If your mother’s care is being paid for by Medicaid, then the answer is “yes”, the State may request reimbursement against your mother’s home after she dies.

This is because of a law known as “Estate Recovery”.  Estate Recovery means that the State may seek reimbursement from your mother’s estate for the money the State paid for your mother’s nursing home care.  Estate Recovery usually means a claim against the home of the Medicaid beneficiary (in this case your mother).  Although the policy became effective in 2011, the State is applying it to Medicaid recipients over age 55 who received Medicaid benefits after September 30, 2007.

What you need to understand is that there are legal ways to protect your mother’s home from Estate Recovery.  The exact way to do this is too complicated for this short column, but if you call my office for a free consultation I can talk to you about the details.

If Medicaid is not paying for your mother’s care (that is, if your mother is paying “out-of-pocket” for her nursing home care), the State has no claim against her home.  But if this is the case, you should know that there are ways to protect some of your mother’s life savings from the nursing home and you should call me to discuss those issues.


Glenn Matecun is a partner with the law firm of Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC in Howell.  He is an attorney focusing on estate planning, elder law and senior Veterans’ benefits, and answers readers’ questions on legal matters affecting individuals, their families and their businesses.  Listen to Glenn on Senior Law Radio, WMUZ 103.5 FM, every Saturday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Email questions to [email protected], or if your question is urgent, call (517) 548-7400.  Visit us at www.MichiganEstatePlans.com.  The information in this column is not intended as legal advice.

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