What Happens To My Assets If I Go Into A Nursing Home?

The transition into a nursing home is a significant life event, not only in terms of healthcare but also in terms of financial planning. One of the biggest concerns many people face is how this move will affect their personal assets. With the cost of nursing home care being substantial, understanding the financial implications is crucial. This blog post aims to explore what happens to your assets if you require nursing home care and offers guidance on how to prepare for this possibility, safeguarding your financial well being in the process.

Understanding the Cost of Nursing Home Care

Nursing home care is notoriously expensive, with costs varying widely depending on location, the level of care required, and the amenities offered by the facility. On average, monthly expenses can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. These costs typically cover room and board, medical care, and other necessary services.

Action Step: Start by researching the average costs of nursing homes in your area. Understanding these costs is the first step in evaluating how your assets might be affected and what financial planning steps you may need to take.

Personal Assets and Nursing Home Costs

When you enter a nursing home, your personal assets can become a primary source for covering these costs. This may include savings accounts, investments, real estate, and other valuable assets. If your income and insurance do not fully cover the nursing home expenses, these assets may need to be used.

Action Step: Review your current assets. Consider how they might be utilized in the event of long-term nursing home care. Understanding this will help you in planning and protecting your assets.

Medicaid and Asset Protection

Medicaid can play a significant role in covering nursing home costs for those who qualify. However, Medicaid eligibility is based on income and asset limits. This means that having assets beyond a certain threshold could disqualify you from receiving Medicaid benefits unless those assets are spent down.

Action Step: Assess your eligibility for Medicaid based on your current financial situation. Understanding Medicaid’s asset limits is crucial in planning how to protect your assets while ensuring you receive the care you need.

How Do I Protect My Assets From a Nursing Home in Texas?

There are several legal strategies you can use to protect your assets from being completely depleted by nursing home costs. This can include setting up certain types of trusts, spending down assets in a Medicaid-compliant manner, or converting assets into non-countable forms for Medicaid eligibility.

Protecting your assets from being depleted by nursing home costs in Texas involves strategic planning, often incorporating legal and financial tools. Here are some key strategies to consider:

  1. Long-Term Care Insurance:
    • Purchasing long-term care insurance can provide coverage for nursing home costs, thereby protecting your personal assets. These policies typically cover costs that Medicare and regular health insurance do not.
  2. Asset Conversion:
    • Converting countable assets into non-countable ones can help protect them. For example, using excess cash to pay off a mortgage or make home improvements can reduce countable assets since a primary residence is usually exempt from Medicaid’s asset calculation.
  3. Irrevocable Trusts:
  4. Medicaid Asset Protection Trust:
    • This is a specific type of irrevocable trust designed to protect assets while maintaining Medicaid eligibility. Once assets are in this trust, they are not counted for Medicaid purposes after the look-back period.
  5. Medicaid Planning:
    • Engage in Medicaid planning, which involves structuring your finances to meet Medicaid eligibility requirements while preserving assets. This might include spending down assets in a way that benefits you (like paying for medical expenses or pre-paying funeral expenses).
  6. Gifts and Asset Transfers:
    • Transferring assets to family members or into a trust can protect them from nursing home costs. However, this should be done with caution due to the Medicaid look-back period, which penalizes transfers made within 60 months of applying for Medicaid.
  7. Life Estate in Property:
    • Creating a life estate in your home allows you to live there until your death, after which the property passes to the named remainderman (usually a family member). This can protect the home from being counted as an asset by Medicaid.
  8. Consult with Elder Law Attorneys:
    • It’s advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in elder law and Medicaid planning. They can help you navigate the complexities of asset protection while ensuring compliance with Medicaid rules.
  9. Regular Review and Updates:
    • Continually review and update your asset protection strategies in light of changing laws and personal circumstances.

Action Steps:

  • Evaluate your current assets and financial situation.
  • Research and consider long-term care insurance.
  • Consult with an elder law attorney to discuss asset protection strategies, particularly those involving trusts and Medicaid planning.
  • Be mindful of the Medicaid look-back period when planning asset transfers or setting up trusts.

Remember, asset protection planning should ideally be done well in advance of the need for nursing home care. Early planning provides the most options and the best chance to effectively protect your assets.

The Impact of Medicare and Long-Term Insurance

WHAT HAPPENS TO MY ASSETS IF I GO INTO A NURSING HOMEIt’s a common misconception that Medicare will cover long-term nursing home care. In reality, Medicare’s coverage is quite limited. Long-term care insurance, on the other hand, can provide coverage for these expenses, depending on the policy details.

Action Step: Review your Medicare benefits and any long-term care insurance policies you may have. Understand what is covered and consider if additional insurance coverage might be necessary.

Estate Planning and Nursing Home Care

Effective estate planning can play a crucial role in preparing for potential nursing home care. This includes not only making decisions about asset distribution but also planning for how assets will be managed if you become unable to do so yourself.

Action Step: Review your current estate plan in the context of potential nursing home care. Make sure it includes directives regarding your assets and care preferences. If you don’t have an estate plan, consider creating one.


Preparing for the possibility of nursing home care involves careful financial planning and understanding the impact on your assets. By researching nursing home costs, reviewing your assets, understanding Medicaid and insurance coverage, and engaging in effective estate planning, you can take proactive steps to protect your financial wellbeing. Remember, each situation is unique, so it’s important to seek personalized advice from financial and legal experts. With the right planning, you can ensure that your transition into a nursing home is as smooth as possible, both for your health and your financial security.