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Mar 10, 2009

Maine Care Recovery Strategy

Category: Nursing

The state has adopted an aggressive strategy to recover payments to individuals in nursing homes under the MaineCare program. When one spouse dies, the other spouse has the right to elect to receive a share of the deceased spouse’s estate. If the deceased spouse is in a nursing home, the spouse living at home will often be counseled not to leave assets to the nursing home resident (or to leave them in trust to protect them). The State of Maine has argued in court that the spouse in the nursing home must elect against the will of the deceased spouse who was living at home, thus enabling the State to recover MaineCare payments from the elective share. One probate court judge in Maine has refused to order the surviving spouse to make such an election, however, on the basis that the election if made will not benefit the surviving spouse, which is the purpose of the election under the law.

For more information or if you have questions contact our Trusts and Estates Group.

Bryan M. Dench
Jill A. Checkoway