Will I have to lose my home to maintain my husband with Alzheimer's if he requires nursing home care?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

Several years ago we set up a family trust, since we moved our home is not included or our auto. My husband in in the first stage of Alzheimer's. Will I have to lose my home to maintain him if he requires nursing home care?

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 your husband requires nursing home care and needs to apply for Medicaid, you will not have to lose your home or your car. As long as you, the spouse, are living in the house, Medicaid cannot claim it as a resource. Also, Medicaid allows one car to be kept as a "noncountable" resource. This means the car is yours and Medicaid cannot claim it as a resource. To protect yourself in case you want to sell the house in the future, it may be a good idea to transfer title of the house from joint ownership into your name only. After your husband has been approved for Medicaid and you decide to sell the house, you will be able to keep all of the proceeds from the sale of the house. If the house were in both of your names and you sell it after your husband goes on Medicaid, his half will need to be spent down on his care. There are also rules for how much income you are entitled to and how much of your assets you can keep. This is all part of the Medicaid planning process. You should seek guidance from an Eldercare Financial Planner or Attorney to help you make wise choices and preserve resources for yourself.