How the division of assets is handled, in regards to Medicaid eligibility, is important for many married couples facing one spouse entering a nursing home. This is one instance in which Missouri law and Illinois law is very different and that is the question of how much in assets the community spouse, the one not in the nursing home, gets to keep.
In Missouri, the division of assets process takes place the first day when the spouse who needs care is institutionalized. The couple’s assets are added together and then the community spouse gets half of the assets, within a range. In Illinois, there is no division of assets. There is no minimum or maximum, the community spouse gets a set worth of assets.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, O’Fallon Illinois Elder Law attorney, discusses another topic from the video series Married Couples and Medicaid and explains the division of assets process and how it differs between Missouri and Illinois.
Married Couples and Medicaid: Understanding the Division of Assets Process
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. This is another in our series of videos on Married People and Medicaid Applications. Today, you know I’m really thinking about the fact, as I’m sitting here in our office in Illinois, tomorrow I might be over at our office across the street from Westport Plaza, about the differences in the state laws. This is one instance in which Missouri law and Illinois law is very different and that is the question of how much in assets the community spouse, the one not in the nursing home, gets to keep.
In Missouri, we have something called a division of assets process. What that means is that as of the first day when the spouse who needs care is institutionalized, they’re going to see how much in assets the couple has as a couple, add it together, and then the community spouse, the one not in the nursing home, is going to get half of that, within a range. The minimum for 2018 is $24,720, the maximum is $123,600. If you’ve listened to some of our other videos, you’ll understand how you could do planning to get much better results than those numbers would suggest.
In Illinois, there is no division of assets. There is no minimum or maximum. The community spouse gets $109,560 worth of assets.
So, again, two very different processes. But interestingly enough, the planning that we do in response to them is very similar in both states. Just to let you know, we can protect a lot more than those numbers would suggest. Thanks.
For more information on planning for married couples, visit these articles:
- Will Transferring Assets Between Spouses Cause A Medicaid Transfer Penalty?
- What’s the Difference Between Estate Planning and Asset Preservation Planning?
- Married Couples and Medicaid: Is Getting a Divorce a Good Idea?
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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 or (314) 567-9292, or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.