Decatur, GA asked in Elder Law and Probate for Georgia

Q: Mother passed with will while in nursing home paid for via Medicaid. I am only living child and only heir in will.

Her only asset is land in south Georgia worth approximately $65,000 which I would like to keep. Will I be required to sell land to satisfy Medicaid Estate Recovery? If so, can I buy the land or negotiate with Medicaid to pay a portion of the total they paid out (she was in nursing home for over 5 years so the amount they paid in total is far beyond the worth of the property)? What is the best way to ultimately keep the land at the lowest cost to me? I read online that a new law was recently passed exempting the first $25,000 from estate recovery. Is that in place yet? Thanks.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
John W. Chambers Jr
John W. Chambers Jr
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Here is a link to a brochure available from the Georgia Department of Community Health: The brochure states: "The total gross value of the estate must be valued over $25,000 for estate recovery to apply. An estate includes all real and personal property (homes, land, vehicles, cash, bank accounts) held individually or jointly. All assets of a deceased Medicaid member are subject to recovery including property held with a life estate interest. The value of the life estate is calculated by using the Life/Remainder Interest table published by the IRS for the month of the decedent’s death." I believe this is the $25,000 amount to which you referred. If the land is worth $65,000, the total gross value of the estate would be valued over $25,000. Note that the brochure states:

"The Medicaid program will waive or delay recovery if an undue hardship exists. The two conditions for an undue hardship are:

• The asset to be recovered is an income-producing farm

and the sole income of one or more of the heirs, and the

annual gross income is limited to $25,000 or less;

• Recovery of assets would result in the applicant

becoming eligible for governmental assistance based on

need and/or medical assistance programs.

If the heir feels he/she could be considered for an undue hardship waiver, a request may be made within 30 days of

receiving Medicaid’s notice against the estate, or upon the sale, transfer, or conveyance of the real property subject to a TEFRA lien. The Estate Recovery Unit will provide detailed instructions in the Medicaid notice on how to file for an undue hardship waiver."

I do not specialize in Medicaid law and this response is not intended to provide you legal advice. I strongly urge you to consult with a Georgia attorney who specializes in Medicaid law.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.