Putting your elderly parent into a care facility is often a painful and difficult decision that comes with both emotional and financial hurdles. Trusting someone else to care for your aging parent and shelling out tens of thousands of dollars a year can be a tough choice to make.
Due to the price tag of nursing homes, some elderly parents end up bankrupting themselves to cover it. If you are worried about this happening, you should look into asset protection options. Here are some tips for safeguarding your parent’s home or other assets.
1. Talk with your parent as soon as possible
While it may not be the easiest discussion to have, communication is necessary. You do not want to wait around until a tragedy occurs. Your parent will probably not be excited about the prospect of going to a nursing home, but it is a necessity for a lot of people. Sit down and have a conversation with your parent about his or her assets.
2. Look into Medicaid
Your parent might meet the requirements to have Medicaid pay for the nursing home. All nursing homes in New Jersey accept Medicaid. When applying, it is important to consult with an attorney beforehand to ensure you meet all requirements.
3. Plan well in advance
Do not fall for the common misconception that your parent will be able to give assets as gifts right before entering a nursing home and then have Medicaid cover the costs. Medicaid has transfer penalties for gifts given within a five-year period. However, if your parent transfers gifts more than five years ahead, he or she can avoid penalties, according to a USA Today piece on nursing home costs.
The thought of putting your parent in a nursing home might be hard. But with some careful planning, you and your parent can handle the emotional and financial stresses together.