Is it too late when you are already in a Nursing Home?

July 7, 2016

This edition of the Koldin Report E-Newsletter begins a series that answers the question, "Is it too late to protect any of your life savings when you are already in a Nursing Home?" All prior newsletters are saved on our website. Click here to read them.

When you are in a Nursing Home, you may be told that you must liquidate and spend your life savings as a private pay patient towards the cost of care until you are down to $14,850 (personal exempt resource allowance for 2016). You will be told that you cannot apply for Medicaid if you have more than $14,850. You will also be told that there is a 5 year look back period where the Medicaid Agency will not allow any asset protection or transfers and since you are caught in this 5 year look back period, you have no options left to save your assets. You have been given misinformation that could unnecessarily cause you to lose your life savings.

Of course, if you plan ahead more than 5 years, you will have the most control over your choices and would have the benefit of being able to protect your life savings with an Irrevocable Trust. This option is reviewed on our website. Click here to read about Irrevocable Trusts.

However, it is still possible to save some or all of your life savings even after you are in a Nursing Home. You should never assume it is too late. There are many asset preservation options even if you are already in a Nursing Home such as:

  • Spousal Refusal
  • Purchasing Annuities
  • Promissory Notes
  • Purchasing Exempt items
  • Transferring the family home and other assets to an exempt person
  • Special Rules for Retirement Accounts
  • Fair Hearings to raise the amount of savings the at home spouse can keep
  • Purchasing a Life Estate in someone else's home

Some of these options will be reviewed in future newsletters. Also, they are discussed on our website. Click here to read about other options discussed on our website.

The next newsletter will review Exempt Transfers.

When the Koldin Law Center, P.C. handles a Medicaid case, we not only handle the entire application process, but we also review asset protection options with our clients. We review with our clients who are already in a Nursing Home options to protect some or all of their assets beyond merely establishing Medicaid eligibility.

There is something you can do.