My sister won't let us sell my mother's house for her care, what can we do?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 23, 2016
Ampersand asked...

Some years ago my mother put two sisters on the deed to the house. There is a codicil that my mother can remain in the house until she is no longer able to. She has Alzheimers and needs full time care and we are running out of money in a couple of months. All childer had agree that the money would be used for my mothers care so we put the house up for sale to get an apartment and have enough from the sale to pay for caregives maybe four years. One of my sisters on the deed, had the forsale sign taken down, because she could. It's pretty obvious that she wants my mothers funds to run out and then go to a nursing home. I believe she is trying to take half of the house sale when it happens, or worse. We have will which states that all of my mothers estate be divided between the seven children. Six of us don't care about the money except that it was to be for my mothers care, and was not meant to go to either of my sisters on the deed. I just don't what to do. My sister has convinced my mother that we are all against her and that she is the only one looking out for her benefit. She has already mentioned to myself and other siblings about a nice little nursing home down the road. She has led my mother to believe we would put her there so my mother goes along with her. The rest of us, the one's who are actually helping my mother can't convince her otherwise. I have a major disability but have largely taken care of my mother for two years, until I could no longer lift her. My sister has given her two baths in the two years not helped an any other way. Three of us gave her all the care and even when my sister was out of work for 3 months, would not give a hand.


Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

It is always more difficult when Mom needs long term care and the children are at odds with each other. It sounds like the house was transferred to your two sisters more than 5 years ago. Is this correct? If so, your two sisters own the house and Medicaid cannot make any claim to the proceeds of the house sale. If it is less than 5 years, Medicaid will treat the transfer as a gift and penalize your mother unless the house proceeds are used for her care. Assuming the transfer took place more than 5 years ago, there is not much you can do. It sounds like the agreement to take care of your mother was verbal and not in writing. The only optio I can suggest is to contact an Elder Law Attorney to find out if there is anything that can be done.


Community Answers

Ampersand answered...

I don't know how to edit the above question, but I wanted to ask if anyone know what I might do, or if there is anything that I can do. Have you been through this or know someone in a similar situation. Please let me know.