In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses how to help a married couple protect their life savings if one of them needs nursing home care.
Hi! I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, proudly serving clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond. I’d like to welcome you to our Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute. We do these to help educate people, give them some little tips, and especially to let them know the questions they need to ask, things that they’ve maybe not thought of. Our thought on that is that we can help you best if you realize the things that you need help and that we can help you with. So I hope you enjoy. Thanks!
This is going to be one of our series of videos, that I call Medicaid case planning studies, and today’s I want to talk about what we can do to help a married couple in protecting their life savings if one of them needs nursing home care. Quick answer here is, quite a bit; in fact, in most cases I’m surprised if we are not able to get the spouse in the nursing home, eligible for Medicaid immediately when we complete the planning. And that’s almost regardless of assets, at least if they’re in the range of assets that they would think about losing their life savings.
So, how can we do that? Well, there are certain assets that are exempt; the residence, a vehicle, some other things, and we can load up assets in the spouse who’s not on Medicaid and the big key is that we can then convert assets that they would not otherwise be able to keep within the Medicaid assets limit. I’m not going to give numbers, they’re a little different in Missouri and Illinois, and they can change over time.
By converting those extra assets into income for the spouse who’s not in the nursing home. In Missouri, that spouse gets to keep all of that income; in Illinois, they get to keep just under 90% of the income. So, the bottom line story here is that if you are a married couple and one spouse is going to need nursing home care, or if you are the adult child of a married couple and one of your parents is going to need nursing home care, it really behooves you to come see us for planning because it’s going to make a world of difference in outcomes financially for that couple.
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