More Evidence Needed to Support Protective Order for Wife of Medicaid Applicant

A Michigan appeals court vacates the decision of the probate court awarding a protective order to the wife of a Medicaid applicant because there was not enough evidence to support awarding the wife all of the applicant’s income and assets. In Re Conrad (Mich. Ct. App., No. 356598, May 19, 2022).

Richard Conrad entered a nursing home. His wife, Josephine, petitioned the court for a protective order, claiming he was unable to manage his affairs due to dementia. Mrs. Conrad submitted a budget and alleged that her needs were greater than Mr. Conrad’s because his needs were met in the nursing home. The probate court issued a protective order that awarded Mr. Conrad $60 a month and transferred the remainder of his income and assets to Mrs. Conrad. Mrs. Conrad then filed a Medicaid application on behalf of Mr. Conrad.

The state appealed the protective order, arguing that there was not enough evidence to support it. It also asserted that the court had not properly considered Mr. Conrad’s need for his assets and income and that because Mr. Conrad had not already been granted Medicaid, the court could not consider Medicaid coverage as a way to pay his expenses.

The Michigan Court of Appeals vacates the petition and remands the decision to the probate court for additional fact finding. According to the court, the probate court relied solely on Mrs. Conrad’s budget to issue the protective order, but the “budget prepared by [Mrs. Conrad] considered only [her] purported expenses and was not supported by any evidence.”

For the full text of this decision, go to: https://www.courts.michigan.gov/49b0b6/siteassets/case-documents/uploads/opinions/final/coa/20220519_c356598_32_356598.opn.pdf

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