Can Medicaid take your inheritance? This is a common question that many people have when their loved one has passed on after using Medicaid services. Unfortunately, depending upon the circumstances, it is possible that the answer is yes and Medicaid could indeed take money or property that was left by a deceased person to heirs or beneficiaries.
Because of the potential for Medicaid to possibly take an inheritance, it is very important to make a Medicaid plan aimed at protecting the money and property that you hope to pass on to the next generation. Once someone passes away after having used Medicaid, it may already be too late to protect an inheritance — although there could be some options depending upon the circumstances.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC can provide help in making an advanced plan to keep an inheritance safe so Medicaid does not end up taking money and property that you have worked hard to acquire. We can also provide guidance to those whose loved ones have died and who are facing the possibility of Medicaid taking inherited assets. Give us a call today to find out all of the ways our firm can help you with Medicaid issues.
Can Medicaid Take Your Inheritance?
If your loved one has passed away after having received Medicaid late in life, or after having received Medicaid to cover the costs of nursing home care or long-term care at home, there is a risk that an inheritance could be taken. The problem is that Medicaid estate recovery rules allow for the state to try to recoup money spent on certain Medicaid services by making a claim against the estate of the decedent.
When Medicaid makes a claim under estate recovery rules, Medicaid will act like a creditor on the estate. If there are assets owned by the estate, including a primary home, it is possible that those assets will be used to satisfy creditor claims — including claims made by Medicaid. This means that even if the deceased has specified in a last will and testament that a loved one is to inherit money or property, Medicaid could make a claim on the estate and could potentially take that property instead of it becoming part of a family member’s inheritance.
There are some exceptions, or circumstances in which Medicaid cannot take property that is part of an estate even if it is making a claim under Medicaid estate recovery rules. These exceptions generally exist for circumstances where taking the assets would be considered a hardship. For example, a primary family home typically couldn’t be taken as part of Medicaid estate recovery if a surviving spouse was living in it, or if a disabled child was living in it.
There are also other specific circumstances where property might also be protected as well. However, in general, most assets left by a deceased person who took advantage of Medicaid late in life or who used Medicaid to cover nursing home care or long-term care can be lost due to estate recovery. This is why it is so important to make an asset protection plan in case you need to use Medicaid to pay for your care as you get older.
Getting Help from a Medicaid Planning Lawyer
A Medicaid planning lawyer at Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC can help you to ensure that you have done everything possible so your assets will not be lost due to the Medicaid estate recovery process. You want to make sure that the answer to the question, can Medicaid take your inheritance, is an unequivocal “no.” That means working with our firm during the course of your life, and ideally long before you need Medicaid, to ensure that your assets are safe and protected.
If your loved one has already passed on and the state is attempting to take money or property through the Medicaid estate recovery process, Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC can also provide you with insight into whether you can avoid losing assets by proving hardship or otherwise demonstrating that the property should not be taken. To find out more about how our firm can help you, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online today.