Boca Raton Specialized Planning for Married Couples Lawyer
Medicaid can provide important benefits for certain individuals who need help paying for their medical care. Medicaid benefits are governed by many different laws, and there are special planning considerations for married couples. When one spouse lives in the home and the other is admitted to a long-term care facility such as a nursing home, there are additional factors to consider. Below, our Boca Raton specialized planning for married couples lawyer explains what these are.
Who Is the Community Spouse?
When one spouse remains in the couple’s home and the other enters a long-term care facility, the person who remains in the property is known as the community spouse. Under the law, there are distinct rules that make sure the community spouse has the ability to be self-sufficient and that they do not become poverty-stricken. The rules also state that the community spouse must be protected now and in the future.
What Is Spend Down Under Medicaid?
Another complicated rule that pertains to couples receiving Medicaid benefits is the spend-down rule. This rule states that Medicaid is only available once a married couple spends down one-half of their savings. The community spouse has the right to keep one-half of the savings the couple has accumulated, although the amount cannot exceed certain limits. Any remaining savings must be spent down.
It is a common misconception that people must use their half of their life savings on a nursing facility. This is not true. If your spouse is in a long-term care facility, you should work with a lawyer who can examine a variety of different issues. For example, what does the community spouse need now, and in the future? Do they need a new vehicle? Do improvements have to be made to the house? These are just a few items that are permitted expenses for which the money can be used.
The Community Spouse’s Income
The income the community spouse receives now and in the future also needs special consideration. In some circumstances, there are special rules for the community spouse that will allow them to keep all or a portion of the income of the spouse who is in the nursing home.
If the combined incomes of the two spouses are not enough for the community spouse to live on, they may be able to retain more assets. In some cases, a community spouse may be able to keep all of the assets. Additionally, in certain circumstances, a community spouse may also be able to purchase a special type of annuity that ensures they will always be able to pay their monthly bills.
How Our Specialized Planning for Married Couples Lawyer in Boca Raton Can Help
If your spouse is in a nursing home or will be shortly, you need sound legal advice. At Samuels Wood PLLC, our Boca Raton specialized planning for married couples lawyer can provide that advice to ensure you have the protection you need for years to come. Call us now at 561-864-3371 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.