Having been through this ourselves, we can relate to it being a horrible heart breaking experience. In our case, mom first sold her home of many years and moved into a condo which worked great for her but then the day came when that was no longer an option. We moved her into our home and set up a nice bedroom and bathroom just for her and she shared in the family day to day living activities. All went well until one day we could no longer lift her or meet her medical needs, we had to get help from social service. It wasn’t long before even that wasn’t enough and mom needed more care than we could provide sadly. She had to go to a nursing home for 24/7 care. Our family all searched for a place for mom and finally settled on a nice nursing home and began the ardent task of dispersing her belongings and basically, liquidating the estate. This took months to accomplish and tore at our heart every minute. We all tried to cheer her and make her understand what was happening and how it would be best for her. We all made promises to visit constantly and take her on trips and shopping. We did everything we could or even thought of to make this transition comfortable. I must say that our large family did exactly what they promised and made mom’s last years as best as they could be, we and even her, were very lucky to have such a large caring family. But still it felt like a long lonely sad journey and part of your own heart was dying. So if you are in this same situation, we really do understand.
So what to do with the house? The first problem you have is that you don’t own the house and it isn’t yours to sell. You are going to need some legal help here to get a power of attorney or if your mother/father can legally still sign papers – get this taken care of now. Don’t delay because at some point, they won’t be able to handle these affairs and it will be harder for you. Also at this time you might want to check with an elder care lawyer to see what options you have and what you can legally do. You can’t just go and “take” or “do” what you want, it doesn’t work that way. Also the nursing home is going to ask for payment and unless your mom/dad had nursing home insurance, it is going to come out of that estate money. You can apply to Medicaid for help but it is difficult to obtain and you will have a long waiting period before they will pay any or all of the monthly costs. You will still have various monthly costs that aren’t associated with Medicaid payments so don’t even think of spending or taking any of that money. Also the government will ask you for receipts and proof that any money of hers that you spend is spent for her care, so keep receipts. We had to buy small incidentals like hair care items, nail polish, shampoo, hand cream, clothes, salon appointments, activities, and other little incidentals that really begin to add up each month. And of course, mom wants things like crosswords, cards, presents for others and so on as if nothing was wrong. It is going to be difficult, just take it slow, think about it and talk to others. The nursing home staff is very helpful in ideas and possible sources of income as well as the family doctor.
So once you have mom settled into her new “home”, you need to start the process to sell her house because you are most likely going to need that money to pay for the nursing home expenses. At first you might think that you will have plenty of money to pay for everything and can “keep” the home or just put off doing anything. But expenses continue every month both for that home and for mom. You realize that selling the home is necessary and that same money can help pay for mom’s expenses, after all – it really is her home and her money, so rightfully, it belongs to her. Read some of our previous articles on how to go about this and some of the pitfalls.
If you want to just “sell it now” for what you can get and not bother cleaning it out, waiting for a buyer, fixing up things or being responsible for ongoing bills, just give us a call. We can close in a few days for cash and then you can move on with your life and hers. Mom never intended for you to have to do any of this but you know it is the right thing to do. If you are lucky and mom has enough money to pay for everything, the end results are the same. You still have to sell a house you inherit and again, giving us a call would be so much easier and less heartbreaking. Call us at: 740-478-4046 and tell us your situation and see what we can do. If it doesn’t work out, then you can try a realtor at some point. Just pick up the phone and call.