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A Medicaid professional consultant helping an elderly woman to protect her assets and money from the nursing home spend down.

Medicaid community spouse

How to plan for Medicaid when the Medicaid community spouse dies before ill spouse in nursing home

There are some considerations that must be made once an individual's eligibility for Medicaid has been established. For the Medicaid community spouse, the most important consideration is how to plan for the future estate if the community spouse should die before the ill spouse. If this should happen, all of the assets that were once protected under the CSRA would become readily available to cover the costs of nursing home care.

Medicaid community spouse can transfer assets to beneficiary waived by ill spouse

To address this issue, the assets that are controlled by the community spouse can be changed so that the assets can be transferred to the heirs instead of going to the spouse that is in the nursing home. Through a change of beneficiary, the assets can be directed to the children. Some additional Medicaid planning may require an ante nuptial agreement which will waive an elective spousal share of the estate when the assets are eventually re-directed.
There are many things that need to be considered when a married couple is trying to plan. Once the ill spouse is approved for Medicaid benefits, the battle is trying to protect the assets in the estate. This is why it is so important to plan for this well before the couple applies for Medicaid.
Considering the Medicaid look back period is five years planning for Medicaid should be done well before this time. If there is a proper financial estate plan in effect, many of the assets can be redirected to children, or even grandchildren. This will help should the community spouse pass away before the one in the nursing home. If Medicaid planning is not done, all of the assets upon death will be controlled by the spouse in the nursing home, which will mean that most of the estate will be used to pay for the cost of nursing home care.
Planning for Medicaid can be a very difficult thing. There are so many considerations and so many options that are available. Each individual must do what is right for them and take the necessary steps to plan accordingly and protect as many of the assets as possible.
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