If my mother was on medicad and in a nursing home and dies if there are assets does medicaid claim them

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If my mother was on medicad and in a nursing home and dies if there are assets does medicaid claim them

My mother just died she was in a nursing home she was 70 yrs old medicaid was
paying for her living there. She owns a house that is worth about 125000 dollars
and a equitiy loan with a balance of approx 60 thousand dollars, my single sister
is presently living in the house and was paying the loan monthly, she had no
will. There is no money to pay for the funeral except any equity in the house,
What are my options to pay for her funeral and must my sister give up the house
to medicaid or can she live there and still pay the loan. Will the state place a
lein on the house for repayment to medicaid and when and if my sister leaves to
live somewhere else is that when the state will take the home?

Asked on July 4, 2019 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Whether the state *will* go after the house, we cannot say, but it has the right to do so: when someone has their medical care or nursing home paid for by Medicaid, Medicaid has the right to recover the money it paid out from that person's assets--or if they passed away, from their estate's assets, including a house. Medicaid could put a lien on and force the sale of the home to recover its money (subject to any pre-existing mortgage being paid first, then Medicaid getting the balance). 
Has anyone been appointed personal representative of the estate? If so, that person could use their authority to try to borrow the funeral costs against the equity in the house, but should be done before Medicaid goes after it.

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