How does one define their estate? On April 1, 2011 the New York State Legislature has answered the question. Subdivision 6 of section 369 of the Social Services Law of New York has been amended to define an individual’s estate as “all of an individual’s real and personal property and other assets passing under the terms of a valid will or intestacy.” The New York State Commissioner has also adopted regulations which expand ones estate to include any other property in which the individual has any retained life estates and interests in trusts, to the extent of such interests.
These changes directly affect the New York Medicaid recipient whose estate may be subject to a claim against it by the State of New York for the cost of medical assistance benefits provided during life. In light of these recent changes in legislation expanding estate recovery, it is now, more than ever, prudent for seniors to take the time to meet with an elder law attorney to review their estate plan.