I live in Missouri. I had to quit my job. We moved in with my father 4 years ago to care for him. He had Alzheimer's. He passed away after being put in a nursing home a year ago. I received a letter from the state saying that they want $54,000 from his estate for expenses in nursing home. He was on Medicaid. We still live in his house. We can't afford to move out because of lost wages due to caring for him for 3 years. Can the state of Missouri kick us out of the house and sell it?

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Here in my state there are 3 exemptions from Medcaid taking the house.

1) If the child of the parent is on SSD.
2) IF child of the parent has been a caregiver or/and living in the home for 2 yrs. To prove this you can use mail that comes to the home or car registrations.
3) If the child of the parent has equity in the house. To prove this is by having proof of paying bills and proof of making repairs.

I would cantact a lawyer on see if there are any exemptions that could help you and find out what that bill is about. If you can't afford a lawyer try to find Legal Aid in your city to help.

I wish you the best of luck. I hope you don't lose your house.
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Reply to Shell38314

Glenstone, I wonder if you paying that 3rd property tax payment triggered something. In some states, if you pay 5 consecutive property tax payments on a property, you become the owner of that property.

In your case, I would look into the child caregiver exemption. It's federal so it shouldn't matter what state you are in. If you cared for a parent who would otherwise have been on medicaid for 2 years, medicaid exempts the house from recovery.
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Reply to needtowashhair

Are you or your attorney aware that there are exemptions and exclusions to Estate Recovery as well cost benefit requirements for recovery action for to go forward?

The letter - I’m assuming it’s a NOI/Notice of Intent - is from the state? OR is it from outside contractor hired for recovery?
Within NOI is there a questionnaire as to what your dad Estate is?
Its like multi page asking on bank accounts balances as of DoD, real property info, value & beneficiary of insurance policies, etc. The questionnaire, in theory, will set tight timeframe in which it needs to be filled out and submitted as it’s used to determined IF a recovery action is to go forward. My experience is that if NO response is sent back then MERP assumes all is correct and heirs accept that there’s debt due. It’s not your debt but a debt against his estate that has that house as an asset of his estate.

Just how to best deal with all this - Like all taxes paid as a debt against his estate or as an exclusion to the Medicaid tally; or your filing your caregiver exemption; whether Medicaid can place a lien on property vs after death claim - depends very much on how Medicaid runs in your state and your states property & probate laws. Its a question for an estate or probate atty to let you know.

Now some states have it so that all reasonable property expenses paid on the in a NH elders home - like property taxes, property insurance, required repairs - are exemptions and deductible from the Medicaid tally. Texas has this and it’s in The state’s administrative code. The state contractor for MERP tends to gloss over that being a fact. But it is. Each state is different and that why you need an atty who is knowledgeable on Estate Recovery.

Some states have it such that property assessed under a certain value are not subject to MERP. Like MS is 75k. Others have it at 100k. But You as a heir have to file for the exemption.

Personally my take on merp is that you submit the forms and let them know you are filing for whatever exemptions or exclusions that are allowed. I’m not an atty; a lot of atty posts suggest you ignore the mailings. If you can clear this by getting caregiver exemption and can get the documents to do it, to me you do. And everything done is in writing only &done certified mail to MERP. If recovery ignores your position or don’t seem to be willing to accept the exemptions, then assuming you have a valid will and your named Executor you open probate. Then everything shifts into probate rules and law. As Executor there will be costs and you have to document these and file appropriately to the PC docket for the Estate. If this is a lower value property, between the costs to administer the estate, legal fees, funeral costs, taxes, property insurance, etc. paid, it may well be that the value of the estate sale against its unsecured debts is low or very little.

How his will reads is very important in all this. What’s nice abt probate is once it’s open & your named Executor you have a pretty established straightforward field in dealing with his estate and any debtors who place claims against the Estate and you can take your time to deal with the whatever’s of his estate. Assuming you have a probate atty who is competent in how Medicaid’s MERP runs.
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Reply to igloo572
Glenstone Nov 8, 2018
The letter is from the attorney general of Missouri and states Missouri's claim against the estate of my Dad. It says he was a recipient of medicaid and under the revised statutes of 473.398 any assistance paid by the department of social services is a debt due the state of missouri from the recipients estate after the person dies.
It says a copy of the payment record will be provided if I wish ( which I do want a copy). There is no estate pending in any probate court that they see and there might be assets belonging to my dad,like real estate (which is all he had) (about $95,000.00 home) a beneficiary deed who recieves property shall be liable to pay creditors claims.
This office is investigating assets and debts belonging to Dad.
Basked on what this office learns, the state may request the probate court to open an estate on behalf of my dad
The state has one year to open a probate estate. Please let them know if I or anyone else wants to open an estate on behalf of dad.
Ccontact them if there are any facts they should know about the property, expenses incurred by me or anyone for the upkeep, and repair of property or other claims against the estate like funeral, and they will review info. And determine how to best pursue collection.
They are prohibited in recovering benefits from estate if recipient died leaving a surviving spouse (no)..blah...blah...blah...or totally disabled (no)...for info check out the financial services division page of the attorney general's office at
Feel free if I have any questions to contact me regarding this letter.
Signed, Josh general............
(....who has a new job as our senator now)

When I did call and ask the lady that they transferred me to a few questions, she acted completely clueless and almost ignorant about anything I was talking about.
Thank you, I will.
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Reply to Glenstone

I would first contact Medicaid and tell, them the circumstances especially since you were the caregiver. Once you find out what they will or won't do, then get a lawyer.

You may luck out that they will allow you to live there as long as you pay taxes, utilities and upkeep. If u ever sell, then the 54k will need to be satisfied.
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Reply to JoAnn29
Glenstone Nov 8, 2018
I had consulted an elder care lawyer after the second year of us taking care of my father and he started getting above my level of being able to take care of him and they told me that we would be able to stay here because we were the caregivers.i recently payed for 3 years worth of real estate taxes that my dad didn't pay for in order to keep the house from being sold for the nonpayment of those taxes. Shortly after I paid those taxes is when the letter came saying they were investigating the estate of my father and to see if they could find any assets to make up for the 54 grand they wanted for nursing home care. My Dad worked every day of his life and I'm sure he paid plenty of Social Security money and I think it is ridiculous for them to think he owes them anything else. If the nursing home gets 54 grand a year to take care of him, and I took care of him for 3 years and took care of this house layed taxes, mowed, did all the upkeep, and put my career on hold all that time. Then where is my money from Medicaid for saving them the cost of taking care of him and the money I lost for not being able to work during that time. They will get this house over my dead body!
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Each state is different, and you need an elder lawyer or at least one that knows state law and Medicaid.  My condolences.
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Reply to GrannieAnnie

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