I met a couple recently, Rose and John, who had been married for over 50 years. Rose informed me that they were recently divorced. I am sure by the look on my face, she could tell I was shocked and confused, since they were standing together in front of me.
Rose explained that John had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and eventually he would have to go into a nursing home. She indicated that the cost for the memory care unit was $10,000 a month. Because they did not put a plan into place to protect their assets, they knew that they were going to lose everything. They felt their only option was to divorce, so that Rose could take over all of the assets and they would not lose everything to nursing home care.
That certainly is not the ideal plan and I am sure it is not one this couple ever envisioned for their marriage. Rose and John should have worked with an estate planning attorney to set up things the right way and at the right time so they could protect their assets from the nursing home and avoid divorce. By placing assets into a trust at least five years prior to entering a nursing home, you can avoid losing everything because Medicaid will pay for the nursing home expenses.
Contact the law firm of Thomas Walters, PLLC, to discuss the specifics about how you and your spouse can act ahead of time to protect your assets from nursing home poverty or attend one of our free educational events to learn more. Just call us for more information.