Page 25 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - June 2019 - 26-06
P. 25

Ask The
Senior Times - June 2019
Page 25
Helping Seniors Preserve Their Lives
Asset Protection Planning for Persons in a Nursing Home or Entering a Nursing Home Powers of Attorney • Wills • Trusts • Probate
Don't Lose Everything You Have To the Nursing Home
I can help you save up to 100% of your assets.
Michael B. Walling, J.D., LL.M.
Let me help you properly draft and fund a trust before you or your spouse enter a nursing home; it could save you over $50,000!
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QUESTION: I have heard that
if I go into a nursing home the State will take my home when I die. Is that true?
ANSWER: Maybe. The State of Michigan enacted the Estate Recovery Act in 2011. Basically, the Act says
that if you go on Medicaid for long- term care (such as a nursing home,
MI Choice Waiver, etc.), the State can recover the money it paid for your care from your estate when you die. The State is allowed to take up to approx- imately one-half of the value of your home (it’s actually based on the value of homes in your geographic location). For example: If you die and your home is worth $100,000, then the State will take about $50,000 when the home is sold through your probate estate. However, if you were only receiving Medicaid for a few months in the nursing home and the total amount they paid for your care was only $25,000; then the State could only collect $25,000.
and was living in the home for at least one year prior to you entering long- term care and they also own an equity interest in your home.
In addition, there are Hardship Exceptions that can be applied for.
A Lady Bird Deed can be an effective way to plan around Estate Recovery under the current law.
Michael Walling, Special to Senior Times
There are four exceptions to the rule of taking your home:
1. If your spouse still lives in your
Michael B. Walling is an Elder Law attorney with an advance Master of Laws degree. He manages The Elder Law Center and the law firm of Michael B. Walling, PLC. Mr. Walling is also a part-time Professor at Western Michigan University. Please send any questions you would like addressed to: The
2. If your child lives in your home and is
Elder Law Center, 4625 Beckley Road, Building 400, Suite 4003, Battle Creek, Michigan, 49015. You may also call (269) 968-1101 to set up a free initial consultation. This column is intended for general information purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice to any particular person.
under 21, blind or disabled.
3. If your relative lives in your home
and was living in your home and car- ing for you for two years prior to you entering long-term care.
4. If your sibling is living in your home
for all your electrical, heating & cooling needs
This will enable you to stay on Medicaid while in long-term care and then your home will automatically trans- fer to a loved one when you die, avoid- ing Estate Recovery. The State will not be able to take your home.
As the laws regarding Medicaid are always changing, I would suggest that you talk to an elder law attorney who specializes in Medicaid for long-term care and see what options you have available. I would do it sooner than later as the laws are always changing.
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