Selling Your Home Under Post Eligibility Rules

Seniors and the Law is authored by the attorneys at JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law and addresses legal issues that arise for the elderly and their families.  Questions can be sent to firm@jacksonwhitelaw.com.
Q:        At only 66 years of age, my husband had to move to an assisted living community where he could receive care for early onset Alzheimer’s disease.  To make ends meet, he applied for ALTCS, which now covers most of his monthly care costs.  As part of that process, I learned that his eligibility was contingent upon me having no more than a certain amount of resources.  Now, several years later, I want to sell my home, but I fear it will cause my husband to lose eligibility for ALTCS.  Is there anything I can do?
            A very general answer to your question is that, yes, there probably is something you can do here.  In fact, depending on whether you did any planning prior to applying for the ALTCS program, it is possible that you can sell the home and keep all of the proceeds in your name, without regard to any requirement to which you adhered during the application process.  The reason for this flexibility stems from what is referred to as post-eligibility rules.
            In short, there are two different sets of rules that apply to the ALTCS eligibility process – initial rules and post-eligibility rules.  The initial rules limit the amount of resources that a well-spouse can keep, and they apply during the application process.  Post-eligibility rules, on the other hand, eliminate the inquiry into a well-spouse’s resources, and they begin to apply after the ALTCS application is approved.
            Depending on your particular situation, and on whether you did any planning at the outset of this process, it is likely that the home is already in your name only.  If you were to sell the home for a significant profit, you could keep the proceeds from the sale without jeopardizing your husband’s eligibility, as long as those proceeds remained in your name. 
             Richard White is an elder law attorney at JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law.  For more information on Elder Law at JacksonWhite, please visit www.ArizonaSeniorLaw.com.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace individual legal advice.