How do I safeguard my Mom's assets from nursing home expenses? - AgingCare.com

How do I safeguard my Mom's assets from nursing home expenses?

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She does not want all her assets to go a nursing home should that become necessary.

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See an elder law attorney, they will be able to give you specific advice. Good luck
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The rules and documentation needed for medicaid are such that there is no secret area that funds can be squirrel away, nor should there be. Basically by applying for Medicaid, you allow for an all-access pass to your parents financial history and property ownership and insurance info. To do anything to get around this, you really have to plan 6 years in advance as it takes time to sell property, change ownership of policies, etc.

Medicaid is an "at-need" entitlement, which means they have to be needing skilled nursing services and whatever your state has set as impoverishment level so they are "at need" financially. You have to apply for it and provide all documentation required to prove at-need as well. There is often confusion on what medicare and medicaid is, this site has great articles on the distinction. If mom has a great deal of assets, she may never need to apply for medicaid. But she should do whatever with her $ keeping in mind that she could outlive her funds and need Medicaid as the costs of NH are 5K - 15K a month.

Most NH admissions are "incident based", like parent fell & broke hip /shoulder/ legs and goes to hospital (medicare) and then to NH for rehab (Medicare) and stays at NH after rehab ends and pays for NH either private pay, LTC insurance or applies for Medicaid. If you are looking at needing a NH in the next couple of years, you have limited creative ability with her spend-down on her assets. An elder law attorney can guide you as to best use of funds in a spend-down that is within Medicaid compliance. It is not a DIY project imho.
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Sorry, but those assets are there, saved up, for taking care of her old age. Do NOT let her make the mistake of giving things away. Our mom thought she could give away her savings and house and then the government (Medicaid) would just pick up the tab. As for Trust and Life Tenant setups, here in NY the state goes after those too. Find the Medicaid guidelines for your individual state and read them carefully.
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Go talk to an elder law attorney. Here in Illinois, a trust to protect 50% of assets takes a number of years to implement and costs about $3000 -- that's what I was told by an elder law attorney several years ago.

P.S. Make no mistake, NO ONE wants all of their assets to go to a nursing home.
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