, if my mother participates, her seperate assets would have to be 'spent down' on his care and/or accounted for.
There is great animosity and no communication between his family and ours, so we have no idea what kind of money/investments, if any, he had upon entering the nursing home.
At this point, she feels very used and foolish to have trusted what she was told. She doesn't want to impede his medicaid application but she does not want to participate in it either (and I feel it is somewhat fraudulent, given the fact he put his quite extensive property, but real estate and fincances into his kids names, even though yes, I know it is legal to do so) His attorney will not communicate with us, insists he will only talk to another attorney and we cannot find one that doesnt' seem to be interested in anything but billable hours, talks in circles and never gives a clear answer.
I am afraid to even speak to the medicaid office that has been calling asking for my mothers income info and S.S. and they said today , if they didn't hear soon they would deny the claim.
The best answer I could respond to Medicaid with was that my mother did not wish to participate in his Medicaid application and would opt for 'spousal refusal or the 'just say no' option. I've tried very hard to read up on that and educate myself on it...one lawyer told us 'no, it was not a good option, just get a divorce, which was bad advice since it would make her lose her home and ins/medical...the other said "if pushed, opt for spousal refusal'...::banging head on wall:::
I am really lost at this point and so disgusted with the attorney's we attempted to talk to (and her husbands attorney who won't lower himself to talk to us directly) I can't imagine throwing another $500-$1,000 away on trying to talk to another one and getting the same run around. I don't want to advise my mother badly, but I feel strongly she should just refuse to get involved in the medicaid application process.
Can anyone help guide me in this??? The legal 'what if's' have been causing me to develop ulcers and migranes since the nursing home situation came into the picture. Is there any legal place that I could find to just give me a CLEAR CUT answer??