In Elder Law News

Whether you can sign a Medicaid application as a health care or financial power of attorney has to do with what your state’s Medicaid agency accepts. You will have to check with them. 

If you prefer, you can find a local elder law attorney for answers. If you need a financial power of attorney, they can create one for you.

Medicaid Liability

Whether signing a Medicaid application makes you liable for reimbursement is an easy answer, and it’s the same nationwide. You will not be liable to reimburse Medicaid. In fact, the only reimbursement the Medicaid system can claim is upon the death of the beneficiary and only from the beneficiary’s estate—not yours. The one exception to this rule is if you knowingly provide false information on the application.

Filial Responsibility

Even in states with filial responsibility laws, it is rarely enforced unless there is fraud or a disregard for managing nursing home costs. Read the nursing home contract carefully for any wording regarding family members being responsible for long-term care bills. You can also have an attorney look over the contract to be certain.

Harry S. Margolis practices elder law, estate, and special needs planning in Boston and Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the founder of and answers consumer questions about estate planning issues here and at

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