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Signing a nursing home agreement obligations

Discussion in 'Guardians & Conservators' started by ruttrow, Jun 16, 2021.

  1. ruttrow

    ruttrow Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Colorado
    My 62 year old brother is being placed into a nursing home by a local government adult protective services. No one is currently his guardian, or POA. I am one of two brothers. The nursing home sent me a 50+ page nursing home agreement that they want me to sign as his "responsible person".

    I agreed verbally to be his medical proxy, I made it clear I did not want to take on guardianship at this time. I live in Florida. He is on social security disability. He is legally blind, and late stages of Alzheimer's disease, requiring around the clock assistance.

    What happens if I do not agree to sign the document? I do not want to be legally bound to paying his expenses above what medicare/medicaid would pay.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You don't have to accept the responsibility, especially if you have reservations.

    If you refuse, eventually a court will appoint an attorney to serve as his legal guardian.

    I've always found it is best to follow your first decision, especially in complex, difficult matters.

    Your brother will be just fine, even if you continue to decline to accept the additional responsibility.

    As we age, taking on additional duties and added responsibilities become much more difficult than they might have been 20, 15, or even 10 years earlier.
     
  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Then you have no responsibility for him and no power to decide anything for him. In order to be appointed his guardian you would have to go to court in Colorado to have him declared legally incompetent and have the court appoint you as guardian and custodian. If he's legally incompetent it is too late for him to sign a POA that would allow you to act on his behalf either for finances or to make medical decisions for him.

    I have no way of knowing what that document the nursing home sent to you would obligate you to do as I've not read it. It may be that it obligates you financially in some way, it might not.

    If you do nothing then the county will put him in a facility that will take whatever government assistance he's qualified for, assuming that he lacks assets to pay for care. If all he gets is Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security old age benefits then the facility he'll get housed in won't be all that great, but hopefully it will at least be safe and meet his basic needs. Unfortunately, unlike Army Judge, I cannot guarantee you that he'll be just fine. However, the odds of that improve if you at least check up on him from time to time and perhaps provide some extras for him here and there that the government benefits won't cover.
     
  4. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Note that "responsible party" not only probably involves decision making issues, but I can almost guarantee that they want you to take financial responsibility as well. We had to make a similar agreement when we put my Alzheimer-afflicted mother in law in the home.
     
    army judge likes this.
  5. ruttrow

    ruttrow Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for the replies. I may be in a "stale mate" position right now, I told the nursing home I am not comfortable signing the document because it implies financial responsibility. And reminded them I agreed for healthcare proxy only. He is currently at the hospital waiting for discharge, the nursing home told me they would not accept him without the document signed. *Sigh*. I kind of blame APS, I told them upfront I am not comfortable being a guardian. :-(
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    There it is. They want you to pay full boat for his care. If they don't take him, the state will find a place that will accept state benefits.

    I prefer to think of them as Social Security retirement benefits. ;)
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Amen, brother, amen!
     
  8. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    If that helps you, sure. But in the statute creating the benefit, it is known officially as "old-age" benefits. There's no getting around the fact that young people can't get this benefit, only the old(er) ones. ;)
     

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