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Justin, My mom has been a resident in a nursing home for almost a year now. We’ve spent about $60,000 on her care so far. As strange as this may sound, she’s doing fairly well at the nursing home, so this could go on for a long time. She owns her home and has some assets available to cover the costs for a while, but she’ll run out eventually. Is there anything we can do to be ready for when she’s out of money? – Clark

Clark, This is definitely something you should explore further. The worst thing you could do would be to spend down your mother’s financial resources until they are gone leaving her with only the house. In that case, she may qualify for financial assistance with nursing home costs, but in exchange you might be unpleasantly surprised with liens on her house when she dies.

In addition to that negative outcome, depending on the specific facts of your mother’s case, you would likely have wasted a lot of her financial resources if you simply spend down her assets on care until her resources are completely gone. In almost every case, I and the attorneys I work with can create a long-term care plan that saves at least some of a nursing home resident’s financial resources and real estate if not all. Many of those plans are put in place even after a person has moved into a nursing home. While planning ahead is always better, emergency planning is still better than no planning at all.

Chapter nine of my book, You Need A Plan, is entitled, Pulling a Rabbit from the Hat: Creative Solutions for Those Who Didn’t Plan Ahead. For those with time to plan ahead, this chapter doesn’t let you off the hook. But for those already in need of long-term care who have run out of time for preplanning, it contains some interesting options you won’t want to miss. Order your free copy at YourPlanMatters.com. And don’t forget, a no-charge strategy session is just a phone call away.

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