Fratello Law

Protecting Against Medicaid Estate Recovery in New York

Long Island Medicaid Attorneys

Medicaid estate recovery is a process that many of our Long Island clients may not be familiar with until faced with the challenging task of navigating it. Medicaid’s estate recovery program is designed to allow New York State to recoup the costs of long-term care services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries after their passing. In this blog post, we’ll explore what Medicaid estate recovery entails in New York and discuss strategies to avoid or minimize its impact.

Understanding Medicaid Estate Recovery in New York:
Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides health coverage to individuals with low income, including the cost of long-term care services for the elderly and disabled. Estate recovery comes into play when Medicaid recipients receive certain benefits, such as nursing home care or home and community-based services.

Upon the Medicaid recipient’s death, the state seeks to recover the costs expended on their behalf from the estate of the decedent. This typically involves placing a claim on the individual’s estate in Surrogate’s Court, which includes estate assets like real estate, bank accounts, and other valuables. Understanding the intricacies of Medicaid estate recovery is crucial for individuals and their families in New York State to protect their assets and plan accordingly.

Strategies to Avoid Medicaid Estate Recovery in New York:

    1. Consult with a New York Elder Law Attorney: Seeking guidance from an experienced New York State elder law attorney is paramount when aiming to navigate the complexities of Medicaid estate recovery. An attorney can help assess your unique situation and devise a plan to protect assets within the bounds of the law
    2. Asset Protection Strategies: Implementing legal asset protection strategies can help shield assets from Medicaid recovery in New York State. These strategies may include setting up certain types of trusts, transferring assets well in advance of the need for long-term care, and understanding the look-back period during which asset transfers are scrutinized.
    3. Exempt Assets: Certain assets are exempt from Medicaid estate recovery. Understanding which assets fall into this category is crucial. Identifying and maximizing the use of these exemptions can be a key aspect of estate planning.
    4. Trust Planning: Special Medicaid asset protection trusts allow individuals to transfer the ownership of their home while retaining the right to live in or use it until their passing. Trust planning can be effective in preserving your New York State home and other assets for heirs while minimizing the impact of estate recovery.
    5. Plan Ahead: Planning for the possibility of needing long-term care well in advance is one of the most effective strategies. Waiting until care is needed will limit the options available to protect your assets. Long-term care insurance and other financial planning tools can be valuable in this regard.


      Navigating Medicaid estate recovery in New York State requires careful consideration and strategic planning. Consulting with an experienced New York elder law attorney, understanding the applicable laws, and implementing effective asset protection strategies are essential steps in safeguarding assets for future generations. By taking a proactive approach, individuals and families can better position themselves to manage the complexities of Medicaid estate recovery and ensure that their hard-earned assets are preserved for their loved ones.

      The elder law lawyers at Fratello Law’s New York law offices have years of experience protecting client’s homes and assets from Medicaid estate recovery. There is no cost for a consultation with one of our attorneys. We are available to meet with you in one of our Long Island offices, by telephone or Zoom. We look forward to learning how we can help you.