Question: My mother is 90 years old and we are considering a nursing home. She has a total of approximately $20,000 in assets. Can we save some of this money before applying for her nursing home services?

Answer: If your mom needs a nursing home, and you expect to ask MassHealth to pay for her care, you can’t save the money directly. However, there are ways to spend her money down to $20,000 legally.

Here are a few ways to spend down her assets:

  • Legal services: take her to see an attorney who can help the difficult Masshealth application process. You will thank your mom taking this incredible administrative burden off your back.
  • Funeral/burial expenses: your mom’s money can be used toward the following:
    • Approx. $10,000 to $15,000 for prepaid funeral services
    • $1,500 can be set aside earmarked for burial expenses
  • Shopping spree: your mom can buy new clothes or a TV. It is best to track these expenses (don’t use large sums of cash withdrawals from her account) and try to keep each single check or debit card transaction under $1,000.

Priority Law can help advise families on MassHealth and estate planning. Contact us to set up a free consultation.

The article was originally published in the Lowell Sun and is for informational purposes only and not to be relied on as legal advice, in any manner.