New Jersey Gets Aggressive with Estate Recovery (Part 1 of a 4 Part Series)

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Estate Recovery Defense Attorney

Estate recovery is a big deal to the State of New Jersey. It desperately looks for ways to raise revenues. A recent Appeal was filed with the NJ Superior Court involving a priority lien that the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) recorded against the Estate of a deceased person pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4D-7.2 for reimbursement of $166,981.25 in Medicaid benefits a decedent received until the date of his death, confirms this point. DMAHS determined that the lien attached to all assets in the Estate, including the person’s one-third elective share interest against the estate of his late wife (Mary). Her Estate included the proceeds from the sale of the couple’s former marital home.

The estate by and through the Executor filed a complaint as next-of-kin, seeking a judgement discharging the lien pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4D-7.8. The Executor alleged that because the elective share statute, N.J.S.A. 3B:8-1, did not apply to the Estate, the lien claim should be satisfied from assets remaining in the Estate of his wife totaling approximately $5000. In the alternative, the Executor alleged that the decedent’s elective share was zero when calculated pursuant to the elective share statutes.

The Chancery Division denied entry of judgement discharging the lien. As a result the son appealed seeking to establish the amount of the Estate’s one-third elective share of his late wife’s estate, which was substantial.

In my next post I’ll go into more case details and address the issues and the outcome.

To discuss your NJ Estate Recovery matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.