The Listen to Lawrence Letter: What happens when a Medicaid recipient passes away?

June 30, 2023
June 27, 2023 • Volume 4 Issue 150
The last bite at the apple…


Dear Lawrence,

Thank you for providing this information which is most helpful. Our parents were beneficiaries of your service.

My question is my aunt was on Medicaid at a nursing home in Nassau

County and passed away in December of 2022 at 104. I was able to keep the permitted amount of some $15,750 and Covid stimulus funds issued to all taxpayers.

Should I hold these funds pending some review? Will there be a look back? I religiously paid monthly the amounts of her pensions to the nursing home and are all square with them. There are 17 beneficiaries in her will and I’d like to close out the estate. All funeral expenses have been paid.


When a Medicaid recipient dies, Medicaid is authorized to be reimbursed

from the decedent’s probate estate for all bills paid after the recipient turned 55. Since your aunt was over 55, her probate estate is obligated to pay back Medicaid. Look-backs are not relevant here. But notice I said the probate estate. If the assets left in your aunt’s name have designated beneficiaries or were held jointly with someone, then these assets will pass automatically to

the beneficiaries and joint owners, without probate.  In such, as in this case, Medicaid does not need to be notified and they have no claim.

On the other hand, if these accounts were in her name alone, without a beneficiary designation, then they are part of her estate and you must notify Medicaid of their right to reimbursement. This will be done as part of the probate of her will.

I hope this helps! Please forward this information to your friends and relatives to share these informative answers to some very commonly asked questions.


And, if anyone you know would like to receive this

Listen to Lawrence Letter, just have them email me at and I’ll add them to the list!


As always, please send me your questions. If you are thinking about it, others are probably too, so my answers will no doubt help you and many others.

Let’s stay connected.

Stay safe!