Do I have to pay mom’s money back to a nursing home?

Q:  My mom paid off my car and then went into the nursing home. The deal was, a few years later would I have to pay that amount to the nursing home. My mom is getting very forgetful if she gave me money to pay off some bills I have. If I have to have in home help or have her go to a nursing home. Would that penalize her, or would I have to come up with that money? I am on her checking account and I have durable power of attorney. Thank you.

A: I am a little confused and don’t have all the facts that I need. You really need to ask an elder law attorney who can look at the entire situation. Generally, transfers of a person’s money to others, without consideration (no payment in exchange) within 5 years of Medicaid eligibility, can cause that person to be ineligible for Medicaid in the amount of the transfers. It is not the nursing home that is the problem, it is if and when your mother needs to apply for Medicaid. It sounds like you and your mother could really benefit from legal advice, but the attorney has to know the entire situation.

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