Medi-CAL Specialist Attorney
Prevent Medi-CAL Recovery!
Prevent Medi-CAL Recovery by Transferring Assets
OUT of Your Probate Estate!
“Failing to plan is planning to FAIL.” - Ben Franklin
The Medi-CAL Estate Recovery Rules in California are changing as of January 1, 2017. Here are the basics about preventing recovery, but it is important to discuss options with an experienced elder law attorney! Do not rely on any other professional or other type of attorney as you may not get the correct information! This is effective January 1, 2017.
We are happy to help your family get prepared in case you may need long term care in a nursing home and want to reduce private paying for this care and also preventing Medi-CAL from recovery! You have paid taxes for many years supporting Medi-Cal and other government program and we help you legally get some of that back when Medi-CAL is needed.
For a free phone or office consultation call (818) 241-4238
Estate Recovery Exemptions
Surviving Spouse/Registered Domestic Partner
If the Medi-Cal recipient is survived by a spouse or a registered domestic partner, a recovery claim is prohibited and forever barred. However, if the surviving spouse or registered domestic partner also received Medi-Cal services subject to recovery, his/her estate can be subject to an estate claim after his/her death.
Surviving Minor/Disabled Children
If the Medi-Cal recipient is survived by a minor child (under age 21) or a disabled child of any age (adult disabled child), the state cannot recover, and a claim is forever barred. The child does not need to be living with the Medi-Cal recipient, or be an heir to the estate. The disability needs to be proven!
Estate Recovery Limited to Probate Estate
The state can make a claim against the Medi-Cal recipient’s estate for the amount of the Medi-Cal benefits paid or the value of the estate, whichever is less. For those who die on or after January 1, 2017, recovery is limited to those estates that are subject to probate under California law. For example, assets transferred via living trusts, joint tenancies, survivorship and life estates will no longer be subject to recovery. A will, however, depending on the value of the estate, is usually subject to probate in California. It is best to talk to an elder law attorney about this to endure your assets are not recoverable.
Why Put Assets into an Irrevocable Trust?
If you are planning your estate to legally qualify for Medi-CAL, there is currently a 30 month look back on cash and a 5 year look back on real estate (for any property other than the residence). In California currently our LA LAW elder attorney and Medi-CAL experts can guide you through legally moving assets (money, stocks, real estate) in strategic amounts into an irrevocable trust and you can qualify for Medi-CAL as soon as transfers are completed with penalty factors reduced. Any assets in the Irrevocable Trust are not subject to probate…therefore not recoverable too.
In most cases we put the residence in the trust in case there is a need to sell the house to pay for care, before skilled nursing is required.
NOTE!: The Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Unit will occasionally sent out questionnaires to families implying that they are under a legal obligation to complete and return them. There is no legal obligation to return this form to Medi-CAL.
Legally, the only obligation the family of a Medi-Cal beneficiary has is to send a notice of death and a copy of the death certificate and a copy of the checking account for the day of death when a deceased Medi-Cal beneficiary or the spouse of a deceased beneficiary dies. If you are an LA LAW client we can communicate with Medi-Cal Estate Recovery so you do not have to deal with this after the death of a loved one that was a Medi-CAL recipient.
The best way to avoid an estate claim is to leave nothing in the individual name of Medi-CAL recipient.
These laws and rules are tricky! Call us for a free phone or office consultation! (818) 241-4238
Take advantage of a free phone consultation or appointment for a free 30 minute consultation to review your individual situation and determine if you would benefit from our experience and legal services.
Call us at: (818) 241-4238