My wife was diagnosed with advanced dementia and her doctors are telling me that she needs 24/7 health care, probably in a nursing home. If she moves to a nursing home, will I lose my home and my life savings?

This is a very good question and we work with people every day who are worried about losing their life savings because of high long-term care costs.  First, make sure to look at all other options as far as where she is receiving care. For example, an assisted living community may be less costly and… Read More »

My mom recently entered a nursing home. We are trying to qualify her for Medicaid on our own. Should Mom and Dad deed the house to me?

NO! Don’t do it!  We regularly help families qualify for Medicaid without having to spend or give away all of their assets. There is a lot of confusion out there about what you can and can’t do – many families mean well but don’t understand the Medicaid rules. There is nothing worse than to see… Read More »

My mother died in a nursing home in late 2016 while receiving Medicaid. She owned nothing at her death except for her condominium, which my sister and I paid to upkeep while she was in the nursing home. She has an old Will leaving everything to my sister and me. The State of Michigan recently contacted me with a bill for her nursing home care. Can they make me pay the bill?

What you are referring to is called “estate recovery”.  Under Medicaid law, following the death of the Medicaid recipient, the State must attempt to recover money paid for the Medicaid recipient’s (in this case your mother’s) care.  So, the short answer is “yes”, under the estate recovery rules the State does have the right to… Read More »

My 84 year-old mother just returned from the hospital and is unable to stand, walk or dress herself. My siblings and I take turns taking care of her 24/7 in her home. In the long run this is not safe nor can it continue because we have jobs, our own homes, etc. My father died recently and he was a Veteran, and my mother also has about $105,000 in the bank. What are our options?

Your main goal should be to get the best possible care for your mother, whether at home or outside the home. Home care 24/7 is very expensive, likely even more costly than having her move to assisted living or a nursing home. Because your mother was married to a Veteran, she may be eligible for… Read More »

My father is a Korean War Veteran and has been diagnosed with dementia. He will likely need to move into an assisted living community. I don’t know how my mother will afford to keep her house and pay for my father’s assisted living costs. Are there any Veterans’ benefits that might help?

Yes. A married wartime Veteran like your father may qualify for what is called “pension plus aid and attendance”. This benefit is up to $2,124 per month, tax free for life. The benefit is available if certain health and financial conditions are met, although the rules are complicated.  You should know that this benefit is… Read More »

My father and mother owned a home for over thirty years. My father died two years ago and my mother is in the nursing home. Can the State take her home after she dies?

If your mother’s care is being paid for by Medicaid, then the answer is “yes”, the State may request reimbursement against your mother’s home after she dies. This is because of a law known as “Estate Recovery”.  Estate Recovery means that the State may seek reimbursement from your mother’s estate for the money the State… Read More »

We will be moving my father into a nursing home in February. The cost of the nursing home is about $7,500 per month. I have heard there are ways to “spend down” his assets and then apply for Medicaid for his nursing home care. Is that true?

Yes, there are legal ways to do “Medicaid planning” and spend down your father’s assets.  For example, you may be able to buy a car, or you may pay for anything else if it benefits your father.  To name a few (there are more), you can buy clothing, furnishings, entertainment, a prepaid funeral contract, extra… Read More »

My husband has dementia and he recently fell and broke his hip. The doctors say he needs 24/7 care. We have a home and some modest savings, and he has a large IRA that he rolled over from work when he retired. Can you let me know what my options are if he is in a nursing home?

You have some good options.  Two major things you should know:  (1) we can protect your home and savings; and (2) there is a recent change in the Medicaid rules that allows specific protections for IRAs.  This type of legal planning is complicated, but when done properly you can protect all of your family’s assets… Read More »

My father is 81 and was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer’s. He is still okay but I can tell his memory is starting to get worse. My mother also has health issues and can take care of him now, but I can see a time in the near future where she won’t be able to take care of him 24/7. Is there any special planning they need to do?

Yes, you should make sure both your parents have a written estate plan in place that covers incapacity and transfer of their assets after they are gone. This is generally going to be a Durable Power of Attorney (for handling finances), a Patient Advocate Designation (for carrying out medical wishes), and a Will or Living… Read More »

My husband was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I am fine taking care of him at home right now, but I understand the disease can progress to the point where he may need 24/7 care. Is there any way to plan ahead of time to protect our home and what we have saved over the years in case he needs nursing home care in the future?

Yes, there are ways to plan ahead of time and, in fact, you should plan as early as possible when you are faced with a progressive brain disease like Parkinson’s (or dementia or Alzheimer’s).  If you start early, we can set aside certain assets in a special trust to make sure they are protected.  Because… Read More »