Clearing out my mother’s apartment this weekend, as she’s in a nursing home and won’t be going back to independent living, ever.
If you or your parents haven’t discussed things with an estate lawyer yet, you should. My brothers and I won’t be getting a dime from her estate. We have to pay the nursing home until she’s broke, and then the government will step in. You may want to look into your own situations, especially those of you who are married. If one of you suffers an illness that renders you incapable of living outside a nursing home, the spouse can lose everything but the house. All the savings, the 401k, IRAs–all going to the government. And there’s a five-year look-back period now, instead of three.
The same thing nearly happened with my father. He had ALS, and we fully expected to see him go through his entire estate. We were wrong. He was diagnosed in February and died in June, so we did get our inheritance. Sheer luck.
I would strongly advise you all to look into how you want to provide for your spouse and your children, before you have no choice in the matter.