“A federal law providing that if one member of a married couple becomes a nursing home resident, the property and assets of the married couple will be combined, regardless of who owns the asset, and divided in half, according to Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) standards. This process protects the spouse who still lives in the community from becoming impoverished. The spouse who still lives in the community can appeal the division of marital assets under certain conditions.”

Bookman, A., Harrington, M., Pass, L., & Reisner, E.  (2007). Family caregiver handbook: Finding elder care resources in Massachusetts. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.