Sunday, May 17, 2015

Failure To Timely Record Medicaid Assistance Lien Leaves State Social Service Agency Holding The Bag; Filing Lien After Aid Recipient's Death Fails To Attach To Latter's Real Property Interest Since Title Passed To Kids Immediately Upon Demise

From an Opinion Summary from Justia US Law:
  • The Department of Social Services (DSS) provided Medicaid benefits to Darlene Hollman while she was in a nursing home. Hollman had an interest in real estate at the time, but DSS did not record a lien on the property for the benefits it had provided until after Hollman died. Hollman’s children challenged the validity of the lien.

    The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of DSS, concluding that an enforceable medical assistance lien was created on the property at the time the nursing home assistance was provided and that Hollman’s interest in the property transferred at death to the children subject to the lien.

    The Supreme Court reversed, holding:

    (1) DSS’s medical assistance lien did not attach to Hollman’s interest in the property before her death, and Hollman’s interest passed to her children immediately upon her death;

    (2) because the lien had not been recorded at the time of Hollman’s death, Hollman had no interest upon which the lien could attach; and

    (3) therefore, Hollman’s interest passed to her children free of DSS’s lien.
For the Opinion Summary, see Hollman v. S.D. Dep’t of Soc. Servs.

For the South Dakota Supreme Court's ruling, see Hollman v. South Dakota Dept. of Social Services, 2015 S.D. 21 (April 15, 2015).