(a) The personal representative, or person filing to initiate a proceeding in accordance with the Alabama Small Estates Act, Division 10 of this article, shall give notice of his or her appointment, or the filing of a petition in accordance with Section 43-2-692, to the Medicaid Agency. The notice shall include all of the following information:
(1) The full legal name of the deceased.
(2) The date of birth of the deceased.
(3) The date of death of the deceased.
(4) The Social Security number of the deceased.
(5) The marital status of the deceased at the time of death.
(6) The name, address, and phone number of the spouse of the deceased, if applicable.
(7) The court in which a probate estate has been opened.
(8) The probate case number.
(9) The date on which letters testamentary or letters of administration were issued by the probate court.
(10) The name, address, and phone number of the person giving notice.
(11) The type of probate proceeding.
(b) The notice shall be effective, provided the information in subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (a) are included.
(c) The notice shall be mailed to the Medicaid Agency, Attn: Estate Notice Office, P.O. Box 5624 Montgomery, AL 36103-5624, or such other address as the commissioner may provide by rule. The notice shall be mailed by United States Postal Service Certified Mail with instructions to forward, return receipt requested, with instructions to the delivering postal employee to show to whom delivered, date of delivery, and address where delivered. The return receipt shall be addressed to the probate court in which the estate was filed and shall identify the case number of the case to which the notice pertains. Upon mailing, the personal representative, or person filing to initiate a proceeding in accordance with the Alabama Small Estates Act, shall immediately file with the probate court an affidavit of certified mailing of notice to the Medicaid Agency, along with a copy of the notice sent. The affidavit shall verify that the notice has been mailed by certified mail in accordance with this division. The probate court shall enter the return receipt into the case record.
(d) The Medicaid Agency shall respond to the notice by sending one of the following documents to be filed in the probate court:
(1) A claim.
(2) A waiver of claim.
(3) A statement that no amount is due.
(e) The Medicaid Agency shall send a response under subsection (d) as soon as practicable, but no later than 30 days after the date of receipt of the notice. The claim is waived if the agency has not delivered its response to the probate court within 30 days of receipt of the notice.
(f) The Medicaid Agency may create an electronic system for persons to provide notice in accordance with this section. If created, the electronic system shall issue a serialized certificate as proof of notice. The personal representative, or person filing to initiate a proceeding in accordance with the Alabama Small Estates Act, shall file the serialized certificate in the probate court if the electronic system is utilized. If the Medicaid Agency provides such a system, then the personal representative, or person filing to initiate a proceeding in accordance with the Alabama Small Estates Act, may choose to either provide notice through the electronic system or in accordance with subsection (c), but shall not be required to do both.
(g) The Medicaid Agency shall not be charged for filing a waiver of claim or statement that no amount is due. The fee for the filing of the agency's claim shall be considered part of the fees and charges of administration and shall be paid back to the agency without the filing of an additional claim.
(h) The debts of the sixth order of preference, in accordance with Section 43-2-371, shall not be paid, and no distribution shall be made, until proof of notice, as required by this section, has been filed in the probate court and 30 days have passed since the Medicaid Agency received notice.
(i) For the purpose of this section, personal representative shall have the same meaning as provided in Section 43-8-1.
(j) This section shall only apply to cases initiated on or after September 1, 2019.
(k) All notices provided to the Medicaid Agency and all reports, records, databases, or other documents generated by the agency shall be exempt from disclosure pursuant to Section 36-12-40.
(1) Nothing in this section should be construed to modify current probate estate enforcement or grant a new cause of action to the Medicaid Agency.
Last modified: May 3, 2021