If my parents are getting older and I worry that if they go into a nursing home they will lose their home and camp, is there anything or any way to prevent this?

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If my parents are getting older and I worry that if they go into a nursing home they will lose their home and camp, is there anything or any way to prevent this?

Ways to avoid the state taking parents property in case of going into a nursing home? They are 83 and 85.

Asked on August 23, 2012 under Estate Planning, Maine

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The answer to your question is "yes, there are ways to prevent your parents from losing their home and camp."  This is an area known as "Medicaid planning" and Elder Law attorneys deal with it every day.  The exact ways to protect your parents' assets differ somewhat from state to state.  Your parents should consult an Elder Law attorney now so that all the documents are ready if one or both of them needs to go to a nursing home.

Although you did not ask, it is important that I raise this issue.  Seniors should not give substantial assets (money or property) away.  This may not only keep them from qualifying for Medicaid, it may leave them without Medicaid at the same time they are without personal funds to pay for their care.  Medicaid "looks back" five years and will deny Medicaid to someone if they find "unqualified" gifts within those five years.  This is a complicated area, and I strongly encourage seniors and their families to consult an Elder Law attorney before disposing of any assets.


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