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Its true that medicaid makes a married couple spend down 1/2 of their assets. Its also true that there is a 5 year look back. A house and auto is free and clear to the capable spouse. It is also true that the more money you have the more you get to keep, but there is a maximum cap to be eligible. You are allowed 1500 each in a whole life insurance policy. If you own outside property, you must market it during the application time. If it doesn't sell its yours, only if you have removed your spouses name from it. You must remove your spouses name from all your remaining assets. I agree if one is considering divorce because of large assets, consult an attorney.
Wisconsin - 50/50 State
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My husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor & eventually died (17mo later) of it. Three years before the diagnosis of a GBM, AAA of the right pariatal brain (sp) he had been acting extremly weird which I assumed was from being an alcoholic. For two years I threatened divorce if he would not quit drinking & in the third I did. He was diagnosed with the tumor June 6 our divorce was June 21 & he died 9/13/01. I am so happy we were divorced. He continued to live with me & I was the sole caregiver until he died at home in bed with hospice care. He was able to give me a quit claim to the house, all the credit card debit was washed away after he died. he had run up debts with them for stuff he couldn't use but they graciously offered condolences & wrote it all off. I had years before, when stuff started to get funny did my taxes "married but filed singly", then the divorce... so all his tax mess was washed away. Other than dealing with a hoarders collection of crap, the divorce free'd me from all his debts before & after his death. Thank heavens because I could hardly work & was making 17K a year trying to care for him. I'm thinking all old people & maybe not so old should get divorced to protect themselves from these issues. It's a shame but when you can't control crazy behaviour that finacially affects your finances, you are forced to a defensive possition. Just get it done quick. Good luck.
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assets in you name. Tranfer car titles into your name or sell any unused items like the extra car . Also i heard that VA nursing homes don't do a look back period. A TRUST is untouchable because the assets won't belong to either you but to the trust. If you do the trust your self hire attorney to look it over and have it notarized it shoud'nt cost that much and worth it. Check into VA pension .gov if hubbies a VET. No divorce it will cut you from most of your husband's benefits in the long run and you don't deserve that. If you can afford get conservatory over husband that will put in control of everything like SS, VA and his health and physical person.That is a must....Last .....research!! this subject on the web there's lots of info there.I hope this helps it has for me. Stay strong you can do this. If all else fails give home to child you trust in a ...(Quick claim Deed) research....E-how on internet. These things must be done before you fill out medicaid claim and place him in home. ..A good Elder Law Attorney is still a fine place to start.... Good Luck
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Yes !!! there are things you can do. But it all requires carefull planning. Hiring a elder law can be very helpful....But there are things you can do on your own. First you can do a (interspousal tranfer) look it up on line, of the deed to your house tranfering all property into your name this is not considered a sale so no taxes involed. If you have power of attorney you can order on line Suzy Orman self help series and SET UP your own trust putting all
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I was in a similar situation with my husband 3 years ago. I consulted an elder law attorney who helped us to get my husband on Medicaid by putting all of our assets in my name. We live in AZ, but I assume the laws vary from state to state. If you haven't already consultedwith an elder law attorney, I encourage youjto do so.
God bless you.
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Check "Caregiver Forum" on this website and look under Money&Legal -- might be some helpful info here -- or one of the "experts" on this site might give you guidance or starting point. Divorce seems expensive and emotionally unnecessary -- better to consult an attorney that is a specialist in eldercare and elder law.
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I think you can go to your local Department of Social Services - complete the forms they will send you. They need to know about all income, assets, savings, life insurance, investments, etc. When they have that information, they will determine how much you need to "spend down" until you have spent 1/2 on your spouses medical care. Then you will be able to keep the remaining 1/2, plus one car and your house. I'm not sure how they will factor in the two social security checks, pensions. $2,000 will be kept for your spouse, who will then qualify for medicaid. Not sure about divorce: Would everything be split in 1/2? What about the house that the spouse in the community is living in? Would that have to be sold, the profit be split in 1/2, or would the spouse living in the house retain the house until her death in addition to 1/2 of the finances?
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In Iowa there is a process called "attribution of resources" which allows the healthier spouse to maintain the current lifestyle. Certain things are exempt from inclusion, as income generating resources (rental property, home business etc) the home and a vehicle are exempt, then resources are totalled, then split in 1/2. It's required to spend down that 1/2 on medical cares, living needs etc before eligible for medicaid assistance. The intent is to prevent "spousal impoverishment." I would assume many other states have something similar to this and suggest checking with your state medicaid program.
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My x husband was in the accident. Sorry had to clarify
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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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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.
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I would think like other things, it would have to happen 5 years before the placement?? I am not sure though.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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!
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