Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New York's Expanded Estate Recovery Rules to be Repealed

Yesterday it was announced that Governor Cuomo and the New York Legislature had reached a deal on the 2012 New York State Budget.  Included in the new budget is a repeal of the expanded estate recovery rules that were enacted in last year's budget in an attempt to "recover" assets from the estates of Medicaid recipients.  As I explained in a previous post describing the estate recovery rules, the expanded estate recovery rules, among other things, would have unfairly penalized those thousands of New Yorkers who had years ago transferred title to their homes to their children while retaining a life estate in the home.

Prior to last year's enactment of the expanded estate recovery rules, a home transferred with a retained life estate would have been deemed an asset exempt from Medicaid recovery, so long as the Medicaid "look back period" (currently five years from the date of transfer) had elapsed.  Under the expanded estate recovery rules, the parent's life estate interest in the home was deemed an "asset" subject to recovery should the parent receive Medicaid benefits, even if the life estate transfer had been made years or even decades prior to the parent receiving Medicaid!  

The expanded estate recovery rules would have also played havoc with IRA's and similar retirement accounts, and would surely have led to expensive and protracted litigation.

Stay tuned, however, as New York will be looking for other means to raise revenue that will almost surely affect the elderly, the disabled and the poor.

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