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Oral Argument in Massachusetts High Court Case (Nadeau v. Thorn)

NAELA filed an amicus curiae brief in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and joined the oral argument on January 5, in support of two Medicaid applicants asking the court to require “MassHealth,” the state’s Medicaid agency, to comply with federal law in its treatment of trusts holding the Medicaid applicants’ former homes. MassHealth argues that the applicants’ right to live in the houses make the houses “available,” and thus MassHealth can value that use at the entire fair market value of the property. In its brief, written by Emily S. Starr, Ron M. Landsman, CAP (who presented the oral argument), Rene H. Reixach, John W. Callinan, and Lauren Marinaro, NAELA reviews the authoritative federal agency view that under the mandatory federal Medicaid trust rules, trustee authority to make payments of income makes income “available,” and trustee authority to distribute corpus  makes corpus “available,” but there is no overlap – authority to distribute income does not make corpus “available” for Medicaid purposes.

View the oral arguments.



David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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