Myths & Facts about Public Assistance with the Cost of Nursing Home Care in North Carolina

April 19, 2019

I am already leaving everything in my Will


Myth: I have a Last Will & Testament, by which I leave all my property to my heirs. If I have to go into long term care (LTC) and become eligible for public assistance with the cost of care, any property I own at my death is protected for them.

Fact: A Last Will & Testament may not protect your property for your heirs. Any property you own at your death must necessarily pass through your estate before it can be distributed to your heirs. If you receive public assistance for the cost of LTC, the State of NC will have a claim against your estate for the value of assistance it paid on your behalf. The result of this claim could be the forced sale of your property to satisfy the State’s claim. Certain planning strategies may avoid this result. Exceptions may apply.

- Wyles Johnson, Board Certified Elder Law Specialist

The rules applicable to Medicare and Medicaid long-term care benefits are exceedingly complex. White & Allen, P.A. is proud to offer an attorney who is a Board-Certified Specialist in Elder Law and experienced staff to navigate and advise you, your family and friends on all your Elder Law issues. Please call us at (252)-527-8000 or email If you would like to request more information concerning rights of the elderly living in North Carolina and special programs for them, please contact us for a complimentary information booklet entitled "Senior Citizens Handbook” published by Project Grace (Young Lawyers Division and Elder & Special Needs Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association).


It is never too early or too late to plan for your future.