Is it too late to do anything if my loved one is already in a nursing home?
That is a common misconception. It is not too late to engage in planning if your spouse is in the nursing home. And it was a recent case in Pennsylvania that is what’s called the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the highest thing before the… below the United Stated Supreme Court. There is a case in Pennsylvania that recently affirmed what are called Medicaid Annuities and that can be done after your spouse is in a nursing home. Now, what it does is it makes sure that you have… if you have enough in assets at the time you start planning, that you have enough to certainly replace the income of your spouse that is lost when they go into the nursing home. We also can plan using just a basic federal government approved guideline without any kind of fancy planning which is known as using a shelter allowance in order to be able to tap into your spouse’s income. So there are many things that can be done after your spouse goes into a nursing home. Spouses are not limited by the five year look back. Assets can be transferred back and forth. That’s the good side, the other side is that assets that you have in your own name are also counted. So you really need help if you’re a spouse, and I really encourage you to come in and sit down with us and let us give you some ideas.
Esquire, Colliton Law Associates, P.C. Janet Colliton has practiced law for over 38 years, 37 of them in Chester County, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Her practice, Colliton Law Associates, PC, is limited to elder law, Medicaid, including advice, applications and appeals, and other benefits planning including Veterans benefits, life care and special needs planning, guardianships, retirement, and estate planning and administration.