By Thom Cooper & Melissa Reynard
Most farmers love their farms. It is a slice of country life that most city folks can’t understand. Many times, the farm was passed down through the family and most farm families want that to continue to their children. What is unthinkable is that the farm could be lost to a catastrophic health care situation with a long nursing home stay.
Couples do not lose their homes if one of them goes into a nursing home and the State pays the bill. However, if one spouse is in the nursing home and the other is at home, the state of Ohio will place a lien against the property to pay back the state’s investment in their care. The healthier spouse is allowed to live there and is not forced to sell. Nothing happens until one of them dies. But, the rules are different if your is worth over 536k. At that point, you can be forced to sell or refinance in order to cover nursing home costs, even if you are married and still living in the home place on the farm- that can mean losing the farm.
So what does this mean for Ohio farmers? You may feel that you don’t own much. Maybe you’ve got a small emergency fund in the bank and not a lot more. However, if you own a substantial amount of acreage in your name, you may need to do some planning if you intend to keep it for your family when you are gone. You may not feel the land is worth that much, but with land prices rising, you might be surprised how valuable it is today. Come talk to us at Cooper, Adel & Associates to see how you can protect your land and keep your farm in the family.
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