Will I lose everything if my spouse enters a nursing home?

Posted in Elder Law

No one wants to see their loved one have to move into a nursing home. But the feelings and concerns are even more difficult when it is your spouse. The obvious emotions come from no longer having the person who is so special to you in your home. But people who are not experiencing it often lose sight of another issue that troubles the one who remains home: how will this impact my ability to stay home?

We have had a number of clients come to our office concerned that they would watch everything they earned and saved be spent on their husband’s or wife’s care. With the average cost of a nursing home in Ohio being around $6,500.00, they fear they could be forced to sell their home and end up destitute in order to take care of their spouse. And many are ready to do it out of an incredible sense of love and duty.

Fortunately, this doesn’t have to happen. What many people don’t know is that the Medicaid rules, when understood, can allow us to protect substantial portions of a couple’s estate for the well spouse.

Most spouses who come to our firm end up qualifying their husband or wife for full nursing home coverage through Medicaid in a very short period of time and with the spouse that is home keeping most, or even all, of their assets.

But it is important to know that Medicaid will not do this for you automatically. We have seen too many clients reach a point of desperation after spending enormous sums of money and come to us to see if there will be an end. While we are able to stop the financial bleeding and get them on the right track, we usually find that they could have saved substantial sums of money by coming to us first.

The Medicaid system punishes those who do not understand it. If you know the rules (or have an attorney who does) you are at a significant advantage. That usually results in you protecting more of what you have worked so hard to earn.

If you or a loved one are preparing for a possible move to a nursing home or if someone has already made the move you owe it to yourself to contact us and come in to hear your options and get your questions answered.