Will remodeling our home with inheritance money prevent my husband from receiving financial assistance?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 25, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Both parents died 1 day apart in July. I am only child & will inherit their home valued at approx $100,000 - nothing else. My husband is terminally ill & receives special assistance with his expensive drugs from the state - can I put the money from the sale of their home into remodeling my 44 year old house & it not be counted as an asset? WE are not allowed to have over $3000 besides our house & car to qualify.

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

If you are receiving public assistance that limits your resources, inheriting property valued at $100,000 will make you ineligible. If you choose to use the money to remodel your house, that does not negate the fact that you received an inheritance. You can do whatever you want with the money, but you will not meet the elgibility rules for the special assistance.

Are you sure that your joint assets have to be at $3,000 or less? With Medicaid, there is a Community Spouse Resource Allowance that allows the non-Medicaid spouse to keep more than the Medicaid-eligible spouse. I don't know which program is providing the assistance, so this may not be the case. If both of you are receiving Medicaid, then this number makes sense.