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When Your Spouse Is in a Nursing Home: Protecting Your Finances

June 7, 2010

The question: When your husband or wife goes into a nursing home, do you have to pay for care until your money runs out, or can you keep some of your assets?

The answer, from elder-law attorney Craig Reaves at The New Old Age blog: You can keep some money, but the options to do so aren’t pretty.

Most states allow a division of assets, Reaves writes. But the working spouse may not be able to hold onto a lot, and after he or she dies, “Medicaid will want its money back, a process known as ‘estate recovery.'”

Another option: divorce. “These situations are heartbreakers,” he says. “The sessions in my office when we talk about this possibility are often full of tears.”

Read the details of all the options here. Below are a few ideas we’ve written about to help pay for care:

If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.

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