Sometimes you have done everything possible to keep Mom or Dad at home, but the handwriting is on the wall. For whatever reason, care at home is no longer working – it may be time for Mom or Dad to go to the nursing home. It is very hard to replicate a nursing home level of care at home. At some point care at home may require the efforts of local and remote family members, plus outside professional caregivers. This can be expensive, plus emotionally and physically draining.
Don’t Wait To Plan For Nursing Home Care (and cost)
Nursing home care can also be very expensive. Many people pay for the monthly cost of care in a Nursing Home by writing a check from their bank account every month . Given the high monthly cost of Nursing Home care, it is important to preserve as many assets as possible for the family or for the spouse at home.
When a Loved One goes to a Nursing Home it’s important to begin the planning process early. Many times family members do not know the nature and extent of their parents assets or even where assets are located. They also may not know whether parents have made any gifts or other uncompensated transfers to other family members within the past 5 years. Factors such as these and others can result in the imposition of a penalty period, which is a period of time that a person would have to wait before Medicaid would start paying their monthly Nursing Home cost of care.
If all of the liquid assets have been depleted before starting the Medicaid planning process, the unfortunate result can be a “gap in coverage”. At this point in time Mom or Dad would have spent all of their money, so they will no longer be able to pay for their care; the kids typically will not be obligated to pay for the parents care; and the state, as a result of the penalty, may not pay until the expiration of the penalty period. The result of this can be a gap in coverage where no money exists to pay for your Loved One’s care in a Nursing Home. The unfortunate result of this is that the Senior may be discharged from the Nursing Home and have no choice but to live with a family member for a period of time, when, instead, they really needed a professional level of Nursing Care.
It is also important to initiate advance planning where the family desires to protect certain family land that the parents wanted to pass on to the kids. A transfer of the land now or at any time within the prior five-year period can result in a penalty period as discussed above. However, if the planning process is commenced before the parent spends all of their liquid assets to pay for skilled care in a Nursing Home, then a plan to preserve the land is sometimes possible.
There are many factors to consider in the planning process when the Nursing Home decision has been made. We have mentioned a few of the factors to consider in this short article. If your spouse or parent is going to a Nursing Home, it is wise to start the planning process early.
Even if a parent or your spouse has been in a Nursing Home for months or even years and has been paying for their care out of their own funds, it still may not be too late to preserve some of their remaining assets. While it would have been better to have started the Medicaid planning process earlier when more assets could have been protected, it may still not be too late for them to preserve a portion of the assets that remain.
If any of the above factors describe the situation of the declining Senior in your life, contact our office to set a time for a no-cost strategy session to determine what planning options you may have to help your Loved One receive the care they need, while preserving some of their hard-earned assets.