While sometimes people in New Jersey make plans for a potential stay in a nursing home well before they need such care, many times a person’s admission to a long-term care facility occurs due to a sudden illness or disability. When this happens, the person’s family may fear that all their loved one’s assets will be handed over to the facility to pay for their care.
This fear is not unfounded. Medicare may pay for rehabilitation and therapy, but, once that care ends, a nursing home resident will be considered a custodial patient and Medicare will no longer cover the cost of their nursing home stay. A 24/7 nursing home stay can cost upwards of $144,000 a year, meaning that a person’s lifetime wealth can be utterly extinguished in a matter of years. Medicaid may be an option for paying for a stay in a long-term care facility, but a person must reduce their financial resources to a mere $2,000 before they are eligible for Medicaid benefits.
But, there is good news. Some assets can be protected with the right legal help. Asset preservation is a legal way to keep certain assets in the hands of the person who earned them, rather than the nursing home. However, asset preservation requires a strong understanding of elder law, which most people in New Jersey are not familiar with.
The attorneys at our firm understand that placing a loved one in a long-term care facility can be a distressing task. A person in such a situation may have many questions about how to best protect their loved one’s assets while still ensuring their loved one gets the care they need. There are legal options that can preserve certain assets, but they can be very complex. Our firm’s Medicaid and asset protection webpage may be useful to those who want to know more about this topic.