If you are preparing to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility, you will have to make a lot of decisions regarding your possessions. Traditional nursing homes offer only a limited amount of space, which means you probably won’t be able to take all of your possessions with you. Besides pets, one of the most prized possessions many elders own is a vehicle. Can you take your vehicle with you when you move into a nursing home?
Factors to Consider:
- The facility’s vehicle policy
- Do you really need your car?
- Can you drive safely?
Before you make any decision regarding whether or not to take your vehicle to the nursing home, you need to determine what the home’s vehicle policy is. Many homes do not allow residents to bring vehicles.
If your nursing home does allow you to have a vehicle, you need to decide if you will really need your car. How often do you actually drive? You may find that the facility’s transportation services take you everywhere you need to go. If this is the case, you can save a lot of money by not bringing your vehicle to the nursing home.
It is also important to determine if you can safely drive. It might be a good idea to ask your family members their opinion, since it can sometimes be hard for elders to admit that their driving skills have diminished.
What to do if You Don’t Keep Your Car
If you make the decision that you will not take your vehicle with you to the nursing home, you next have to determine what to do with it. Many elders may be tempted to give the car to an adult child or a grandchild who has recently reached driving age. This is a wonderful sentiment, but “gifting” can also affect your qualification for Medi-Cal, so it’s important that you discuss any gifts with your elder law attorney before you give your car away. Your attorney may suggest putting your car in a trust instead.
You many also decide to sell the car. It’s best to ask a close friend or family member to help you with this process. You can either sell your car on your own or take it to a dealership. While you will likely get less for the vehicle through a dealership, it is also a quick and convenient way to get some extra cash.
Lastly, if your vehicle is old or poorly functioning, you may want to consider giving it to charity. There are plenty of great charities that eagerly accept cars – even cars that are not running. These organizations will tow the car away for you. This act of goodwill will also give you a large write off on any income you make during the year.