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What property do I keep if my husband must go to a nursing home?

If my husband must go to nursing home, we havd a home and car paid for but have nothing else. Do I keep the house and car and what money do I live on?
Status: Open    Nov 13, 2015 - 07:37 AM


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Nov 18, 2015 - 08:26 AM

Each state is different about government benefits for nursing home care. Medicaid is the primary provider of funds if/when a family has nothing left. In general, and you should contact an Elder Law attorney in your own state for the specifics, you can keep the house and the car and your own Social Security income each month. You can also keep about half of your total assets for your own use. If your husband's income is much higher than your income, you might also be able to keep some of his for your use each month. When Medicaid begins to pay for his care, his monthly income becomes his "co-pay" of sorts and you have no further responsibility for paying for his nursing home care. Obviously each state is different so please consult with an Elder Law attorney in your state for specifics.
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By esquared68 on Aug 13, 2016 - 12:39 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

When my husband retired, he set it up for Joint Survival benefits for me. If he has to go to Skilled Nursing, his monies would pay for his care while he is still alive. My questions is what happens to the money after he dies? Is the Joint Survivors Benefit still in effect for me and the money returns back to me on a monthly bases?

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Nov 18, 2015 - 09:51 AM

Mr. Nolan provided a good answer. I will add a little to that. Each state has differences in amounts but these items should apply to everyone. You can keep the house if the value is below $500,000. You can keep one vehicle. You can keep half of the money. If the money and other assets total below $27,000 (could be higher) you can keep it all. Assets include life insurance, retirement accounts, equipment, and any property that is not your house, You can keep your income plus enough of his to get you to approximately $2,000 per month total. That is if he has enough income to get you there. He will keep $30 (could be higher) for his personal needs. You should find an attorney in your area who has experience with Medicaid applications. There are many options and ways to protect as much as possible for you. An attorney can help prepare you for one of the most difficult times in life.

Nov 18, 2015 - 10:29 AM

If you haven't already, you need to immediately contact an Elder Law attorney in your locale. Medicaid specifically portions the income and protects certain assets of a couple with the understanding that a well spouse requires a living wage every month, but your question is far too complex to answer with any detail.


Nov 15, 2015 - 10:40 AM

To answer this question, I first have to know why your husband must go to a nursing home. I also need to know whether you want to move in somewhere with him and leave the home behind at this point. Is this 'assisted living' or 'memory care' or 'skilled nursing' you are thinking about. They each have different costs and provide different services he personally may need.

You can keep the house and still get him qualified for help from Medicaid to pay for the 'nursing home'. I think they even let you keep the one car if the wife is staying at home. But, where will your money come from for your food or electric or heat or property tax? Is the only other income his social security check?
These are weighty times and hard things to think about.

Its possibly time for you to get one of your kids to help you figure out what the Medicaid 'qualifying conditions' are in your state. These days, lots of answers can be found by a computer savvy trusted relative. If you don't have a smart and trustworthy and motivated child who can do that, the state agency on aging may help you find a county social worker to help get you started.
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