Ohio Estate Recovery Claims

Aler Stallings

You’ve no doubt heard of someone losing their house or farm because of a nursing home stay. When an individual receives helps through Ohio Medicaid, that program pays for their care.

You’ve no doubt heard of someone losing their house or farm because of a nursing home stay.  When an individual receives help through Ohio Medicaid, that program pays for their care.  When the individual dies, Ohio attempts to make a recovery claim against the person’s estate to recoup some or all of the costs of the person’s care.  When no planning was done, the person’s assets often go back to Ohio, instead of their loved ones.

Will My Estate Be Subject to an Estate Recovery Claim?

In Ohio, anyone over 55 who permanently lived in a nursing home is subject to an estate recovery claim. The good news is that in the case of a married couple, recovery claims cannot be made until your spouse dies. However, upon the death of the surviving spouse, Ohio will recover Medicaid costs. Initially, recovery was limited to the probate estate.  But in 2005, Ohio adopted an expanded definition of the estate, and now includes the broadest scope of recovery permitted under federal law.  Today, assets subject to an estate recovery claim include any assets owned in joint tenancy, subject to a life estate, and even assets owned by a revocable living trust.

You can still protect assets from such claims, but doing so requires planning with an experienced elder care attorney like those at AlerStallings.

Does a Will Protect My Estate?

A will does not protect your heirs from Medicaid Estate Recovery. As explained, your estate is subject to a recovery claim, regardless of whether probate is required.  Even creating a living trust, which is designed to minimize taxes and avoid probate, does not make your estate exempt from an estate recovery claim.  However, there are options for protecting your assets. AlerStallings can assist you with Medicaid planning in order to protect your loved ones from an estate recovery claim.

What Happens if I Give Assets to My Family Before Filing for Medicaid?

Giving assets away before filing for Medicaid is a bad idea.  Doing so creates are significant penalties for gifts made within five years from the date of Medicaid application. The value of these gifts will be used to determine a period of time in which you will not be eligible to receive Medicaid services.

People often consider giving away assets to protect them for a spouse or loved ones.  But before making such gifts or transfers, you should consult an elder care law attorney at AlerStallings.