Medicaid Estate Recovery

Posted on: January 30th, 2012 by Lawrence A. Friedman

When a Medicaid recipient passes away, the state can recover Medicaid expenditures from the individual’s probate estate and perhaps from other assets in which the individual once had an interest. As explained in greater detail throughout, individuals may employ various planning techniques to preserve savings and qualify for Medicid to fund long term care. For instance changing a will or title to a home and other assets may shelter assets against Medicaid estate recovery.

An unusual story in the December 26, 2011 Eagle Tribune of North Andover, Massachusettes illustrates how expensive estate recovery can be. Massachusettes courts ruled that close to $200,000 found in a safe on a vacant lot could be taken to repay Medicaid provided to the safe’s former owner. While the state may be more deserving of this money than potential claimants, like the person who dumped the safe in the lot, it seems a shame that the owner’s relatives lost so much money to Medicaid. Perhaps the moral of this story is that consulting an elder law attorney early regarding options to fund long term care may permit families to protect substantial savings and still obtain quality long term care.

As this website provides general information and isn’t tailored to your particular situation, it doesn’t constitute legal advice and may not take into account rules and exceptions that affect you. Although updated from time to time, this website may not take account of recent legal developments or differences in laws from state to state. For safety sake, obtain individual legal advice before you act! You assume all risk of acting on information contained in this website. This website doesn’t constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship exists unless FriedmanLaw and you execute a written engagement agreement. Please contact us at 908-704-1900 to discuss engaging FriedmanLaw to help resolve your legal concerns.
Homepage photo: Cows grazing at Meadowbrook Farm, Bernardsville, NJ by Siddharth Mallya. October 23, 2012.
Interior photo: Somerset hills pastoral scene by Lawrence Friedman.