Many people come to us concerned because they or their parents need long term care in an assisted living or nursing home facility and they aren’t sure how they are going to afford the care they need. One of the biggest mistakes we see people make as they go through this transition is they often immediately sell their home.
This can be an expensive mistake because under many government programs, including South Carolina's Medicaid program for nursing home care and the VA’s Aid and Attendance program, your home is an “exempt” resource, which means it is not counted in your total assets when determining eligibility for these benefits. By selling your home you are converting this “exempt” asset into cash. Cash is almost always a “countable” resource, which must be almost completely spent before you could qualify for these benefits. It's sad when someone comes in asking what to do now that they've spent all of the proceeds from the sale of their home because, had they come to us beforehand, we could have likely saved the house and gotten them the benefits they needed a lot sooner. There are still options for planning in that situation, but often the family has lost a hundred thousand dollars or more because they did not consult with an attorney before selling their home.
If you or someone you love may need to consider long-term caren the near future, give us a call and let’s discuss the best strategy for you before you start liquidating assets. With good planning, you can likely preserve a lot more of the assets than you thought you could while also qualifying for benefits you deserve.