How Much Can You Protect or Give Away?

This is probably the number one question I hear on a sometimes daily basis from families that are facing a nursing home issue or that are planning ahead in case a nursing home becomes necessary:

“How much assets can we protect, give away, keep?”

The question is pretty straightforward, but the answer is not.

A balancing act takes place in these situations between 1) the financial needs of the potential Texas Medicaid applicant; 2) the potential Texas Medicaid applicant’s desire to protect family assets from nursing home costs; and 3) the eligibility rules of the Texas Medicaid program. In my experience all three factors must be evaluated and resolved in order to provide a complete picture of the situation. Ignoring one often leads to unintended consequences down the road, especially when confronted with a potential 5 year timeline in some cases.

My starting point to answer the asset protection question is to always begin with what is at risk. It does not make much sense to me for a client to spend time and money protecting assets that are not at risk. So, what is at risk? The answer is different for everyone. It depends on the medical and financial condition of the potential Medicaid applicant as well as careful review of assets, income, and expenses.

For example, in the case of a married couple where one spouse is confronted with the immediate need for nursing home care the healthy spouse at home is able to keep assets in a range of $21,000 – $109,000. That is a wide spread and nobody knows the answer in a specific case from just eyeballing a couple of numbers (if they pretend to know the answer without running the numbers odds are they are missing something). The exact answer depends on several calculations based on their specific assets, income and expenses. Until those calculations are done it is impossible to know what assets are protected, and without knowing what assets remain protected nobody knows the best protection strategy for your situation.

So, how much can you protect? I don’t know right now but after we review your situation we can have an accurate picture of what is protected, what is at risk, and what options you have. Speak with a Texas Medicaid Attorney today to protect your life savings from rising nursing home bills. is your connection to an experienced Houston Medicaid Attorney who can help you find the right nursing home, get the best care, and pay for it all without going broke. We are currently focused on Harris and Montgomery Counties, including the areas of Houston, Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring, Tomball, Humble, and Katy.  We also provide consulting services throughout all of Texas.

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