Expanded Definitions Of “Estate” For Medicaid Recovery Repealed In New York

Dear Clients, Friends and Colleagues:

Good news for all New York residents who face long term care needs, and may need to seek medicaid.

We were notified today by the New York State Bar Association that on March 27, 2012, the New York State Legislature voted to repeal the regulations utilizing an expanded definition of “estate” for Medicaid recovery purposes.

Because of this repeal, the prior definition of estate recovery, which limited estate recovery to only those assets included within the individual’s estate and passing under the terms of a valid will or by intestacy, is now back in effect.

Also, the proposed elimination of spousal refusal has been rejected.

This is a major triumph for all New Yorkers. The repeal takes away much of the uncertainty faced by those who may need to seek medicaid, and especially for those who previously transferred life estate deeds as a medicaid planning technique.

As a member of the Trusts and Estates and Elder Law Sections of the New York State Bar Association, I wish to acknowledge the diligent efforts of my fellow members, many of whom were instrumental in the strong effort that resulted in this repeal.