Nursing Home Resident’s Son Liable for His Mother’s Unpaid Debt

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A Connecticut trial court has ruled that attorney Jan Marcus, who admitted his mother to a nursing home, signed the admissions agreement, and then transferred money to himself but failed to provide information for her Medicaid application is liable to the nursing home for his mother’s unpaid debt up to the amount of income that was in his control.

(Related: Family Caregiver Distress Assessment)

The admissions agreement stated that the responsible party did not personally guarantee payment, however, it did require the responsible party to provide all the information needed to apply for Medicaid and to pay for the care with the resident’s funds. Marcus failed to turn over his mother’s Social Security payments to the nursing home and proceeded to transfer his mother’s funds to himself.  On behalf of his mother he applied for Medicaid, but the application was denied because he provided insufficient information.

(Related: Assisted Living and the Problem of Self-Regulation)

Following his mother’s death, the nursing home sued him for breach of contract. It sought $47,444 in costs, contending that Marcus should be responsible for the full cost of his mother’s care. The Connecticut Superior Court ruled in the nursing home’s favor in the amount of $15,778. The ruling said that while Marcus may be liable for his mother’s income and assets that were in his control and not transferred to the nursing home, but because the admissions agreement plainly states that the responsible party does not guarantee payment of debt, Marcus is not liable for the remaining balance of his mother’s debt.

For the full text of this decision, click here.

Christopher J. Berry is a Michigan elder law attorney Dedicated to helping seniors, veterans and their families navigate the long-term care maze. To learn more visit http://www.theeldercarefirm.com/ or call 248.481.4000

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