“Will our prenup agreement protect my assets when my husband goes into the nursing home?”
No — generally Alabama Medicaid does not care if the asset is in your name or your husband’s name. Or if you have a prenup (pre-nuptial) agreement that tells how the assets are to be kept or divided.
Medicaid simply looks at everything you and your husband has — regardless of who actually owns it — and Medicaid combines all of those assets into a pile. (There are several things that do not count — your house (usually), a car, etc.)
The Medicaid divides the assets into two, and if your husband is going into a nursing home, then he could keep $2,000.
You could keep around $120,000.
The rest has to be spent down or you must implement some other strategy to get the right benefit from those assets.
How is this fair for Medicaid to ignore an agreement with my spouse before we got married that my stuff is my stuff and his is his?
It is fair because you are asking Medicaid to cover the cost of being in a nursing home for your husband. That will run around $6,000 minus his income (usually all of his income).
You don’t have to use Medicaid but if you do you must play by Medicaid’s rules.
So I have to lose all of my assets — the money I brought to the marriage — the inheritance for my kids?
We can normally save the vast majority of money when we are helping a married couple where one spouse is going in the nursing home.
Even a single person we can often save a tremendous amount of the assets.
So you don’t have to lose everything AND you can get this incredible benefit of Medicaid paying for the nursing home bill every month which is often worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
We’ll talk in depth about some of those strategies in other articles but for this one just know that Medicaid ignores, as a practical matter, your prenup and so it is critical that you get the counseling and strategies as early as possible so that you can make the best decisions as you face an immediate long term care crisis or you face this in the future.
If we can help, give us a call at 205-879-2447 and we can schedule a strategy review session to help you discover your best options. Or you can fill out the online contact form and we will get right back with you. We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the best.