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Medicaid Estate Recovery and Real Property

Hello - I am the successor trustee and executor for my mom, who passed away in December. She had been in a nursing facilty in Connecticut and receiving Medicaid. She owns a parcel of land in Massachusetts valued at $15,000(per tax bill) which I included as an asset on her Medicaid application. It was a joint tenancy, but her husband predeceased her. I am trying to figure out who owns this land now and what my responsibilites are regarding it.

My mother had a Revocable Living Family Trust and a Pour-Over Will with 3 beneficiaries. The land was not in the name of the Trust. Does it transfer to the Trust? Is it subject to Medicaid Recovery in Connecticut and is there a time frame in which Medicaid would notify me of their intent to recover?

I don't see a lien noted on the tax bill. Can Medicaid place a lien on this property after mom's death? She does not have assets that would require probate in Connecticut (only $300 in her Trust checking account). What are my responsibilities regarding this property? Is probate required? I don't want to create a hardship for the beneficiaries of paying probate and taxes if the property is owned by the state of CT Medicaid.
Your help is appreciated,

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Submitted Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:45

Thank you for your question and please accept my condolences on your mother's passing.

There are a number of moving parts here, and I think you will ultimately need a Massachusetts attorney to work together with your Connecticut estate planning/probate attorney in order to get this cleared up.

If your mother owned the real estate in Massachusetts in her own name, and she had a Will, then presumably the property will pass according to the terms of said Will. In your case, it appears as though the Will passes into a Family Trust. In order for the Will to "speak", however, it must be probated. There must be an active probate here in Massachusetts in order to dispose of Massachusetts real estate.

If you don't go through the formality of probate, you will not be able to sell the property or acquire clean title.

You are more than welcome to reach out to our office and I am happy to talk you through some of the issues. At lease for my part, I wouldn't be qualified to say whether any of your mother's property is subject to liens, and I would reach out to a CT practitioner on that point.

Best wishes.

Christopher Vaughn-Martel
Tel.: 617-357-4898

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