Sometimes a client who is thinking about the possibility of going to a nursing home will ask me if the nursing home will get half of their assets. The real answer is it depends on the situation and whether or not you have planned ahead. If you are a single person and need Medicaid help to pay for a nursing home you must spend down your assets until $2,000.00 remains. How one spends down to qualify will determine how much the nursing home will get. If you go into a nursing home for custodial care and you pay for the nursing home from your personal funds until you get down to $2,000.00 then there is a good chance the nursing home will get most of your assets. There are, however, other planning options that let your assets go to other places and still qualify for Medicaid when you get down to the $2,000.00 limit. If you owe any debt including mortgages and other loans you can use your money to pay those down so that you pay off your debt instead of paying it all to the nursing home. There are also some types of irrevocable trusts that can be used to try to protect some assets. You can spend the money any way you want as long as it being used to take care of you. If we are dealing with a married couple on the other hand then it is different. When the situation comes up where one has to go into a nursing home for custodial care and the other will stay at home then, in Florida, the spouse that is not in the nursing home can have about $117,000.00 in liquid assets and the spouse still qualify for Medicaid. Assets above $117,000.00 have to be dealt with in some manner to qualify for Medicaid. There are more options that can be used when you have a married couple including things mentioned above and some other planning options like Medicaid annuities.
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