Are you worried that a nursing home might take your house when you or a loved one require long-term care?
Understanding what a nursing home can and cannot do regarding your family assets is very important. In this article, we’ll explore in depth whether a nursing home can take someone’s house away from them, so you can plan accordingly for potential long term care needs in the future.
Can a Nursing Home Take Your House?
Nursing homes cannot take a person’s home or require them to sell it to pay for care. However, if an individual pays for some or all nursing home expenses through Medicaid, states can seek repayment upon their death through the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP).
Each state has their own MERP laws, but assets will never be seized while the person receiving care is alive. Instead, the state can choose to file a claim on the person’s estate after they die. This means that even though a nursing home cannot take your house while you are alive, it may be at risk of being taken by the government after you pass away.
The MERP program allows states to recover funds from an individual’s estate in order to reimburse Medicaid expenses. A person’s estate includes anything of value such as remaining bank funds, investments, vehicles, and their home.
It is important for individuals who use Medicaid to cover nursing home costs to understand how this program works in their state so they can plan accordingly and protect their assets from being seized by the government after they pass away.
How to Protect Your Assets from Nursing Home Costs
When faced with the prospect of nursing home care, many people are concerned about how to protect their assets. Nursing home costs can be incredibly expensive, and without proper planning, it is easy for a person’s savings to quickly disappear. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your assets from nursing home costs.
You should apply for Medicaid on behalf of your loved one to pay for nursing home care if they meet the financial eligibility requirements. You may have to reduce their assets or consider asset protection strategies in order to qualify. It is important to seek advice from an attorney or financial advisor who specializes in elder law.
Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is an important form of protection for those who may need assistance with daily living activities due to a chronic illness or condition. It can cover nursing homes, assisted living, adult day cares, or home health care.
Unfortunately, the cost of long-term care insurance has risen dramatically in recent years and many people are hesitant to purchase it without knowing if they will ever need it.
It is important to consider purchasing long-term care insurance, as according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, only 12% of nursing home residents need extended care. Having this insurance can provide financial protection against the possibility of needing extended care in the future.
Purchase a Medicaid-Compliant Annuity
A Medicaid-compliant annuity is an important tool for those who need to reduce their income in order to qualify for Medicaid assistance. It allows a spouse who isn’t institutionalized to receive equal monthly payments from an annuity company, while the other spouse receives medical assistance subsidized by Medicaid. This type of purchase is often made when people are in a last-minute or crisis Medicaid planning situation.
To ensure a Medicaid-compliant annuity is the best fit, it is important to understand the details of the agreement and work with an experienced financial advisor. This will help maximize the benefits of the purchase and protect your assets while still receiving necessary medical care.
Put Your Assets in an Irrevocable Trust
An irrevocable trust is a legally binding way to protect assets and ensure that they are passed on to the designated beneficiaries. These trusts reduce taxable estate and can help qualify for Medicaid eligibility, as the assets within won’t be taken into account.
When setting up an irrevocable trust, it is important to make sure that all of your wishes and instructions are clearly outlined in order to avoid any potential disputes or misunderstandings down the line.
Additionally, it is important to choose a trustworthy and reliable trustee who will manage the assets according to your wishes. With careful planning and consideration, an irrevocable trust can be a great way to protect your assets and ensure that they are passed on according to your wishes.
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