Unfortunately, when faced with a loved one in need of long term care, the myriad decisions that must be made are overwhelming. The idea that there might be financial options to assist you in paying for that care might seem like one decision too many. All too often, couples in this position feel they have no choice but to sell their home to pay for care. Before you take that drastic step take the time to speak with an experienced elder law attorney who can be the key to protecting your family’s health and financial well-being. This includes assets such as the family home—in most cases the couple wouldn’t need to sell their home to pay for emergency long-term care.
Most of us have a great deal of our wealth tied up in our homes so it is little wonder that selling that home seems to be the easiest way to fund long-term care. However, the simply act of converting your home to cash means that you will have to exhaust the proceeds of the sale in addition to most of what is left to pay for long term care. At issue then is the healthy spouse—who can still live independently—with little in the way of financial security. This outlook can potentially compromise that individual’s health as well.
Before taking any action, talk with an elder law attorney and explore the options that would best meet the family’s needs. It’s critical to plan ahead. An elder law attorney will help you plan for the future to ensure your wishes on housing and health care can be satisfied.
For example, think of a couple in their late 80s with the husband needing nursing home care right away. They own a home and have about $210,000 in the bank. An elder law attorney can help the wife stay in the family home and preserve most of the remaining assets to keep her comfortable, while helping the husband receive Medicaid benefits. An experienced elder law attorney can offer assistance at any stage of a person’s life.
Don’t panic and sell your family home—speak with an elder attorney first. Call us at 757-259-0707 to schedule your complimentary consultation or request a consultation online.
Reference: Boston Globe (August 19, 2016) “Seniors have more options than selling their home”