The Complete Beginners Guide to Medical Assistance and Probate in Minnesota

by Flanders Law Firm LLC on October 9, 2014

Medical Assistance and Probate MinnesotaThe title of this post may be a little misleading.  I apologize.  This article highlights some very basic things about medical assistance as it relates to probate in Minnesota.  The law firm plans on making a series of posts about this medical assistance in Minnesota.  Covering the entire subject in one article would be very difficult (as well as boring).  The subject is complicated and something I get many questions about.

Medical assistance in probate in Minnesota

Many people who meet with me have questions about wills, trusts, estate planning, and how medical assistance in the state of Minnesota may impact their loved one’s estate when they die.

Medical assistance is a government run program whereby state of Minnesota, on a county by county basis, will reimburse medical providers for medical care.  The medical care is usually provided prior to a person’s death. Often times, people may have insurance that they believe will cover medical care expenses; however, the insurance either runs out or is not adequate for paying for the often times extraordinarily high medical bills at any given hospital, care center, rehabilitation center, or other medical facility.

The probate administration and exemptions

A typical line of discussion in any Minnesota probate meeting at my law firm begins with exemptions which may be taken in any estate administration. Basically, there are certain exempt estate assets which cannot be collected against by creditors of the estate.  In Minnesota, the exempt assets include:

(1) the homestead of the decedent (where the deceased person lived)

(2) $10,000 in personal property,

(3) the deceased person’s automobile.

(4)  life insurance proceeds to a named beneficiary.

Again, life insurance benefits will also likely be exempt from medical assistant claims.  In the vast majority of cases, the above exemptions cannot be collected against by creditors of the estate.

However, other than life insurance proceeds, medical assistance benefits apply to a deceased person, have no exemptions and they will be collectible against a person’s estate.

Let me repeat that. Although other creditors, including credit card bills, utilities, cable, gas, electricity, and people who the decedent owed money to, will have their claims denied against the homestead and the other exemptions, medical assistance will be able to collect against homestead and personal property.  Obviously, this is a very big deal as medical assistance claims can eat-up the entire estate.  This is why proper estate planning, Wills & Trusts, is very important.

How to work with medical assistance and probate estate in Minnesota

The personal representative and the probate attorney will be obligated to speak with the county representatives who are in charge with collection enforcement of medical assistance in Minnesota. When the proper notice is sent into the state and the county, the government will search its records and make a determination as to whether any medical assistance benefits are owed by the estate to the government.

The counties will often go through their records supplied by medical provider providers and they may send out a record of expenses paid. A qualified probate lawyer and the personal representative should make sure that they go through these documents in detail and understand very clearly whether they agree with the county or state governments calculations.  As stated above, this can be extremely important as the assets of the estate can be completely dimished by medical assistance.

For more information on medical assistance in Minnesota and how it affects probate and trust administration, contact the Flanders law firm at 612-424-0398 for your free initial consultation.  The serves the Minnesota general public and as Dakota County, MN probate lawyers.

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Mary April 21, 2016 at 2:49 am

My daughter has a premature baby in the nic u she went to get medical assistance and worker wanted her to sign a release for child protection services the worker said they do that because baby is premature and she couldn’t get ma unless she signed paper we live in blue earth co

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