« Last post by Monroe on March 29, 2015, 01:36:15 PM »
sorry about the issues you are dealing with. I recently had a friend comment: "Forget divorce - elder care is the new cause of the disintegration of the family." It is fairly typical of adult siblings to have differences of opinion on how to care for the elderly parent. This is true even if ALL are well-intentioned. But when one adult child takes advantage of the elderly parent, friction is inevitable.
Some general comments - take them or leave them.
1. Your husband is the blood relative. Even if you are the one coaching him - HE will have to be the one to confront his sisters, take legal action, etc. Obviously you will be a great help to him - but he has to be the one taking charge.
2. The legal course would be to petition the court for your husband to become his mother's legal guardian (and possibly conservator of her assets). She may or may not have given one of her daughters a power of attorney - but the court can over-ride that if there is evidence that the daughter with power of attorney is in fact not acting in your MIL's best interests, is wasting her assets, etc. The court can appoint your husband guardian. It can also appoint him conservator of her assets, even if it leaves his sisters with certain authority. Guardians are in charge of the person. Conservators are in charge of the assets. Sometimes the same person is both guardian and conservator - sometimes one person is guardian, and another person is in charge of the assets.
3. As for the house, there may or not be good reason to keep it yet not rent it out. An elder care attorney would know about this. Long term care is self-pay until the person runs out of money. Only then does Medicaid cover the nursing care. But that severely limits the facilities from which one can choose. Self-pay residents have a lot more power to select the facility that is best for them. Sometimes the house is not considered an asset that must be liquidated in order to qualify for Medicaid - sometimes it is. Again, talk with a elder care lawyer. But if she has enough money to be self-pay for 5 or 6 years, and you don't want her getting "pot-luck" in nursing homes after her money runs out, there's not much point to keeping the house just to have her qualify for Medicaid. That's a lot of expense and upkeep for an empty house (worse if it is not empty and the cats are ruining it) - and houses do deteriorate (roof, gutters, sidewalks, plumbing). Sounds like she can never live in the house again, that it will only get in worse condition - that it might be best for the house to be sold and that $$ put in the bank to pay for her care - rather than have the property deteriorate.
Bottom line - your husband (and you, in the background) need to talk to a lawyer who is quite familiar with adult guardianships and conservatorships, and property issues related to qualifying for Medicaid. Then you will know whether or not the house should be sold, and whether your husband should file with the court to become either her guardian or conservator or both.