Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Good evening. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.
No, the beneficiaries of life insurance are not legally required to turn over the policy benefits. They are not assets of the estate and only the assets of the medicaid beneficiary's estate are subject to attachment for reimbursement.
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No, adding anyone to title would still trigger the 5 yr lookback.
The look back period only affects eligibility, not reimbursement. If the property is transferred after the lien is placed then it remains subject to the lien.
If assets are transferred for less than market value during the look back then it will be added back and the commencement of medicaid will be delayed. If medicaid had already started then it could trigger an interruption.
If the property is in joint tenancy then the state may seek to recover the value of the retained interest, but the surviving joint tenant is still in title. They may need to refinance after the death of the medicaid beneifciary.
Additionally, if there is a surviving spouse, medicaid will not take recovery action while the surviving spouse is living in the home.
You may want to speak to an estate planner about the possibility of using a retained life estate to protect the asset.
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