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The most important thing you can do before signing any kind of contract is read it thoroughly and ask questions until you get answers that satisfy you. If you feel like the answers you’re getting leave you with more
questions than you had before, take the contract to a lawyer. There are often community services that provide this kind of counsel for free if you do not have a lawyer.
One of the worst things you can do is not ask enough questions. The more you can find out for yourself the better. Even if your questions don’t seem to get answered or the person answering them seems to give you answers that don’t sound right, you will know to be suspicious of the institution. Go with your gut instinct. If the place doesn’t feel right or something seems wrong, it probably isn’t the right home for you or your elderly loved one.
Some things to be wary of in a nursing home contract:

* the requirement of large deposits
* the insistence that the deposit be paid up front and immediately
* a clause that requires the patient to sign all his or her assets over to the nursing home in the event of the patient’s death
* any clause that limits the liability for the home’s doctors, damage to personal property, or personal injury.
* provisions regarding the grounds for a patient’s discharge or transfer.
Often these reasons for dismissal are illegal.

It is true that a court will not enforce a contract that contains an illegal clause. However, it really is better to be careful and use some common sense in the beginning in order to avoid costly and time consuming court battles in the future.