Old 05-30-2012, 09:56 PM #1 (permalink)
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Default Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

I was just reading some older posts and came across brooksea adding to a "Things I wish I'd known..." post and saw that someone had a thread going before that but thread is closed. I'm assuming that means there is no way to pull it up anywhere ?

Some of the info on brooksea's post I was shocked at (pay back the last month SS ?!?) and I have no idea what happens to the medical bills that I assume pile up very quickly towards the end.
We have seperate banking accounts, I'm not an authorized user on any of his credit cards (and I understand as long as you provide a death certificate I will not be held responsible for those) but since I sign on all his medical paper work that means I will be paying any medical bills even after he passes, right ?
I'd love to get my hands on that previous thread to see what other things people suggested. Lately I just feel the need to get everything in order and trying to find some way to make sure I will be ok for a few months ($$ wise).
I can't imagine finding out all these things immediately after their passing and trying to deal with them.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:36 PM #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

I'll try to find it. Just to let you know, I was paid back the money from SS, but I had no idea I had to IMMEDIATELY apply when my husband died. Terrible to have to deal with, but that's the way it is. They took it away and then paid it back as survivor's benefits. That took a while and I had to borrow money to pay bills.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:40 PM #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

Plum,

Get ready for an eye opening experience. Yes, if you or your spouse dies on the last day of the month, SS will deduct said monies from your checking. Also, yours or your husbands estate will take care of outstanding debts. If you own a home, I believe one half is the share and creditors may put a lien for any outstanding debt. If he/she dies, the estate goes into probate and creditors have,I believe 6 months to submit what is owed. It may be longer, I just don't remember.

There is so much more, but you can read the older threads, you can't post on them. Find key words at the bottom of that page and follow the posts. Good luck and come back and ask some more.

Also, welcome to our family.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:40 PM #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

Here it is:

Things That Would Have Been Nice To Know
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:54 PM #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

Toto, it depends on the state one lives in and Im' not really sure they can take a spouses house anymore, but I could be wrong. A Quit Claim Deed works wonders before someone passes. You still have to pay the mortgage, of course.

Make sure all vehicles are REGISTERED with the county in YOUR name. You will have to go through some crap to sell them, otherwise. It doesn't matter if the loans were in your name.

As for the medical bills, if you have not filed with each DME or whomever that you deal with for a "Financially Needy" situation, you need to do so. That way the co-pay or deductible will be waived.

Unfortunately, you as a spouse will be responsible for medical bills. Look into the financially needy thing, as much as it may pain you. I did and it worked for us.

And, yes, the creditors will come after you (estate) for money. Study your state laws and hold steadfast. Follow through and keep detailed notes. Don't TALK to any of them! Period. You will be vulnerable. Do it via mail.

Well, I could say more, but I can't right now. My brain is on fire.

Last edited by brooksea : 05-30-2012 at 11:04 PM
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:17 PM #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

Wow, my head is spinning again. But thanks so much for the thread link - such great info on there, I will definitely be making myself a checklist and getting things in order.
If I start getting overwhelmed thinking of these things now, I can't imagine trying to wrap my head around all this immediately after. And hopefully by doing this now - I'll save myself some headaches, we all know most of these places don't do squat to make these things easier on us.
He is enrolled in the Financially Needy program under Medicaid (the only thing he qualifies for through them) but he has to reach a $3600 deductible - does that sound right ?

And I've never heard of a Quit Claim Deed so I will look into that as well.

Thanks so much you guys.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:28 PM #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

Plum,

Are you and your husband retired? That makes a big difference. If you are, you will return the smaller check and then you will get the larger check each month. You will also get that HUGE (I say that facetiously), death benefits check.

CJ (Brooksea), Missy (Miss), and other CALS can help you. You can find others if you scroll down the posts in the Caregivers and former Caregivers section.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:30 PM #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

God, now I know why my brain is on fire! You are too young to have to think about all of this!

Please ask any questions at all. We will try to help you! I will contact some other members to get a look at this thread you started. They might have helpful info. I suggest you print this stuff out and put in a folder or notebook. Then make a master list of each item so you can check off what you have done. That's just me. Missy may have a better idea.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:39 PM #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

Plum,

I believe that transfers the title of your home. You may receive reduced property taxes on your home due to your husbands diagnosis. Then, you should transfer the title giving him life estate and the reduction. But I believe FL doesn't have annual property taxes. Do you not pay an exhorbitant amount at closing?

It is a LOT to take in. And eventually things will slow down as you get used to a new lifestyle. Welcome to the world of ALS in the good ole USA, Uncle Sam's style!
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:50 PM #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

Toto, no we're not, he's only 32 so wasn't retired yet (wouldn't that be nice ?!) and yeah....saw the $255 death benefit comments, what a joke !

Great suggestion CJ, I will do that.

The big thing I have looming over my head is his life policy. He signed up for a police in Aug of 08, and his first appt which was to an ortho doc because he thought he sprained his foot was in Aug 08 as well. Don't know what happened but his life policy paperwork wasn't filed properly. It wasn't fixed until the following year when it was time to renew and they saw the mistake. So technically on paperwork he buys his police in Aug 09 and gets official diagnosis only 2 weeks later. He has passed the 2yr wait but we're still concerned that they are going to dig into it. Is that something the insurance will look at when it comes to pay or do they just check that he's passed the 2yr mark and don't pay too much attention to the cause of death /diagnosis date etc...

Alright ...I've got enough to fill my head for tonight but that would be great CJ - anything people can suggest is so much appreciated.

Good night to you both - and thank you.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:51 PM #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

Yes, the title is transferred and you will be the owner, still paying the mortgage. It makes it easier when one passes. No property to probate. Key word: property. Get all property (assets) transferred to your name. Still, it varies by state.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:32 AM #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

My greatest advice is to get the power of attorney for both you and your husband, get last wills, and living wills done for the both of you. I know it sounds morbid, but do it before he can't convey his desires, or hold a pen to sign on those. Those will protect your assets from going into probate, from you losing your house, will help you when you go to ALS clinics or doctor's visits and he can't sign anymore.

The only other thing I will add, is that to deal with SS, They don't recognize POA's as that is a state document and they are a federal agency, so you will need to file to be a REP payee for him, but then they will require you to have a REP payee bank account of where his funds go. A REP payee bank account is "for the benificiary of" and only notes that you are able to use the funds for him, but aren't noted as a beneficiary on the account. So when the inevitable happens, first transfer that money into a new account with your name, and then give your bank the death certificate for the REP payee account. That will then put a hold of 45 days on that account, but since you transferred the funds into a new account, it will not leave you penniless to take care of you and your son while that REP payee account has a hold on it. Once the 45 days are up, the REP payee account will close and that will be the end of all of that.

As long as you are a joint owner of vehicles, and have both your names on them, when he passes, they automatically go to you, and all you need to do is take a death certificate to the BMV and that should be suffice to get his name off of the title and registration of the vecihicles.

Student Loans should be "forgiven" with a death certificate and they won't come back on you.

As far as medicaid, have you tried filing "for medical condition"? If you file that way, they should pay 80% and then medicare (which you should have with getting disability through social security) should pay the remainder 20%. Very rarily did I have to pay too much on his medical bills. Maybe a couple hundred here and there, but that was it.

Hope this helps, and feel free to ask questions. The only dumb question, is the one not asked.

*hugs* and much love,

~ Becca
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:38 AM #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

Credit cards in his name alone should be dismissed since you don't have an estate to probate. That doesn't mean that you won't get calls - you will. When you get the bills, simply write on the bill that the credit card holder is deceased and send the a copy of the death certificate. As for medical bills, make a $10 payment every two weeks and you will go on no past due reports. The bills might not be paid off in your lifetime, but at least they won't financially strap you!

I live in TN. Creditors cannot take your home (other than the mortgage lender). Like CJ, I made sure all autos were in both of our names with the word or, not and, between our names. When Terry died, I had no problem selling the van.

You should be fine on the life insurance policy. They will only ask for a death certificate when you file the claim. In any case, you filled out the paperwork in 2008, not 2009. The questions were asked about him in 2008. Also, you paid a premium for the policy in 2008 which they accepted.

Do you have children? If you do you will receive SS survivor benefits for them, and you will receive payment for caring for them until they are 16. That is why CJ received a "refund" of the social security taken from her account. If her son had been over the age of 16, she would not have received any of those funds; her son would just have received an increased check.

Start trying to put money away so that you will have at least 4 - 6 weeks of living expenses to tide you over until the life insurance proceeds come in. To speed that up, go ahead and pull a copy of the claim form off of the company website and have it filled out and ready to mail so that all you will have to do is add the death certificate to the envelope. If you have someone close that can handle things for you, talk with them now about it, put together a notebook with paperwork and forms and have it ready. That is what I did. I had a trusted friend that handled everything. He got the death certificates from my funeral director the day of the funeral. Life insurance proceeds were in my account within two weeks. I know it is upsetting and sounds a bit morbid, but it made an incredibly difficult time a little less painful. You are smart to be thinking ahead. Things won't hang over your head if you have a plan.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:43 AM #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

Becca has very good information about the representative bank account. I would just move the money the day after it arrives every month. That way, you will get no questions about it. You will have shown a pattern of bill payment.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:53 AM #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Closed Threads (Wish I'd known..)

The POA is done - his ability to sign was one of the first things to go so we've had the POA in place for a while. I have the living will paperwork sitting on my desk for 2 weeks now, just can't bring myself to fill them out. I already know what his wishes are but something about having him tell it to me again as I put it on paper just , idk....not a good feeling. But I know this needs to be done asap - last thing I want is to have to make those decisions and possibly have to hear from his family that I didn't do enough etc....

Now about SS, they would not let me become a REP Payee for him. After phone calls, visits and headachestheir office they told me because he was mentally there and able to manage his money they couldn't make me a payee. They had me fill out a form that allows me to get info / speak on his behalf, but that’s about it. Should I continue pushing for the REP Payee then ?

Car is registered to my name , so that's taken care of.

I believe FL is also one of the few states that doesn't allow creditors to take your home either. But just to be safe, I will be looking into the quit claim deed.

My son is already receiving a check each month from SS. I'm hoping that amount will not change (well..unless they want to give him more, no objections there) but I've read on the thread that max household is roughly $1350 ? That definitely leaves a big gap compared to what their combined amount is now, so something I need to figure out.

I usually do transfer most of his SS check to my acct anyways but good thing to know - I'll make sure that none of our savings money sits around in his acct.

Missy, wow, I'm surprised you had the money within two weeks ! I thought the process would take much longer. I know, it's one of those things when something like that happens you don't want to seem greedy but sounds like unless you get things going immediately - you'd better have plenty of money sitting around in your account or have lots of credit cards ready.

Thanks all so much for your suggestions. I'm sure I'll have more questions as I start going through these things but this is great information.
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