Understanding Nursing Home Agreements: Protecting Your Family from Unexpected Costs

May 22, 2023 Austin DuBois

At DuBois Law Group, we’ve been working in elder law for a while now and have seen the confusion and misinformation that often surrounds long-term care. Lately, we’ve noticed an increase in nursing homes using tricky language in their agreements that can leave family members on the hook for unpaid bills.

The “Resident’s Agent” or “Resident’s Representative” section of a nursing home agreement designates a family member or legal guardian to make decisions on behalf of the resident. It’s an important part of the agreement that allows for clear communication and decision-making. However, if the section isn’t reviewed carefully, the agent could inadvertently agree to pay for the cost of care if Medicaid denies coverage. This can leave family members with unexpected bills and legal fees if the nursing home decides to sue. That’s why it’s crucial to have a well-coordinated long-term care plan in place to avoid these situations.

We want to make sure that our clients are well-informed and protected when it comes to signing any binding contract or agreement, especially when it comes to long-term care. That’s why we advise our clients to carefully review any document they are being asked to sign and to speak up if something seems off. If you come across language in a nursing home agreement and feel unsure about it, we encourage you to cross out the section and initial it. This can be a helpful way to show that you do not agree with what is being asked of you and avoid any unintended consequences down the road.

Being proactive about long-term care planning is crucial to protecting your assets and ensuring that you and your family are prepared for whatever the future may bring. With a well-coordinated plan in place, even Medicaid can provide coverage for long-term care needs. And if you need care right away, there are still options available for protecting your assets at the last minute.

At DuBois Law Group, we’re here to help you navigate the complex world of long-term care planning and ensure that you and your family are protected. So don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your long-term care plan.