As you get older, the property you own becomes more important. You may have built up years of memories in your family home. You may have raised your children there or spent time reading to your grandchildren. Preparing for Medicaid may leave you with an important question, however: can you keep your family home and still receive benefits?

The government considers two types of assets in your Medicaid application.

Generally, your assets are divided into two categories when you apply for Medicaid. The government only considers some assets—called countable assets—when determining whether you meet eligibility requirements. These assets can include:

  • Funds in checking or savings accounts
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Cars or trucks, if you own more than one

Non-countable assets, on the other hand, are exempt from Medicaid asset limits. These exemptions apply for:

  • Personal belongings
  • Your primary vehicle
  • Irrevocable trusts meant to fund your burial arrangements
  • Household furnishings
  • Some life insurance policies

Some assets held in trust may also be non-countable.

Is real estate a countable or non-countable asset?

For couples that own real estate, this property can be one of the most valuable assets in their name. The government generally considers real estate holdings countable assets, and you will need to consider this property as part of your Medicaid spend-down. This includes property like a vacation home.

Your family home, on the other hand, may be exempt from asset limits when you apply for Medicaid. As the American Council on Aging notes, your home must meet specific requirements for the government to consider it non-countable. First, you must intend to live in your home or your spouse must currently live there. Second, your equity interest in the home cannot be greater than $893,000.

If you wonder how to handle your family home when preparing for Medicaid, it can be helpful to speak with an experienced attorney. They can help you plan your spend-down in a way that protects both your eligibility and your property.