Paying for long term care in a nursing home is a challenging task that may seem overwhelming.Â Youâ€™ve likely heard that your grandmotherâ€™s assets must be spent down before Medicaid will pay her long term care costs.Â Fortunately, the nursing home will not take your grandmotherâ€™s engagement ring, as jewelry is an exempt resource.
An exempt resource is something that your grandmother owns that doesnâ€™t have to be spent down before she qualifies for Medicaid.Â Exempt resources include jewelry, a small amount of cash, her home, a car, a pre-paid funeral or burial trust, small amount of life insurance, clothing, furniture, and other personal possessions.
If your grandmother is married and her spouse lives in their home, higher levels of cash and income can be protected, than if she is single.
One Medicaid planning strategy is to convert non-exempt resources into exempt resources.Â For example, cash may be spent down by replacing the roof on your grandmotherâ€™s home or paying off the mortgage.
A word of caution, valuable personal items often go missing in nursing homes; it would be wise to put your grandmotherâ€™s engagement ring in a safe place with loved ones, instead of her wearing it in the nursing home.
If you want to protect your grandmotherâ€™s belongings and assets, such as an engagement ring from the nursing home, consult with a qualified elder law attorney.