You have no doubt heard the famous Benjamin Franklin quote, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes."  That was hammered home today at a meeting of the Rice County Board of Commissioners.  County Social Services Director Mark Shaw informed the board the state was requiring some changes in the estate/probate recovery policy.

Shaw said, "It is our statutory responsibility to recover medical assistance or general assistance medical care dollars that are paid on behalf of recipients as required by state and federal law.  At the time of death we would look to identify what assets the individual may have.  There is a state statute identifies the priority of claims. State collection is fourth on that priority list."

Shaw explained, "Funeral expenses and unpaid federal taxes and unpaid state taxes rank above the medical assistance collections.  The most significant change with this policy really is that the state requires us to add language with regard to reasonable funeral expenses."

The Rice County Social Services Director told Commissioners his staff met last week with local funeral directors to educate them about the policy.  He added a letter is being sent to attorneys throughout the county who assist in estate and probate work.

The board unanimously approved the policy.

Rice County Social Service Director Mark Shaw Addresses County Board. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld