- Getting married to an aged and sick person may lead to financial ruin.
- Medicare treats the savings of both spouses as jointly owned.
- A healthy spouse is required to spend down his or her assets for long-term care costs even if it’s a second marriage.
A nursing home is something few people expect in their futures, but as older couples contemplate marriage, it’s something to be considered. If one of the spouses needs a nursing home, will the other spouse be obligated to pay for it? Many older unmarried couples are afraid one of them might make the other broke.
A comprehensive answer requires more space than I have here to address. This issue and many factors enter into the answer including how property is held and titled, and if there are children from prior marriages. Here is my general answer. Let’s assume you live in New Jersey and neither party has long-term-care insurance, the short answer is “Yes” both parties are on the hook. New Jersey says if you’re married then you are liable for your spouse’s nursing home bill even if it’s a second marriage. You have a prenuptial agreement, etc. Now, there are some strategies available to avoid or minimize the financial consequences, but those are too complex to address here.
To discuss your NJ Medicaid matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.
By Fredrick P. Niemann of Hanlon, Niemann & Wright of Freehold Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey Medicaid Attorney