Minnesota Probate Law | Medical Assistance

Minnesota Probate Medical AssistanceOur office is asked my many people about Minnesota probates and Minnesota medical assistance issues.   This can be a very complicated subject and an attorney should be consulted if there is a problem with the estate or probate assets and medical assistance in Minnesota.

What are the possible issues associated with medical assistance in Minnesota and probates?

In essence, when people get older and need medical assistance, they’re often unable to afford it.

In Minnesota, the state has enacted laws to help citizens pay for their expensive health care when they age.   When someone faces the prospect of large medical bills they often turn to the state for help.   Let us be clear – there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. If medical assistance is needed and someone has to pay for it, medical assistance is a great great program. However, as people will be made aware when they apply for medical assistance with the state of Minnesota, the state will want reimbursement from a person’s estate when that person dies.

What does this mean for a person’s probate estate and medical assistance?

Essentially, the state of Minnesota, when medical assistance is paid to a person during their life, will have a claim for reimbursement and the total amount of medical assistance against that person’s estate.

There also many laws that protect the state of Minnesota as a creditor over all other creditors for recoupment of paid-out medical assistance. This means that the state, very similar to a tax obligation, has supreme authority as a creditor to collect what they have paid to a person for their health care and death.

In our law practice,  a person’s home is often discussed when talking about medical assistance reimbursement.  People may or may not be aware of this when they apply for Minnesota medical assistance.

Essentially, upon a person’s death, if they still owe money to the state of Minnesota for medical assistance, the state has a lien on a person’s home for recoupment of medical assistance. This will mean that if a person’s estate needs to be probated, that the medical assistance provider is a superior lien holder to the heirs of the estate.  This is a big deal.  In most other instances, heirs would receive a large interest in the equity of their deceased parent’s home.  If medical assistance was applied for, the state of Minnesota will have a superior right to that equity than the heirs.

What should I do if I have questions about medical assistance and Minnesota probates?

If you have questions about what is an exempt asset or what maybe owed to the state of Minnesota in terms of reimbursement of a deceased person’s estate, a Minnesota probate attorney should be contacted immediately.

There are certain exemptions that children and heirs maybe entitled to – outside medical assistance. For instance, life insurance benefits paid to the person directly after a loved one’s death, will not be something that will need to be paid back to the state of Minnesota for medical assistance reimbursement.

However, bank accounts and other assets like the home or equity at home will be subject to repayment for medical assistance – this is true even if such accounts were joint accounts. In the vast majority of cases I have worked on, people are unaware of their rights in terms of exemptions and what does or does not need to be paid for medical assistance reimbursement.

Medical assistance and its affect on Minnesota probates is a very complicated issue and a personal representative or executor of an estate will get different answers from the county or state of Minnesota.   Our office has experience fighting these issues and keeping money in this estate for the benefit of heirs a personal representatives when the law provides for it.  Isn’t that something that is worth talking to a lawyer about?

For more information or questions on medical assistance and probate to Minnesota, feel free to contact Joseph M Flanders and Flanders Law Firm LLC at 612-424-0398 for your free initial consultation.

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Contact the Flanders Law Firm today.  The firm offers free consultations to all potential clients.  Call (612) 424-0398.