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 Fighting the nursing home - a win! 
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post Fighting the nursing home - a win!
I have stuck to my guns with the SNF, maintaining that when I signed the admission forms as "responsible party" I was informed that I was signing as POA and that this signature referred to the use of Mom's funds. There was a second place to sign as guarantor, which would have obligated me to use my own funds to cover any charges that Mom's remaining funds couldn't cover. I never signed as guarantor and so maintained that my obligation was only for my role as POA in administering Mom's funds.

Well, I just got an email from the nursing home. It took pointing out the differences in the places I signed the agreement, and I had to cite chapter and verse of Minnesota Statute 524 (probate), but they have agreed to write off the under $1000.00 balance (some of which included finance charges that they added over the months in which we were in dispute).

[FYI, when I get pushed too hard in a business deal, I almost always fall back on state and federal law. Thank God for searchable databases of electronic files containing all of the statutes. I don't know what governor was in charge when they accomplished it, probably Tim Pawlenty. I never supported him on much, but I'd rather attribute this wonderful service to him than to his predecessor, Jesse Ventura (former pro-wrestler and - in my opinion - embarrassment). ]

So that's another minor stress I no longer have to deal with.

Moral of the story, don't let a SNF talk you into signing any agreement, or part of an agreement, that you haven't thoroughly read and understood. If they are pushing hard for signatures everywhere (I signed my name less when I bought my car), ask them to admit your LO and that you will just run the document(s) past your attorney and get back to them. That's what I did. Except I'm sure they expected me to come back to them with a fully signed document within days, which I never did. This may not work with all SNFs, but it did with this one. Best case, get a copy of the admission documents long before you need to admit your LO, preferably when you tour the facility during the selection process. That would give you (and your attorney, if necessary) an opportunity to thoroughly review the documents before you find yourself in the acutely emotional moments of the actual admission. It may also help you weed out the facilities that you can't work with or won't work with you and save yourself a lot of frustration later.

For me, this particular battle is won and I can go on to the next one. I think I'll have a glass of some really nice wine tonight.

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:19 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Fighting the nursing home - a win!
Good job, Kate! Good advice, too.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:24 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Fighting the nursing home - a win!
Kate,
A job well done, I am glad you kept at it and won !

When my mom passed away not from LBD she lived in ALF and they sent me for yrs at least 4 her last drug bill saying I was her POA but I too never signed responsible party, I moved 2x's since and those bills followed and one day they finally gave up and I have checked my credit history and there is nothing there, so I am thinking they thought if they kept sending bills I would get tired of it and mail them a 600.00 check which of course I never did !

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Irene Selak


Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:55 pm
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 6:51 pm
Posts: 60
Post Re: Fighting the nursing home - a win!
Thanks for posting this information about financial responsibility. As my husband's POA, I had never thought about not signing the responsibility section on various documents at my husband's doctors' offices, but I will not be signing that portion of any of those documents in the future, especially since it's his insurance that is paying all those bills anyway.

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Beth


Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:15 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Fighting the nursing home - a win!
It might differ from state to state but I'm pretty sure, in our state, spouses are responsible for each other's debts unless there is a legal separation.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:45 am
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Fighting the nursing home - a win!
Remember that I was caring for my mother. Finances are easier for me because of this (and harder because she had next to nothing).

I think spousal responsibility is decided by state, but I think the same dangers exist in most states. Being married, your finances are mixed and you have a combined responsibility.

In the case of spousal caregiving and POA, I strongly suggest talking with an attorney to preserve what you can for your own needs and still make your spouse eligible for Medicaid. If not an attorney, I was able to get help with Mom's finances from her banker (not the teller, an officer of the bank). You should also talk with a tax consultant about any inheritance taxes. In my state, assets need to be pretty substantial before tax is a problem (it was a big issue for farmers, though).

I've heard a number of people talk about trusts. And my cousin says that's what her parents are using. But I have no more suggestions and strongly urge spouses to talk to the professionals.

This is yet another reason for people to live together as partners with POA for each other, especially at the age most common for what we are living through. And, if you do marry after 50 or so, I really suggest avoiding a pre-nup if you can. Or, if you can't, be sure there is something in there that discusses the issues involved in aging and what happens when one of you becomes the caregiver for the other. When you end up being the primary caregiver for your recently married spouse, you deserve a change in the "mine to mine, yours to yours" clause that is so common. And you need to find a way to avoid losing everything you have to cover your spouses' debts. Who is going to keep you going if you spent everything on your spouses care and debts?

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:26 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Fighting the nursing home - a win!
Pat,
I think you are correct , each state could be different on that one but the orginal post was talking about a parent as was in my case, I know when Jim passed I paid all the bills never even challenged them. I am fairly certain a child is not responsible for a parent in all states unless they sign that they are which the hospital or other med facility will try to get you to do !

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Irene Selak


Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:33 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Fighting the nursing home - a win!
Yes, I was responding to Beth's post.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:05 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: Fighting the nursing home - a win!
With all of these matters related to financial liability, as well as protection of assets for the CG spouse, it is really important to get advice from an attorney in your own state. The laws can be complex and confusing, and certainly can differ significantly from state to state. This is not an area for making guesses or assumptions. Best to get advice on the front end to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Julianne


Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:24 pm
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