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What Happens to my Assets when my Spouse is put in a Nursing Home

Spouse in Nursing Home

Life is full of details. Those details often make a huge difference. When your spouse transitions into a nursing home, you might feel that your assets are in some kind of danger. What happens to your assets when your spouse is in a nursing home being paid for in some way by Medicaid? What happens when you stand to lose all your assets to the nursing home?

Community Spouse

One of the ways to bring some clarity to this situation is to understand the terminology most commonly used by Medicaid. The spouse who does not get placed into an assisted living center is referred to as the community spouse. The spouse who is  placed into assisted living is sometimes referred to as the institutionalized spouse.

Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance

Each year, the federal government sets a range of income that indicates whether or not you need your spouse’s income to survive. The amount of the needy spouse’s income that is used to supplement the community spouse’s household income is called the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA). For example, if the federal government sets the MMMNA qualifying range between $2,000.00 and $3,000.00 per month and the community spouse makes $2,500.00, then a complicated formula is used to determine the MMMNA for each month.

Exempt Items

What about other assets such as your home or car? For the community spouse, Medicaid allows for a long list of exempt items. These items are not assets that can be used to pay for Medicaid services. The exempt items include a house, car, burial plots, any pre-paid funeral services or expenses, any personal possessions, and any life insurance policies with a face value.

It is not easy to have a spouse be put into an assisted living situation. If you and your spouse are facing that situation, then give our caring and professional asset protection attorneys a call today. We can help you to understand your rights, your spouse’s rights, and all of the details that go with this complicated process.


We are dedicated to making a difference in your life and that of your family.


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