We occasionally get the question about whether or not an unmarried couple should get married if one of them needs long-term care. This question may seem unusual, but in the case of couples who have gotten together later in life and didn’t marry to honor a spouse they are widowed from, or in the case of same-sex couples, this question is far from unusual. Interestingly enough, the answer may seem unexpected.
In both Missouri and Illinois, as of now (2018), a single person can only keep $2,000 worth of assets in order to be eligible for Medicaid. However, we can protect both the residence and a substantially greater amount of assets through a spouse who is not in the nursing home.
In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson, Southern Illinois Elder Law attorney, answers the question on whether an unmarried couple should get married if one partner needs long-term care and explains why, in terms of Asset Preservation Planning and Medicaid eligibility, the answer is Yes, they definitely should.
Should An Unmarried Couple Get Married If One Partner Needs Long-Term Care?
Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Elder Law Minute. I want to talk to you today about sort of an unusual and interesting question, and that is, “Should an unmarried couple get married if one of them needs long-term care?”
We do see this occasionally. We see it in the case of same-sex couples, we see it in the case of couples who have gotten together later in life and have not wanted to get married to honor the spouse from whom they’re widowed. But, interestingly enough if somebody asked that question, from that standpoint of Medicaid eligibility, very definitely you should.
A single person, in order to be eligible for Medicaid can, in Missouri or Illinois as of now (2018), only keep $2,000 worth of assets. We can protect both the residence and a substantially greater amount of assets through the spouse who is not in the nursing home. And through Estate Planning we can do some things toward assuring that assets wind up going to the respective sides of the family of each spouse. So, if you’re facing that difficult situation, surprisingly yes, it’s something worth considering. Thanks.
For more information on asset preservation planning, visit these articles:
- Married Couples and Medicaid: Your Residence
- What You Can and Can’t Keep With Medicaid: Asset Limits – Married Applicants and Community Spouse Resource Allowance
- Do Transfers of Assets From One Spouse to the Other Affect Medicaid Eligibility?
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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 (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.