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What Happens If You're On Medicaid and Your Spouse Passes Away?

Feb. 23, 2022

In our past few blogs we have been focusing on Medicaid and qualifying for it. This month we wanted to talk about if a Medicaid recipient is in a nursing home and their spouse, not in a nursing home passes away.

If one spouse has to go into the nursing home, some planning can be done for them to be able to apply for Medicaid. With that, you need to also plan in case the community spouse (the individual not in the nursing home) passes away.

Planning For Medicaid

As mentioned in previous blogs, in order to qualify for Medicaid the individual can only have a limited number of assets in their name. So, with careful planning allows the nursing home resident's spouse to maintain most of the assets.

But, what happens if the community nurse dies?

As we have mentioned, all of this requires careful planning. For the nursing home spouse to keep their Medicaid status, the community spouse can write a will that disinherits them. Along with that, since Pennsylvania is a state that allows spouses to claim a portion of their deceased spouses estate, the will must be written to address that. There are two ways to have the will written:

1) The will can be written that leaves the nursing home spouse the exact amount of their elective share.

2) The community nurse can create a special trust that contains the elective share.

Before either of you end up in the nursing home, give us a call. Here at Curran Estate & Elder Law we have the experience to assist you with anything involving Medicaid. Don't hesitate to reach out.