In re Estate of Smith
Tennessee Court of Appeals
2006 WL 3114250 (2006)
Mary Smith received Medicaid nursing-home-care benefits through the Tennessee Bureau of TennCare (the state) (plaintiff). Mary was over the age of 55 and married to James Smith when she received her Medicaid benefits. James never received Medicaid benefits. After Mary qualified for Medicaid in 2002, she transferred her interest in all joint assets to James in accordance with Medicaid requirements. Mary died in 2003, and it was undisputed that Mary died without assets. James died shortly after Mary. After James’s death, the state filed a claim to recover Mary’s nursing-home costs from James’s estate, arguing that the formerly joint assets in James’s estate were subject to Medicaid estate recovery. The personal representatives of James’s estate (defendant) challenged, arguing that the state could not recover nursing-home-care costs from a surviving spouse’s estate. The probate court allowed the state to recover Mary’s nursing-home costs from James’s estate. The estate appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cottrell, J.)
Concurrence (Koch, C.J.)
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