“Estate Recovery” is the right of the State of California to seek reimbursement from any assets of the Decedent for funds the State paid in Medi-Cal benefits if it is in the name of the patient at the time of death. These claims can be quite large and will not be claimed until both spouses have passed away. So, if the first spouse is on Medi-CAL and the second spouse dies ( without using Medi-CAL) if there is any money in the surviving spouse’s name at the time of death, the State can and WILL recover… even if the assets were already distributed to the children after the death of the last spouse. It is critical to set up a trust and transfer the family house into the trust or it may be taken by the State!
So it is important to get all assets out of the name of persons and spouses that are using Medi-CAL for long-term care. This is complicated and you should seek help from an estate planner…not just any estate planner because many do not understand the legalities of how to protect from State recovery. WE ARE ALWAYS HAPPY TO HELP A FAMILY WITH QUESTIONS.
The Medi-Cal Asset Protection Trusts are designed to legally transfer assets that would otherwise disqualify a person from receiving benefits and use the State Medi-Cal rules so that the assets will not count or make the penalty from the transfer minimized or eliminated. An experienced Estate Planner can set this up and then guide the family with exact transfers to meet current laws and Medi-CAL rules.
Currently, the rules as set up by both the State of California and the Federal Government allow an individual to preserve assets to pass on to family and to avoid recovery. Proper and legal estate planning WILL ensure families with assets can have their estates protected from the State of California Recovery Unit.
We are passionate about helping families preserve their assets with the least amount of time and trouble. We offer free consultations to seniors and their adult children.