Provisions in Wisconsin's new budget dramatically expand the state's ability to lay claim to dead couple's property to recoup their Medicaid expenses.
Attorneys who specialize in elder law say the provisions will reduce couples' ability to pass on their assets to their children.
The budget allows the state to take a dead couple's joint marital property to recoup the cost of one spouse's participation in Medicaid-funded long-term care programs, such as Family Care.
The budget also requires that if someone seeking Medicaid coverage for long-term care gets rid of assets, that property must be sold at full market value.
Elder law attorneys say that means heirs would have to pay full price for farmland or other things they might have received for free or at a discount.