Haverhill, MA asked in Elder Law and Health Care Law for Massachusetts

Q: My mother unexpectedly landed in a nursing home/rehab facility. Her mental status comes & goes. She's on Medicare.

I'm not positive about Medicaid. She receives $1500.00/mo from separated spouse & $200.00/mo in socal security. She has no other assets...Until...a sister died & has left her an inheritance of $200,000.00+.

She has 8 children. Our questions are, if she stays in the nursing home, are they entitled to the inheritance & is there a way to stop this from happening? Thank you for your time.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
  • Woburn, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: If her mental status is in doubt then there should be a Conservator appointed by the Probae Court where mother resides to handle her finances and also a Guardian to handle her care if there are not agents under a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy granted authority to act by her prior to becoming ill. Generally the agent under a Power of Attorney can act for the granting person and set up appropriate Trusts. However, if the facility feels a formal appointment is needed, petitions for Conservatorship and Guardianship should be filed or filed if no instruments are in place before mental decline. The agent or Conservator should discuss the facts with a Medicaid planning attorney as soon as possible to explore what and whether options exist.

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