Spending Down My Assets? What Does New Jersey Say is Okay to Spend That Money On? (Part I)

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a New Jersey Alzheimer’s Attorney

Under New Jersey Medicaid law, some things are easy to figure out. Others, not so much.  A couple can always decide to pay the cost of long term care at a nursing home privately, writing a check for $12,000(+) each month.  This is definitely an acceptable approach. But why do that?  Consider that if the wife is still driving, trading in her car for a new or newer car makes sense. As long as this purchase or trade is made before the husband has been placed in the nursing home and the couple establishes a “snapshot value of family assets” everything they spend on the new car will be spent from the husband’s side of the ledger and this is perfectly legal as a spend down plan. Another approved way is to identify permissible home improvements that can be done; fixing up the roof, new heating and air conditioning, new carpeting or furniture—as far as the spend down rules go, it can be approved to replace older worn out property with new property, and all of these expenses can be paid from the husband’s assets. But it has to be done just right, or else!  Our couple should also determine if there is any debt to be paid off; is there a mortgage? Credit card? They can use the husband’s assets to do settle those debts. Have they pre-paid their funeral plans? If this was done before the division of the assets, it can be exempt. If it is done after the husband is placed in a facility and the division occurs, the funds may fall under the spend down guidelines. All of the above are the types of things to consider when facing the prospect of spending down money in both a logical and legal way.

Contact me personally today to discuss your Medicaid/Alzheimer’s matter.  I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns.  You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.