What you are referring to is called “estate recovery”. Under Medicaid law, following the death of the Medicaid recipient, the State must attempt to recover money paid for the Medicaid recipient’s (in this case your mother’s) care. So, the short answer is “yes”, under the estate recovery rules the State does have the right to recover from your mother’s estate whatever the State has paid for her care under the Medicaid program.
But that’s not the whole story. There is a special type of deed that you may have heard of called a “Lady Bird Deed” that avoids the State estate recovery. If your mother had a Lady Bird Deed, then the State can’t recover against the home. There are also several other exceptions which may allow you to keep her home.
You should call me and we can analyze the situation for you so you can make the best decision about how to respond to the State. With respect to others out there who have a loved one in the nursing home and that loved one owns real estate, you need to make sure that the home is protected. Call us, we can help.
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.