redbord1 Asked April 2012

A high priced elder law attorney said -SPOUSAL REFUSAL--was a way to avoid nursing home impoverishment--is this possible?

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Wife of 56 years has early Alzheimer's --most of family funds is in my roth IRA--lawyer want 10000 to innitiate-is this an option? Do i need an irrevocable trust too?

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EXPERT Jon P. Beyrer Apr 2012
From my limited understanding of the "Spousal Refusal" strategy, it is designed to help an elderly person qualify for Medicaid. In deciding to pursue a strategy like this, qualifying for Medicaid is only part of the decision. The care your husband would receive as a Medicaid recipient is important as well. If he needs nursing home care, you'd have to put him in a Medicaid-approved facility. What facilities are near you, and what are they like? There are horror stories of poor care and poor treatment in Medicaid facilities- but these may be isolated cases. Here's a link to an article on Medicaid and nursing homes http://www.guidetonursinghomes.com/family-resources/medicaid-nursing-home.html. What ability you will have to help your husband once you have officially "refused"? Also, a word of warning: the Medicaid program is under a lot of pressure, and government agencies are looking to crack down on abuses. Government agencies may seek to sue or recover benefits from people they feel are abusing the Medicaid system. All in all, I recommend you become very well versed in Medicaid benefits, options, the facilities near you, and whether the strategy could be considered abusive in your case, before deciding to pursue this strategy.
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diavalon12 Apr 2012
I believe in most states, If you are still living with your wife and have been providing for her for 56 years you are resposible. If you no longer want to consider her as your wife, move her out of your home and then contact the local Public Guardians office to become her public guardian and consevertor so that her needs can be met and you no longer have to be bothered. They will place her and will make all
necessary decisions for her,her health, her medical decisions etc. Any NH will then call the PG office when needed. You will then be free to spend your money as you please.Sorry if this sound cold, But what you are trying to do sound like you have not really thought this though. You need to do more research and talk with your family before you follow though with this. You took a vow when you married her for better or worst, for richer or poorer, so on your wife's behalf, what's it is going to be?
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Slappers Apr 2012
In regards to getting a Public Guardian, Conservator, I took care of a lady for six years in her home she had lots of health problems, but was happy and able to enjoy her life. Her step kids wanted her money so they got a Guardian, Conservator she died two years later unhappy and broke.
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