Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Legal-Ease: What to do When Facing a Nursing Home Decision

NursinghomeThe decision whether to place an aging parent in a nursing home, provide in-home care, or move them in with their adult children can be an extremely difficult one. This decision can be prompted by illness, injury, or a series of absentmindedness. The tight-knit nature of the families in the Midwest can motivate people to try to care for their loved ones themselves. But even for a medical professional, the toll of being a caretaker for a loved one usually becomes too mentally and physically overwhelming.

There are three steps that should be undertaken as soon as possible to determine if the correct path should be a nursing home, assisted living or professional in-home healthcare.

  • First, ensure that the loved one has updated his or her powers of attorney and living will (advanced directives). These legal documents are necessary for another person to make financial and/or medical decision for another individual.
  • Second, develop a financial plan under the advice of an attorney. This should include an analysis of all assets, liabilities, monthly income and monthly expenses. Investigate Medicaid's five-year lookback rule to determine eligibility for the program.
  • Third, work closely with the attorney so that the agent does not become personally liable for the long-term care bills of the aging individual and asset transfers can be accommodated at the proper times. This can ensure that applications for Medicaid and other programs are not done too soon nor too late.

See Lee R. Schroeder, Legal-Ease: What to do When Facing a Nursing Home Decision, Lima Ohio, May 11, 2019.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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