How much time does Masshealth have to make such a claim? Is there a time limit? Also, it is my understanding that they can only take whatever the decedent owned at the time of death. I assume then, any insurance proceedings and lawsuits proceedings post death are not available to Masshealth right?
ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS:
The normal creditor period in Massachusetts is a year from the date of death. However, MassHealth’s claim is one year or 4 months after notice of the probate is sent to MassHealth. Simply speaking, delaying the probate filing will not get out of the claim.
MassHealth only recovers against the probate estate. As long as an insurance policy had a beneficiary named, it will avoid probate. A lawsuit for wrongful death will be initiated by the estate of the decedent and therefore the proceeds will go through probate.
I strongly suggest you hire a probate attorney if there is litigation involved. There are several issues which arise when litigation starts if the probate is not done correctly from the beginning.
Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.
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