Thanks for all the good mojo!
Since this is a new phase, I thought I'd start a new thread.
I signed off on the offer and our tentative closing date is 6/28.
I've already started notifying utilities - I got all of them except the electric off auto-pay, and for that DH has to fax my POA and a cover letter - not a biggie.
Same with his supplemental health insurance - I can't find the contact/fax information, so I'll call and take care of that on Monday - I need to get that checking account down to $10 ASAP! (To thwart ADT and the auto lease bank.)
I also canceled his credit card, just in case it was used as overdraft protection or given as a backup means of payment.
I'll also have to transfer dad's pension to the new account - and have paperwork coming from them to make me the representative payee. (After Medicaid kicks in, I'll just sign his pension over to the nursing home.)
After the pension is transferred to the new account, I CLOSE the old one.
Online banking ROCKS!
I saw Saul today about sheltering the assets and OH MY GOD. I swear, the man's brain must be MASSIVE! I don't know how it fits in his skull because nothing he said made any sense at all - I told him quite frankly, he might as well be speaking Esperanto.
He said that's normal - and he teaches this stuff to other lawyers who also don't comprehend and ask a TON of questions, repeatedly - so now I don't feel TOO totally stupid!
The thing with the checking account and starving out the vultures - Saul said that's EXACTLY what to do, so yay, me! On this test, I get 1 out of 100!
Dad will pay Saul $16,500 to shelter at least $60K from the state *AND* pre-pay DH's and my cremations/funerals.
I just hope we don't have to take him up on the offer now - I'd like to at least wait until we're dead.
Yes - that does seem like a HUGE chunk o' change, but it's long, involved, tedious and there's a lot of mathematical formulas involved *that he understands* - so it's worth it - especially if my dad somehow *does* live to be as old as my 101-year-old uncle.
He probably won't, but you never know - and if we can preserve *something* - $60K is MORE than a little something, IMO - it's worth it.
The list of materials he needs is the same one Medicaid requires, but he goes through it from *our* perspective and not the state's. It's long, extensive and I have to make a few calls about getting copies of tax bills, water bills and a few other things - like a statement from his pre-paid funeral.
Our state is BRUTAL.
Dad gave his two brothers, his sister and me each $1,000 after he cashed in some bonds two years ago - the state is going to ding him hard for that and give him a *five month* Medicaid waiting period penalty.
What do you do when somebody wastes ALL their money on QVC items over $2,000 or gives most of it to that one relative that's taking advantage of them? The frivolous/duped person gets *punished*? How do you get to stay in an SNF when you need to be in one, but Medicaid is...MAD at you?
Seriously - all expenses over $2,000 in the last *five years* must be JUSTIFIED.
Even paying ourselves for the work we did - work that gave us a $5,100 sale price on the house above list - has to be justified because the state thinks that's just the sort of thing you DO for family!
When I explained it - these are all things WELL beyond the normal things you'd do for family, he said we'd have been better off hiring people and paying them a higher rate.
I told Saul we didn't have the luxury of TIME. He thought I was arguing - I told him I really wasn't, I was just frustrated and trying to explain myself badly that it was a hoarding situation, the place needed work, we're able to do the work, so we did the work - and it's only around $2,064. For 103.5 hours of work - from both of us - and I'd be able to justify it. DH is good at keeping records.
But...we can bill for it. We just have to be careful and it may somehow get dad dinged as a "gift" - and it may lower dad's monthly bottom line (insert big, long explanation involving a LOT of incomprehensible mathematical tables and charts here.)
We need to come out and say, "This $2000 got him $5,1000 - a net gain of $3,100. And the house sold less than 24 hours on the market *through our hard work* - and hope Medicaid finds that acceptable when the time comes.
Like I said, it's big, it's long, it's nearly incomprehensible to somebody of reasonable intelligence - but it's LEGAL and Saul knows his stuff.
And all phone calls and consults once I pay him, from that point on are FREE - which is good, because I'll probably be making a LOT of those!
DH said, "It's almost like, when you get to a certain age, you get penalized for spending any money."
I agree - that's exactly what it sounds like.
Some families are normal and loving and caring and I can see grandparents wanting to give gifts - or partially pay for college educations or weddings or a car or something else big-ticket for their beloved grandchildren - but not knowing they need to shelter that stuff, winding up in nursing homes and getting smacked hard by our state for not being prescient.
All the laws here changed in 2006 - and many lawyers got out of estate planning because it's just so damned *hard* - especially if the person is alive, moderately well-off and in an SNF.
Oh...and unBPD mom's failed business may screw things up - OF COURSE!
They hemorrhaged money and always owed federal and state taxes, but Saul needs to see that information - the tax returns.
You know those plastic storage bins unBPD mom had everywhere? I kept a few, just in case - I have dad's sorted paperwork in them, but now I have a pretty big bin with all the information Saul needs, ready to go - and I'm already mostly done gathering, but will need a few more days.
I don't know *why* I felt like I was going to have a heart attack when Saul told me the fee - it's not *my money* - and he'd already factored that in to the bottom line figures for dad's care and how to shelter things when they become a "liquid bubble" - as he said.
I don't think it was FOG - I think it was just *extreme* sticker shock at the lengths you have to go to in this state!
But...we're doing it. Even if unNPD dad doesn't particularly give a shit about me and liked to use money as a hoover/carrot, it's *disgusting* that you can work all your life and without some very intricate, fancy and delicate legal footwork - lose *everything* in a matter of months.
And it really is good news in disguise. I thought he'd be able to shelter maybe five grand!