Barbara and her husband Frank had a very wonderful life together. However, one-day Barbara noticed that Frank’s memory started to get worse and worse. It was at a point now, that she knew something was really wrong. After a trip to the doctor, Frank was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Barbara did everything that she could to provide for Frank for the next year, but it reached a point where she couldn’t take care of Frank by herself any longer, and she realized that Frank would benefit from entering a nursing home and memory care center for Alzheimer’s patients.
When Barbara was preparing to admit Frank to a nursing home, one of the caseworkers asked, “how do you plan to pay for Frank’s nursing home care.” Barbara knew that the nursing home costs would be $9,000 per month. Barbara wasn’t sure how to answer the question. At this point, the caseworker asked if Barbara was going to apply for Medicaid.
After this meeting, Barbara called her financial advisor who referred her to our office. During our meeting with Barbara we explained to her that Medicaid is different than Medicare. We explained that Medicare is a government insurance program, but Medicaid helps to pay for the costs of long-term nursing home care (among other items). However, we explained, you must qualify for Medicaid from both an income perspective and an asset perspective. We further explained that not everyone receives Medicaid assistance, but only those that are able to qualify because they do not have sufficient financial resources.
Barbara was very confused during this conversation. However, over the course of this conversation we were able to communicate to Barbara, very clearly and simply, that we would be able to help. Barbara owned a home worth $350,000 and approximately $300,000 in other assets.
During our conversation we were able to explain and describe to Barbara a legal strategy involving irrevocable trusts and other asset protection tools where we would be able to protect the home and about $200,000 in other assets, and Frank would qualify for Medicaid in 15 months as opposed to 60 months (or five years). In addition, we explained to Barbara that we would be there in 15 months for her and her family to assist in the Medicaid application process and ensure Frank does qualify for Medicaid and no mistakes are made in the qualification process.
Barbara was relieved to realize that she found an attorney that could help her through the process and protect 2/3 of the wealth that she had accumulated with her husband during their lifetime together, and most importantly, was not going to have to spend $9,000 per month until they ran out of money!
If you have a loved one, a parent, or a spouse that is about to go into the nursing home and you have questions and concerns on what you can do to protect their assets from spending it all on nursing home costs, please contact our office at (615) 472-2482 to schedule an initial consultation with Elder Law Attorney, Daniel Perry, and discuss the various options that you have to protect your assets, your family, and your legacy.