Contacting ElderLawLexington | McClelland & Associates is your first step to protecting your home against Medicaid Estate Recovery. When a person who received Medicaid benefits dies, Kentucky is authorized to collect the cost of those medical benefits from the person’s estate. If you are dealing with the State of Kentucky about its claims against the estate of a deceased Medicaid recipient then you must hire an elder law attorney if you have property that needs probate.
Many people mistake Medicare and Medicaid programs for one another. Medicare provides senior citizens, the disabled and the blind with medical benefits. Medicaid provides healthcare benefits for those with little to no income or resources. Medicaid is a state-run program, funded by both the federal and state governments. The federal government issues Medicaid guidelines, but each state determines how the guidelines are implemented.
Estate recovery is a program, required by federal law, whereby Medicaid members with qualified assets reimburse the taxpayers for long term care and community-based services provided through Medicaid. Medicaid can recover against an estate if it has a valid claim. If your assets are protected, then Medicaid cannot recover them. However, if you have not taken steps to protect your home and other assets, then Medicaid will place a lien on your home for all monies paid for the cost of your care. If you are married, then Medicaid cannot recover against your home until after your surviving spouse passes away. It is important for any Kentucky resident to have a good attorney when handling the deceased person’s estate.
Medicaid’s claim against an estate will include all payments made by Medicaid for services or goods when the recipient was age 55 years or older. Payments of benefits for a person under the age of 55 years does not create a debt. Kentucky statutes require that the attorney of any estate in which the decedent at the time of death was 55 years of age or older promptly send a notice and copy of the death certificate to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Resources.
Assets that are not exempt are used to pay the expense of administration and other obligations of the decedent’s estate. First, the expenses of administering the estate such as filing fees and attorney fees are paid. Second, the estate may pay for reasonable funeral and burial expenses. After these are paid, the Medicaid claim must be satisfied before any lower-class creditors or heirs receive any non-exempt assets or money. Heirs of an estate may wonder if the house will have to be sold to satisfy the claims of Medicaid. An estate may be protected from a Medicaid Estate Recovery claim if the deceased person has a spouse still living, a child younger than 21 years of age, or a child that has been determined to be totally disabled. However, proper planning can avoid Medicaid Recovery altogether. ElderLaw Lexington works with clients to protect their assets before their death. We also provide services to executors who are administering an estate where a claim has been filed.
Medicaid Estate Recovery is complicated. If you have questions, get them answered by an attorney at Elder Law Lexington | McClelland & Associates. We work with clients to protect their assets before death. We also provide services to executors who are administering an estate where a claim has been filed. ElderLawLexington has experience negotiating with the State of Kentucky on the behalf of clients.