BREAKING NEWS ON MEDICAID CLAIMS
September 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
In a recent estate in this district, the Medicaid Commission took the position that if the decedent claimed homestead on a parcel of property, and was survived by a spouse, one or more children or one or more grandchildren, then Medicaid would release its entire claim, regardless whether the property is worth more than the $75,000 statutory exemption.
In this particular case, the estate’s only asset was the homestead property. The lawyer representing the administrator called the Medicaid Commission to try to negotiate a reduction of its $110,000 claim and advised the commission’s staff attorney that the value of the homestead exceeded $75,000. The staff attorney replied that if the decedent was survived as set out above then Medicaid would release its claim, regardless of the value of the homestead.
Up to now, I had understood that Medicaid would release its claim only to the first $75,000, and would pursue its claim above that amount. In the situation cited above, I would have thought that Medicaid would try to pursue its claim to the $35,000 above the homestead exemption.
If this case does, indeed, indicate a shift in policy, you can be in a position to save your clients in estate matters considerable money simply by making a telephone call to the Medicaid Commission.
CAVEAT: Don’t take this post as authority to do anything. Call the Medicaid Commission yourself and get it from them what their position is with respect to your client’s situation.
If you handle any probate matters at all, you need to be familiar with the exemption statutes and understand how they affect the matters you handle. A helpful post on the topic is here. Not claiming exemptions can cost your clients thousands. Clients love lawyers who can save them thousands.