Is divorce an answer to protect my assets if my husband goes into a nursing home?

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I assume it is not going into the NH that is the issue, but the need to apply for Medicaid. Is that correct?

It is a possible approach to the situation. Discuss this with an experienced elder law attorney, preferably in a frim where there are also family law experts.

It is a sad truth that if you'd never been married the assets in your name would not now be at risk. But whether or not a divorce would "fix" the risk now requires knowledgable legal advice.

I am very sorry you even have to ask this question. To have one's life partner requiring professional care is painful enough, without difficult financial challenges. Hugs to you both!
I agree, I'm in the same situation. I now have to retire 6 years early to take care of my husband because no one will pay for custodial care, and we can no longer afford the $1500 a month to pay a caregiver during the day while I work. But as long as you both have assets you cannot get ANY help at all. The dept of aging told me pretty bluntly that we make to much money so I said well if I quit my job and go on welfare he can get all the help he needs, and she said - pretty much. Isn't that sad, you pay your taxes all your life and then when you need help you can't get it. If he is a Vetran, try to get the Aid and Assistance money, you may be able to go that route, we are trying that now.
Hugs to you, and may God watch over you both every day. JAD711
I think there is a legal way to split the assets (ie: divorce not being necessary); your spouse’s assets would then have to be depleted before Medicare/Medicaid would cover costs. I did not get into the specifics but this came from a legal expert. This info. is somewhat dated as it was a part of my early investigation on exactly what my options were.
FWIW I decided that I could not give my wife's care to an institution and use local caregivers as required so I would have absolute control on care when I was not available.
As others have said, you need to consult a good divorce attny in your state, as state laws can vary, but this does seem to be the sad state of affairs with our health care system, as we know it.
I am aware of a couple that was told by an elder attorney to get divorced so the spouce not in the nursing home could keep 1/2 of the assets. It really depends on how large your estate is. And secondly yes you should see and elder law attorney. They are not cheap but they could save you tens of thousands in the long run.
The VA does provide reimbursement for care. But to receive that you should also see an elder law attorney, because you would have to document all care.
Good Luck.
My father recently looked into this question for himself and his wife, my mother. The car and house would not be affected, but as I understood, liquid assets (if I'm using the right term) and income, like pension, would be split. Only half of the those assets would be affected for "spending down" to qualify for Medicaid, meaning my parents would not have had to deplete all of their assets between them for one of them to qualify for Medicaid.
I response to Jack's comment about splitting of assets, this is what my parents did with help of Medicaid specialist attorney. My mother still has (after my dad being in NH 7 years) house, car and a specific annuity that met Medicaid requirements... also got to keep my dad's monthly pension and SS benefit to maintain her "lifestyle"...and my parents were pretty well off. A good attorney pays for him/herself.
I would think like other things, it would have to happen 5 years before the placement?? I am not sure though.
Definitely talk with an elder law attorney (who has knowledge about Medicaid) or a senior legal aid service. Sometimes couples are able to split spouses, but states may also have a spousal impoverishment provision that allows the at home spouse to keep additional assets and income, while still qualifying the nursing home spouse for Medicaid.
What if husband agrees to give all to wife in divorce. I worry about that too. My husband is 10 years older but in much better health than I, but anything can happen. My husband was in an accident (after divorce) and laid in a vegetative state for 9 years. It was a business truck so there was a lawsuit that cared for him until death, but usually it wouldn't be a company in the wrong.
It's a scary question with the costs today.
We have discussed this and are going to ask attorney about maybe putting things in daughters name? DoNt know the answer to this very important question.
Julia I'm glad you brought this up. What about trusts?

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