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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37044
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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My wife needs total care, and we have had and are having trouble

Customer Question

My wife needs total care, and we have had and are having trouble keeping care givers. We have place our home in a trust, plus, we have separate investment and IRA accounts, not joint. We do share a common checking account to pay monthly bills. our social security checks go into this common account.
My questions are;
1. How much of my income if any will be counted toward her nursing care costs?
2. Will my retirement funds and IRA's be counted toward her assets in order to determine her eventual move to medicaid care?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.
Hi and welcome to JA Ray here to help you today. Here are the 2016 income and resource limits.. Income Limits $2,130 per month ($25,560 per year)Resource Limits Individual - $2,000Couple - $3,000
Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.
https://dch.georgia.gov/sites/dch.georgia.gov/files/2016%20ABD%20and%20FM%20Income%20Limits%20%20revised%2021516.pdf They also raised income limits here , sorry this changes when social security has cost of living raise. $2,199per month ($26,388per year)
Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.
Exempt assets are those that Medicaid will not include in the asset total to determine eligibility. In Georgia, the following are the primary exempt assets:Home Place: The applicant’s house and all adjoining land and all buildings on the property are excluded from resources if the equity value of the home is $525,000 or less.Household Goods: Household items including furniture, decorations, art, and appliances are excluded.Burial Exclusion: The applicant and his/her spouse can each have up to $10,000 designated for burial expenses. This can consist of a prepaid funeral contract with a funeral home or funds designated for burial in a bank account. The face value of life insurance is applied toward the burial exclusion amount first.Burial Space Items: Burial plots for the applicant and immediate family are excluded as well as certain other items at the burial site. There is no dollar limit on the cost or value of the burial space items.Life Estate Interests: The applicant’s life estate interests are excluded.Automobiles: One automobile is excluded regardless of value and whether or not it is in use. Note that junked or recreational vehicles are counted as resources.Personal Items: Personal items such as clothing and jewelry are excluded.Retirement Funds: Retirement funds such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and pensions are excludable resources if they are being distributed in periodic payments that include a portion of principal. These payments are counted as income in the month received.Non‐marketable Assets: Assets are excluded while the applicant is making a bona fide effort to sell the asset. A bona fide effort may be evidenced by an advertisement in the newspaper or a listing with a real estate agent. The property must be listed for no more than its current value, and the applicant must accept an offer if it is at least 2/3 of the current value.
Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.
asically, all money and property and any item that can be valued and turned into cash, is a countable asset unless it is one of those assets listed above as exempt. This includes the following:Life Insurance Policies: The cash value of whole life or other life insurance policies is counted as a resource if the burial exclusion maximum has been reached with other assets.Investments: Stocks, bonds, mutual fundsChecking Accounts
Savings AccountsCertificates of Deposit
Money Market Accounts
Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.
In Georgia, the at‐home or community spouse is allowed to keep all countable assets up to $117,240 (as of 2014). The amount of the countable assets which the at‐home spouse gets to keep is called the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA).Each state also establishes a monthly income floor for the at‐home spouse. This is called the Community Spouse Maintenance Needs Standard (CSMNS). This permits the community spouse to keep a minimum monthly income of up to $2,931 (as of 2014).If the community spouse does not have at least $2,931 in income, then he or she is allowed to take the income of the nursing home spouse in an amount large enough to reach the CSMNS (i.e., up to $2,931/mo). The nursing home spouse’s remaining income goes to the nursing home. This avoids the necessity (hopefully) for the community spouse to dip into savings each month, which would result in gradual impoverishment.To illustrate, let’s assume the community spouse receives $800 per month in Social Security. Let’s also assume that her spouse who is a nursing home resident has an income of $2,500 per month from Social Security and his pension.$2,931.00CSMNS$800.00community spouse’s income$2,131.00amount to be diverted to community spouseIn this case, the community spouse will receive $2,131 per month from the nursing home spouse’s Social Security and pension and the rest of the nursing home spouse’s income will then go to pay for the cost of his care. The nursing home spouse does get to keep a monthly personal needs allowance: a whopping $50! Here is an example so you can see how this works since you are a community spouse.
Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.
My questions are;1. How much of my income if any will be counted toward her nursing care costs?See above for example.2. Will my retirement funds and IRA's be counted toward her assets in order to determine her eventual move to medicaid care? Yes they will count this as community income here in calculating whether she makes income and resource limits.
Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.
It may be possible here to shelter additional funds.A NAELA lawyer specializes in this.National Academy of Elder Lawyers, there are medicaid qualifying annuities and other shelters to allow her to qualify and preserve funds. You can locate one in your area herehttps://www.naela.org/Public/About_NAELA/Public_or_Consumer/Find_an_Elder_Lawyer/Find_an_Elder_Lawyer.aspx I think that you could really benefit from some more medicaid estate planning to help her qualify sooner and retain some of your assets here.It is well worth a couple of hours with local lawyer to resolve this make her eligible.Usually they will actually prepare the medicaid application and gather the finacial information and streamline it for you here. Thanks again I appreciate the chance to help you today and wish you the best.