My husband may end up in a nursing home within the next few years. Can my 401K be seized to pay for the nursing home?

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I'm working full time and have a 401K. Can it be seized to pay for the nursing home? If we are legally separated, not divorced, can it still be seized? We are in Minnesota.

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F - it's good that you are thinking of all this now & hopefully way way ahead of needing medicaid. To me, dealing with Medicaid for an individual is pretty straightforward & can be done by family for their elder. Their medically at need and impoverished. BUT for community spouse situations like yours, it's pretty complex and really you need an experienced elder law atty to work with you to do the whatever's to get the $&assets to best provide for you & him. I'd suggest you look for a NAELA atty.

Also layer on the reality that as time progresses, you are going to be focused on his day to day and really can't be trying to figure put how to split up the 401 after a full day of work and dealing with dementia spouse......

Do realize this, Medicaid does NOT require the CS/community spouse (you) to yourself become impoverished for hubs to become eligible for medicaid. But how to do that isn't a simple recipe, it needs an NAELA atty to structure, change, swap assets to do so & often with working with others like a CPA for a financial adviser/broker.

For example, CS income is not looked at for hubs eligibility & CS can have usually 119k in assets. So what do you do if you all have 200k in assets & your income alone does not cover your costs to live in the community? What an atty might suggest is for the 81k overage in assets turns into a Medicaid compliant SPIA in the CS name which is an income stream for the CS (so not an asset of hubs) & if the CS still does not have enough $ to cover her costs to live in the community then atty files for you to get CSRA (community spouse resource allowance) which means $ pulled from hubs income required copay to the NH and instead goes to you. Neither a SPIA or CRSA is a DIY project. Really if you can over this summer (Happy Memorial day too & wear sunblock!) get together all your finances and schedule an NAELA appointment to come up with a do-able plan for your future.
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Will your husband be self-pay in a nursing home, or will he be applying for Medicaid?

Medicaid considers all assets of both spouses when evaluating applications. Your 401K will be considered an asset. I don't know the impact of separation or divorce.

I'm not sure what you mean by "seized." Nursing homes expect to be paid. They can discharge you if you don't pay.

Medicaid does not seize money. You may need to spend some of your assets to be eligible, but you spend them on yourselves, not give them to Medicaid. The program is set up to avoid impoverishing the community spouse.

Call the Senior Linkage line to get information about options for you and your husband. And then consult an attorney who specializes in Elder Law. This will be an expense, but making mistakes at this point could be more expensive. The lawyer will be able to tell you Medicaid's rules concerning legal separation and divorce.
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