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ACTION NEEDED – EXPANDED ESTATE
RECOVERY (LIENS) BILL

Dear Friends,

We urge you to take action on this matter.

We are trying to prevent a potential problem and ask for your support in opposing the inclusion of Outside Section 11 of Governor Baker’s FY 2017 budget in the House or Senate budget. Currently, if a senior is receiving MassHealth Standard, at their death, MassHealth’s Estate Recovery Unit seeks reimbursement for the cost of care they have paid for on the senior’s behalf from assets that pass through the senior’s probate estate. Assets that pass through the probate estate include any asset owned individually at death (i.e. no joint owner, no beneficiary designation). Outside Section 11 of Governor Baker’s FY 2017 budget seeks to expand the authority of the Office of Medicaid to recover the cost of a member’s medical care from ALL property in which the deceased member had an ownership interest immediately prior to death.

Family homes held in a joint ownership or life estate arrangement passing by survivorship will be at risk. Most married couples own their home in joint names and under the proposal, the State will be able to file a claim against the home of a surviving spouse, making it impossible for the spouse to sell or mortgage the property without addressing the claim. Such claims will have a devastating effect on spouses of nursing home residents who are usually women of modest means whose ability to pay for their own care and support will be threatened.

In addition, these provisions will impact property owners who signed deeds long ago who based their ownership arrangements on one set of laws, only to have new laws potentially reduce their property interest on the death of a co-owner.

How can you help? You can help by signing and sending this sample letter on your behalf, or on the behalf of a loved one who you feel may benefit from the passing of this bill, directly to your senator and representative, to Karen E. Spilka, Senate Ways and Means Chair, State House Room 212, Boston, MA 02133, and to Brian S. Dempsey, House Ways and Means Chair, State House Room 243, Boston, MA 02133. Your letters must be sent out by April 7, 2016 as the House Ways and Means Committee is currently drafting its budget to be released on approximately April 13th and in mid-May, the Senate Ways and Means Committee will release its budget. Not sure how to contact your legislator? Click here to find your senator and representative.

Thank you for helping!

Very Truly Yours,

Surprenant & Beneski, P.C.

 

Helping You Protect Yourself And Those You Love By Creating An
Estate Plan Based On Current Elder Law.

 

We know how important it is to develop and implement an Estate Plan that takes care of you and your loved ones at all stages of your life. Whether it is protecting assets for Special Needs Beneficiaries, or creating a plan to minimize long term care expenses or estate tax, we’re passionate about our work.

 

Watch The Video On The Right For An Introductory
Message From Daniel M. Surprenant, Esq., CELA

 

We are a family owned and family oriented law firm that strives every day and in every way to be the very best team of estate planning professionals, dedicated to providing peace of mind to our clients.

 

We are committed to building and maintaining a lifetime relationship with each and every client based upon dignity, respect, integrity, compassion and exceptional service. Through this and more, we will positively enrich the lives of countless individuals and their loved ones in our community.

 

We hold ourselves to the highest standards and we will strive to go above and beyond for our clients because we are so grateful for the trust they place in us.

 

Our team helps you make the best legal decisions for you and the people you love. We make planning easy, understandable and comfortable. We believe the practice of law is not about papers; It’s about people and relationships.

 

We also believe that an estate plan should include more than just passing financial wealth to the next generation. It should represent whole family wealth, a legacy of financial, spiritual, human and intellectual values. So, whether we’re developing a foundational estate plan, special needs plan, medicaid plan, or estate tax plan, our focus is always on you, your personal and financial needs, and your goals.