If I’ve received financial assistance from welfare for many years and now receive a large cash inheritance from my mother when she passes, will I be liable to reimburse those years of cash assistance received from welfare?

As of 2 years ago, I no longer receive any cash assistance, however I still receive Medi-Cal and $19 per month in food stamps.

Asked on September 10, 2015 under Estate Planning, California


M.H., Member, California Bar / M.H., Member, California Bar

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If  you receive a large inheritance, you will probably be rendered ineligble for medi-cal purposes since you will have more than $2,000 in countable assets in any given calendar month.   If you have a bona fide disability and are under the age of 65 years of age, perhaps your mother could create a third-party special needs trust for you while she is alive so that you future inheritance would not be a countable asset.  In other words, the inheritance would not have an adverse impact on your medi-cal benefits and the trustee of the special needs trust could supplement your benefits with the use of the trust funds.   

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