Can Long-Term Care Medicaid Take Everything?
Most of the time the answer to this question is no. There are asset eligibility requirements to qualify for Medicaid benefits to ensure that there is not much of an estate to be subject to recovery. An experienced elder law attorney should be able to advise you on how to avoid or mitigate estate recovery.
So, What's Medicaid Estate Recovery Then?
When a nursing home resident (over the age of 55) who received Medicaid benefits dies, the Commonwealth of Kentucky is required to recover the money that has been paid for that person's care, through a program called Estate Recovery. The money is recovered only from the estate of the deceased. However, most Medicaid recipients do not have much of an estate, because they had to qualify for Medicaid benefits in the first place.
If you have legal concerns pertaining to the Medicaid estate recovery process, Darpel Elder Law can help. The elder law attorneys at Darpel Elder Law routinely assist families through the estate recovery process. Our main goal is to ensure that families retain as much of the assets as legally possible.
What Do I Need to Know about Estate Recovery?
When it comes to Estate Recovery, we often tell our clients that if there is nothing to recover, then there is no estate recovery to worry about. Someone who has been on Medicaid had to qualify for benefits at some point. Therefore, most Medicaid recipients don't have much money in their names anyway.
In Kentucky, there are certain exceptions to Medicaid estate recovery. For example, there is no estate recovery if there is a surviving spouse or a totally disabled adult child, or if the estate is below $10,000. However, the definition of estate is much broader than the probate definition and includes property held jointly with another person, assets in a revocable trust (this can be tricky and depends on the trust language), life estates and many other assets owned at the moment before death. As such, it is crucial to engage in Medicaid planning for the surviving spouse of a Medicaid recipient.
Contact Us for Estate Recovery Help
Should you and your family need help with estate recovery matters in Kentucky, don't hesitate to contact Darpel Elder Law today.