When your parent who is single (whether widowed or divorced), don’t listen when the Medicaid office tells you to spend all of his or her assets down to $2,000! When your parent finally qualifies for Medicaid there will be nearly no money left and he or she will have to live on only $30 of income from there on. Learn how smart Greensboro families often can protect nearly half of the assets, according to Greensboro Elder Law Attorney Dennis Toman, founder of The Elderlaw Firm.
When a parent is already in a nursing home and is going to remain there for an extended period of time, generally what will be told is they need to spend down their assets if for a single person, if they’re a widow or widower, unmarried, divorced. That will mean that they have to spend down the two thousand dollars according to the nursing home or according to Medicaid.
In those situations, if we have the right power of attorney in place (which I call a powerful power of attorney), or if mom or dad is still able to sign documents or make their own decisions, then when we get involved early generally we’re going to be able to protect the real estate as well as about half of the assets.
That’s a whole lot better than spending down the two thousand dollars and having to live on just thirty dollars a month, the way that Medicaid is set up to do. You know, there’s not much dignity at a dollar a day, and so with the proper planning, yes the parent is going to spend something on long-term care, but they don’t have to spend everything.
It’s important to make sure that we’ve got some money set aside to pay for the things that Medicaid won’t pay for because it greatly improves quality of life and is a tremendous benefit for the individual.