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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Paying for the ‘Institutionalized Spouse’ By CRAIG REAVES

Paying for the ‘Institutionalized Spouse’ - The New Old Age Blog - NYTimes.com
Paying for the ‘Institutionalized Spouse’
Craig Reaves.Craig Reaves.

Craig Reaves, past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, practices in Kansas City, Mo., and on occasion fields questions from New Old Age readers. You may submit your question to newoldage@nytimes.com. Please limit your inquiries to general legal issues; Mr. Reaves can’t offer personal legal advice.

What happens when one half of a married couple is retired and in need of expensive nursing home care while a younger spouse is still working and earning income? Are there options for protecting any of the income or accumulated wealth (such as retirement accounts) of the younger spouse? Or does it all have to go to pay for the care of the one who’s ill?