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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 400-S.F.No. 1896 
                  An act relating to human services; changing provisions 
                  for erroneous payment of medical assistance money; 
                  changing probate provisions for estates subject to 
                  medical assistance claims and medical assistance 
                  liens; directing the commissioners of human services, 
                  revenue, and finance to develop recommendations on the 
                  funding transfer for day services programs; amending 
                  Minnesota Statutes 1998, sections 256B.064; 256B.15, 
                  subdivisions 1a and 4; 514.981, subdivision 6; 
                  524.3-801; and 525.312; proposing coding for new law 
                  in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 524; and 525. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 256B.064, is 
        amended to read: 
           256B.064 [INELIGIBLE PROVIDER SANCTIONS; MONETARY 
        RECOVERY.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [TERMINATING PAYMENTS TO INELIGIBLE 
        VENDORS.] The commissioner may terminate payments under this 
        chapter to any person or facility providing medical assistance 
        which that, under applicable federal law or regulation, has been 
        determined to be ineligible for payments under Title XIX of the 
        Social Security Act. 
           Subd. 1a.  [GROUNDS FOR MONETARY RECOVERY AND SANCTIONS 
        AGAINST VENDORS.] The commissioner may seek monetary recovery 
        and impose sanctions against vendors a vendor of medical care 
        for any of the following:  (1) fraud, theft, or abuse in 
        connection with the provision of medical care to recipients of 
        public assistance; (2) a pattern of presentment of false or 
        duplicate claims or claims for services not medically 
        necessary; (3) a pattern of making false statements of material 
        facts for the purpose of obtaining greater compensation than 
        that to which the vendor is legally entitled; (4) suspension or 
        termination as a Medicare vendor; (5) refusal to grant the state 
        agency access during regular business hours to examine all 
        records necessary to disclose the extent of services provided to 
        program recipients and appropriateness of claims for payment; 
        (6) failure to repay an overpayment finally established under 
        this section; and (7) any reason for which a vendor could be 
        excluded from participation in the Medicare program under 
        section 1128, 1128A, or 1866(b)(2) of the Social Security Act.  
        The determination of services not medically necessary may be 
        made by the commissioner in consultation with a peer advisory 
        task force appointed by the commissioner on the recommendation 
        of appropriate professional organizations.  The task force 
        expires as provided in section 15.059, subdivision 5. 
           Subd. 1b.  [SANCTIONS AVAILABLE.] The commissioner may 
        impose the following sanctions for the conduct described in 
        subdivision 1a:  referral to the appropriate state licensing 
        board, suspension or withholding of payments to a vendor, and 
        suspending or terminating participation in the 
        program.  Regardless of imposition of sanctions, the 
        commissioner may make a referral to the appropriate state 
        licensing board. 
           Subd. 1c.  [GROUNDS FOR AND METHODS OF MONETARY RECOVERY.] 
        (a) The commissioner may obtain monetary recovery from a vendor 
        who has been improperly paid either as a result of conduct 
        described in subdivision 1a or as a result of a vendor or 
        department error, regardless of whether the error was 
        intentional.  Patterns need not be proven as a precondition to 
        monetary recovery of erroneous or false claims, duplicate 
        claims, claims for services not medically necessary, or claims 
        based on false statements.  
           (b) The commissioner may obtain monetary recovery using 
        methods, including but not limited to the following:  assessing 
        and recovering money improperly paid and debiting from future 
        payments any money improperly paid.  Patterns need not be proven 
        as a precondition to monetary recovery of erroneous or false 
        claims, duplicate claims, claims for services not medically 
        necessary, or claims based on false statements.  The 
        commissioner shall charge interest on money to be recovered if 
        the recovery is to be made by installment payments or debits, 
        except when the monetary recovery is of an overpayment that 
        resulted from a department error.  The interest charged shall be 
        the rate established by the commissioner of revenue under 
        section 270.75.  
           Subd. 1d.  [INVESTIGATIVE COSTS.] The commissioner may seek 
        recovery of investigative costs from any vendor of medical care 
        or services who willfully submits a claim for reimbursement for 
        services that the vendor knows, or reasonably should have known, 
        is a false representation and which that results in the payment 
        of public funds for which the vendor is ineligible.  Billing 
        errors deemed to be unintentional, but which that result in 
        unintentional overcharges, shall not be considered grounds for 
        investigative cost recoupment. 
           Subd. 2.  [IMPOSITION OF MONETARY RECOVERY AND SANCTIONS.] 
        (a) The commissioner shall determine any monetary amounts to be 
        recovered and the sanction sanctions to be imposed upon a vendor 
        of medical care for conduct described by subdivision 1a under 
        this section.  Except as provided in paragraph (b), neither a 
        monetary recovery nor a sanction will be imposed by the 
        commissioner without prior notice and an opportunity for a 
        hearing, according to chapter 14, on the commissioner's proposed 
        action, provided that the commissioner may suspend or reduce 
        payment to a vendor of medical care, except a nursing home or 
        convalescent care facility, after notice and prior to the 
        hearing if in the commissioner's opinion that action is 
        necessary to protect the public welfare and the interests of the 
        program. 
           (b) Except for a nursing home or convalescent care 
        facility, the commissioner may withhold or reduce payments to a 
        vendor of medical care without providing advance notice of such 
        withholding or reduction if either of the following occurs: 
           (1) the vendor is convicted of a crime involving the 
        conduct described in subdivision 1a; or 
           (2) the commissioner receives reliable evidence of fraud or 
        willful misrepresentation by the vendor. 
           (c) The commissioner must send notice of the withholding or 
        reduction of payments under paragraph (b) within five days of 
        taking such action.  The notice must: 
           (1) state that payments are being withheld according to 
        paragraph (b); 
           (2) except in the case of a conviction for conduct 
        described in subdivision 1a, state that the withholding is for a 
        temporary period and cite the circumstances under which 
        withholding will be terminated; 
           (3) identify the types of claims to which the withholding 
        applies; and 
           (4) inform the vendor of the right to submit written 
        evidence for consideration by the commissioner. 
           The withholding or reduction of payments will not continue 
        after the commissioner determines there is insufficient evidence 
        of fraud or willful misrepresentation by the vendor, or after 
        legal proceedings relating to the alleged fraud or willful 
        misrepresentation are completed, unless the commissioner has 
        sent notice of intention to impose monetary recovery or 
        sanctions under paragraph (a). 
           (d) Upon receipt of a notice under paragraph (a) that a 
        monetary recovery or sanction is to be imposed, a vendor may 
        request a contested case, as defined in section 14.02, 
        subdivision 3, by filing with the commissioner a written request 
        of appeal.  The appeal request must be received by the 
        commissioner no later than 30 days after the date the 
        notification of monetary recovery or sanction was mailed to the 
        vendor.  The appeal request must specify: 
           (1) each disputed item, the reason for the dispute, and an 
        estimate of the dollar amount involved for each disputed item; 
           (2) the computation that the vendor believes is correct; 
           (3) the authority in statute or rule upon which the vendor 
        relies for each disputed item; 
           (4) the name and address of the person or entity with whom 
        contacts may be made regarding the appeal; and 
           (5) other information required by the commissioner. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 256B.15, 
        subdivision 1a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 1a.  [ESTATES SUBJECT TO CLAIMS.] If a person 
        receives any medical assistance hereunder, on the person's 
        death, if single, or on the death of the survivor of a married 
        couple, either or both of whom received medical assistance, the 
        total amount paid for medical assistance rendered for the person 
        and spouse shall be filed as a claim against the estate of the 
        person or the estate of the surviving spouse in the court having 
        jurisdiction to probate the estate or to issue a decree of 
        descent according to sections 525.31 to 525.313.  
           A claim shall be filed if medical assistance was rendered 
        for either or both persons under one of the following 
        circumstances: 
           (a) the person was over 55 years of age, and received 
        services under this chapter, excluding alternative care; 
           (b) the person resided in a medical institution for six 
        months or longer, received services under this chapter excluding 
        alternative care, and, at the time of institutionalization or 
        application for medical assistance, whichever is later, the 
        person could not have reasonably been expected to be discharged 
        and returned home, as certified in writing by the person's 
        treating physician.  For purposes of this section only, a 
        "medical institution" means a skilled nursing facility, 
        intermediate care facility, intermediate care facility for 
        persons with mental retardation, nursing facility, or inpatient 
        hospital; or 
           (c) the person received general assistance medical care 
        services under chapter 256D.  
           The claim shall be considered an expense of the last 
        illness of the decedent for the purpose of section 524.3-805.  
        Any statute of limitations that purports to limit any county 
        agency or the state agency, or both, to recover for medical 
        assistance granted hereunder shall not apply to any claim made 
        hereunder for reimbursement for any medical assistance granted 
        hereunder.  Notice of the claim shall be given to all heirs and 
        devisees of the decedent whose identity can be ascertained with 
        reasonable diligence.  The notice must include procedures and 
        instructions for making an application for a hardship waiver 
        under subdivision 5; time frames for submitting an application 
        and determination; and information regarding appeal rights and 
        procedures.  Counties are entitled to one-half of the nonfederal 
        share of medical assistance collections from estates that are 
        directly attributable to county effort.  
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 256B.15, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [OTHER SURVIVORS.] If the decedent who was single 
        or the surviving spouse of a married couple is survived by one 
        of the following persons, a claim exists against the estate in 
        an amount not to exceed the value of the nonhomestead property 
        included in the estate: 
           (a) a sibling who resided in the decedent medical 
        assistance recipient's home at least one year before the 
        decedent's institutionalization and continuously since the date 
        of institutionalization; or 
           (b) a son or daughter or, subject to federal approval, a 
        grandchild, who resided in the decedent medical assistance 
        recipient's home for at least two years immediately before the 
        parent's or grandparent's institutionalization and continuously 
        since the date of institutionalization, and who establishes by a 
        preponderance of the evidence having provided care to the parent 
        or grandparent who received medical assistance, that the care 
        was provided before institutionalization, and that the care 
        permitted the parent or grandparent to reside at home rather 
        than in an institution. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 514.981, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [TIME LIMITS; CLAIM LIMITS.] (a) A medical 
        assistance lien is not enforceable against specific real 
        property if any of the following occurs: 
           (1) the lien is not satisfied or proceedings are not 
        lawfully commenced to foreclose the lien within 18 months of the 
        agency's receipt of notice of the death of the medical 
        assistance recipient or the death of the surviving spouse, 
        whichever occurs later; or 
           (2) the lien is not satisfied or proceedings are not 
        lawfully commenced to foreclose the lien within three years of 
        the death of the medical assistance recipient or the death of 
        the surviving spouse, whichever occurs later.  This limitation 
        is tolled during any period when the provisions of section 
        514.983, subdivision 2, apply to delay enforcement of the 
        lien. a lien on the real property it describes for a period of 
        ten years from the date it attaches according to section 
        514.981, subdivision 2, paragraph (a), except as otherwise 
        provided for in sections 514.980 to 514.985.  The agency may 
        renew a medical assistance lien for an additional ten years from 
        the date it would otherwise expire by recording or filing a 
        certificate of renewal before the lien expires.  The certificate 
        shall be recorded or filed in the office of the county recorder 
        or registrar of titles for the county in which the lien is 
        recorded or filed.  The certificate must refer to the recording 
        or filing data for the medical assistance lien it renews.  The 
        certificate need not be attested, certified, or acknowledged as 
        a condition for recording or filing.  The registrar of titles or 
        the recorder shall file, record, index, and return the 
        certificate of renewal in the same manner as provided for 
        medical assistance liens in section 514.982, subdivision 2. 
           (b) A medical assistance lien is not enforceable against 
        the real property of an estate to the extent there is a 
        determination by a court of competent jurisdiction, or by an 
        officer of the court designated for that purpose, that there are 
        insufficient assets in the estate to satisfy the agency's 
        medical assistance lien in whole or in part in accordance with 
        the priority of claims established by chapters 256B and 524.  
        The agency's lien remains enforceable to the extent that assets 
        are available to satisfy the agency's lien, subject to the 
        priority of other claims, and to the extent that the agency's 
        claim is allowed against the estate under chapters 256B and 
        524 because of the homestead exemption under section 256B.15, 
        subdivision 4, the rights of the surviving spouse or minor 
        children under section 524.2-403, paragraphs (a) and (b), or 
        claims with a priority under section 524.3-805, paragraph (a), 
        clauses (1) to (4).  For purposes of this section, the rights of 
        the decedent's adult children to exempt property under section 
        524.2-403, paragraph (b), shall not be considered costs of 
        administration under section 524.3-805, paragraph (a), clause 
        (1). 
           Sec. 5.  [524.2-215] [SURVIVING SPOUSE RECEIVING MEDICAL 
        ASSISTANCE.] 
           (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, if a surviving 
        spouse is receiving medical assistance under chapter 256B, or 
        general assistance medical care under chapter 256D, when the 
        person's spouse dies, then the provisions in paragraphs (b) to 
        (f) apply. 
           (b) Any time before an order or decree is entered under 
        section 524.3-1001 or 524.3-1002 or a closing statement is filed 
        under section 524.3-1003 the surviving spouse may: 
           (1) exercise the right to take an elective share amount of 
        the decedent's estate under section 524.2-211, in which case the 
        decedent's nonprobate transfers to others shall be included in 
        the augmented estate for purposes of computing the elective 
        share and supplemental elective share amounts; 
           (2) petition the court for an extension of time for 
        exercising the right to an elective share amount under section 
        524.2-211, in which case the decedent's nonprobate transfers to 
        others shall be included in the augmented estate for purposes of 
        computing the elective share and supplemental elective share 
        amounts; or 
           (3) elect statutory rights in the homestead or petition the 
        court for an extension of time to make the election as provided 
        in section 524.2-211, paragraph (f). 
           (c) Notwithstanding any law or rule to the contrary, the 
        personal representative of the estate of the surviving spouse 
        may exercise the surviving spouse's right of election and 
        statutory right to the homestead in the manner provided for 
        making those elections or petition for an extension of time as 
        provided for in this section. 
           (d) If choosing the elective share will result in the 
        surviving spouse receiving a share of the decedent's estate 
        greater in value than the share of the estate under the will or 
        intestate succession, then the guardian or conservator for the 
        surviving spouse shall exercise the surviving spouse's right to 
        an elective share amount and a court order is not required. 
           (e) A party petitioning to establish a guardianship or 
        conservatorship for the surviving spouse may file a certified 
        copy of the petition in the decedent's estate proceedings and 
        serve a copy of the petition on the personal representative or 
        the personal representative's attorney.  The filing of the 
        petition shall toll all of the limitations provided in this 
        section until the entry of a final order granting or denying the 
        petition.  The decedent's estate may not close until the entry 
        of a final order granting or denying the petition. 
           (1) Distributees of the decedent's estate shall be 
        personally liable to account for and turn over to the ward, the 
        conservatee, or the estate of the ward or conservatee any and 
        all amounts which the ward or conservatee is entitled to receive 
        from the decedent's estate. 
           (2) No distributee shall be liable for an amount in excess 
        of the value of the distributee's distribution as of the time of 
        the distribution. 
           (3) The ward, conservatee, guardian, conservator, or 
        personal representative may bring proceedings in district court 
        to enforce the rights in this section. 
           (f) Notwithstanding any oral or written contract, 
        agreement, or waiver made by the surviving spouse to waive in 
        whole or in part the surviving spouse's right of election 
        against the decedent's will, statutory right to the homestead, 
        exempt property, or family allowance, the surviving spouse or 
        the surviving spouse's guardian or conservator may exercise 
        these rights to the full extent permitted by law.  The surviving 
        spouse's rights under this paragraph do not apply to the extent 
        there is a valid antenuptial agreement between the surviving 
        spouse and the decedent under which the surviving spouse has 
        waived some or all of these rights. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 524.3-801, is 
        amended to read: 
           524.3-801 [NOTICE TO CREDITORS.] 
           (a) Unless notice has already been given under this 
        section, upon appointment of a general personal representative 
        in informal proceedings or upon the filing of a petition for 
        formal appointment of a general personal representative, notice 
        thereof, in the form prescribed by court rule, shall be given 
        under the direction of the court administrator by publication 
        once a week for two successive weeks in a legal newspaper in the 
        county wherein the proceedings are pending giving the name and 
        address of the general personal representative and notifying 
        creditors of the estate to present their claims within four 
        months after the date of the court administrator's notice which 
        is subsequently published or be forever barred, unless they are 
        entitled to further service of notice under paragraph (b) or (c).
           (b)(1) Within three months after:  (i) the date of the 
        first publication of the notice; or (ii) June 16, 1989, 
        whichever is later, the personal representative may determine, 
        in the personal representative's discretion, that it is or is 
        not advisable to conduct a reasonably diligent search for 
        creditors of the decedent who are either not known or not 
        identified.  If the personal representative determines that a 
        reasonably diligent search is advisable, the personal 
        representative shall conduct the search. 
           (2) If the notice is first published after June 16, 1989, 
        the personal representative shall, within three months after the 
        date of the first publication of the notice, serve a copy of the 
        notice upon each then known and identified creditor in the 
        manner provided in paragraph (c).  Notice given under paragraph 
        (d) does not satisfy the notice requirements under this 
        paragraph and paragraph (c).  If notice was first published 
        under the applicable provisions of law under the direction of 
        the court administrator before June 16, 1989, and if a personal 
        representative is empowered to act at any time after June 16, 
        1989, the personal representative shall, within three months 
        after June 16, 1989, serve upon the then known and identified 
        creditors in the manner provided in paragraph (c) a copy of the 
        notice as published, together with a supplementary notice 
        requiring each of the creditors to present any claim within one 
        month after the date of the service of the notice or be forever 
        barred. 
           (3) Under this section, a creditor is "known" if:  (i) the 
        personal representative knows that the creditor has asserted a 
        claim that arose during the decedent's life against either the 
        decedent or the decedent's estate; or (ii) the creditor has 
        asserted a claim that arose during the decedent's life and the 
        fact is clearly disclosed in accessible financial records known 
        and available to the personal representative.  Under this 
        section, a creditor is "identified" if the personal 
        representative's knowledge of the name and address of the 
        creditor will permit service of notice to be made under 
        paragraph (c).  
           (c) The personal representative shall serve a copy of any 
        notice and any supplementary notice required by paragraph (b), 
        clause (1) or (2), upon each creditor of the decedent who is 
        then known to the personal representative and identified, except 
        a creditor whose claim has either been presented to the personal 
        representative or paid, either by delivery of a copy of the 
        required notice to the creditor, or by mailing a copy of the 
        notice to the creditor by certified, registered, or ordinary 
        first class mail addressed to the creditor at the creditor's 
        office or place of residence. 
           (d)(1) Effective for decedents dying on or after July 1, 
        1997, if the decedent or a predeceased spouse of the decedent 
        received assistance for which a claim could be filed under 
        section 246.53, 256B.15, 256D.16, or 261.04, the personal 
        representative or the attorney for the personal representative 
        shall serve the commissioner of human services with notice in 
        the manner prescribed in paragraph (c) as soon as practicable 
        after the appointment of the personal representative.  The 
        notice must state the decedent's full name, date of birth, and 
        social security number and, to the extent then known after 
        making a reasonably diligent inquiry, the full name, date of 
        birth, and social security number for each of the decedent's 
        predeceased spouses.  The notice may also contain a statement 
        that, after making a reasonably diligent inquiry, the personal 
        representative has determined that the decedent did not have any 
        predeceased spouses or that the personal representative has been 
        unable to determine one or more of the previous items of 
        information for a predeceased spouse of the decedent.  A copy of 
        the notice to creditors must be attached to and be a part of the 
        notice to the commissioner.  
           (2) Notwithstanding a will or other instrument or law to 
        the contrary, except as allowed in this paragraph, no property 
        subject to administration by the estate may be distributed by 
        the estate or the personal representative until 70 days after 
        the date the notice is served on the commissioner as provided in 
        paragraph (c), unless the local agency consents as provided for 
        in clause (6).  This restriction on distribution does not apply 
        to the personal representative's sale of real or personal 
        property, but does apply to the net proceeds the estate receives 
        from these sales.  The personal representative, or any person 
        with personal knowledge of the facts, may provide an affidavit 
        containing the description of any real or personal property 
        affected by this paragraph and stating facts showing compliance 
        with this paragraph.  If the affidavit describes real property, 
        it may be filed or recorded in the office of the county recorder 
        or registrar of titles for the county where the real property is 
        located.  This paragraph does not apply to proceedings under 
        sections 524.3-1203 and 525.31, or when a duly authorized agent 
        of a county is acting as the personal representative of the 
        estate. 
           (3) At any time before an order or decree is entered under 
        section 524.3-1001 or 524.3-1002, or a closing statement is 
        filed under section 524.3-1003, the personal representative or 
        the attorney for the personal representative may serve an 
        amended notice on the commissioner to add variations or other 
        names of the decedent or a predeceased spouse named in the 
        notice, the name of a predeceased spouse omitted from the 
        notice, to add or correct the date of birth or social security 
        number of a decedent or predeceased spouse named in the notice, 
        or to correct any other deficiency in a prior notice.  The 
        amended notice must state the decedent's name, date of birth, 
        and social security number, the case name, case number, and 
        district court in which the estate is pending, and the date the 
        notice being amended was served on the commissioner.  If the 
        amendment adds the name of a predeceased spouse omitted from the 
        notice, it must also state that spouse's full name, date of 
        birth, and social security number.  The amended notice must be 
        served on the commissioner in the same manner as the original 
        notice.  Upon service, the amended notice relates back to and is 
        effective from the date the notice it amends was served, and the 
        time for filing claims arising under section 246.53, 256B.15, 
        256D.16 or 261.04 is extended by 60 days from the date of 
        service of the amended notice.  Claims filed during the 60-day 
        period are undischarged and unbarred claims, may be prosecuted 
        by the entities entitled to file those claims in accordance with 
        section 524.3-1004, and the limitations in section 524.3-1006 do 
        not apply.  The personal representative or any person with 
        personal knowledge of the facts may provide and file or record 
        an affidavit in the same manner as provided for in clause (1). 
           (4) Within one year after the date an order or decree is 
        entered under section 524.3-1001 or 524.3-1002 or a closing 
        statement is filed under section 524.3-1003, any person who has 
        an interest in property that was subject to administration by 
        the estate may serve an amended notice on the commissioner to 
        add variations or other names of the decedent or a predeceased 
        spouse named in the notice, the name of a predeceased spouse 
        omitted from the notice, to add or correct the date of birth or 
        social security number of a decedent or predeceased spouse named 
        in the notice, or to correct any other deficiency in a prior 
        notice.  The amended notice must be served on the commissioner 
        in the same manner as the original notice and must contain the 
        information required for amendments under clause (3).  If the 
        amendment adds the name of a predeceased spouse omitted from the 
        notice, it must also state that spouse's full name, date of 
        birth, and social security number.  Upon service, the amended 
        notice relates back to and is effective from the date the notice 
        it amends was served.  If the amended notice adds the name of an 
        omitted predeceased spouse or adds or corrects the social 
        security number or date of birth of the decedent or a 
        predeceased spouse already named in the notice, then, 
        notwithstanding any other laws to the contrary, claims against 
        the decedent's estate on account of those persons resulting from 
        the amendment and arising under section 246.53, 256B.15, 
        256D.16, or 261.04 are undischarged and unbarred claims, may be 
        prosecuted by the entities entitled to file those claims in 
        accordance with section 524.3-1004, and the limitations in 
        section 524.3-1006 do not apply.  The person filing the 
        amendment or any other person with personal knowledge of the 
        facts may provide and file or record an affidavit describing 
        affected real or personal property in the same manner as clause 
        (1). 
           (5) After one year from the date an order or decree is 
        entered under section 524.3-1001 or 524.3-1002, or a closing 
        statement is filed under section 524.3-1003, no error, omission, 
        or defect of any kind in the notice to the commissioner required 
        under this paragraph or in the process of service of the notice 
        on the commissioner, or the failure to serve the commissioner 
        with notice as required by this paragraph, makes any 
        distribution of property by a personal representative void or 
        voidable.  The distributee's title to the distributed property 
        shall be free of any claims based upon a failure to comply with 
        this paragraph. 
           (6) The local agency may consent to a personal 
        representative's request to distribute property subject to 
        administration by the estate to distributees during the 70-day 
        period after service of notice on the commissioner.  The local 
        agency may grant or deny the request in whole or in part and may 
        attach conditions to its consent as it deems appropriate.  When 
        the local agency consents to a distribution, it shall give the 
        estate a written certificate evidencing its consent to the early 
        distribution of assets at no cost.  The certificate must include 
        the name, case number, and district court in which the estate is 
        pending, the name of the local agency, describe the specific 
        real or personal property to which the consent applies, state 
        that the local agency consents to the distribution of the 
        specific property described in the consent during the 70-day 
        period following service of the notice on the commissioner, 
        state that the consent is unconditional or list all of the terms 
        and conditions of the consent, be dated, and may include other 
        contents as may be appropriate.  The certificate must be signed 
        by the director of the local agency or the director's designees 
        and is effective as of the date it is dated unless it provides 
        otherwise.  The signature of the director or the director's 
        designee does not require any acknowledgment.  The certificate 
        shall be prima facie evidence of the facts it states, may be 
        attached to or combined with a deed or any other instrument of 
        conveyance and, when so attached or combined, shall constitute a 
        single instrument.  If the certificate describes real property, 
        it shall be accepted for recording or filing by the county 
        recorder or registrar of titles in the county in which the 
        property is located.  If the certificate describes real property 
        and is not attached to or combined with a deed or other 
        instrument of conveyance, it shall be accepted for recording or 
        filing by the county recorder or registrar of titles in the 
        county in which the property is located.  The certificate 
        constitutes a waiver of the 70-day period provided for in clause 
        (2) with respect to the property it describes and is prima facie 
        evidence of service of notice on the commissioner.  The 
        certificate is not a waiver or relinquishment of any claims 
        arising under section 246.53, 256B.15, 256D.16, or 261.04, and 
        does not otherwise constitute a waiver of any of the personal 
        representative's duties under this paragraph.  Distributees who 
        receive property pursuant to a consent to an early distribution 
        shall remain liable to creditors of the estate as provided for 
        by law. 
           (7) All affidavits provided for under this paragraph: 
           (i) shall be provided by persons who have personal 
        knowledge of the facts stated in the affidavit; 
           (ii) may be filed or recorded in the office of the county 
        recorder or registrar of titles in the county in which the real 
        property they describe is located for the purpose of 
        establishing compliance with the requirements of this paragraph; 
        and 
           (iii) are prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the 
        affidavit. 
           (8) This paragraph applies to the estates of decedents 
        dying on or after July 1, 1997.  Clause (5) also applies with 
        respect to all notices served on the commissioner of human 
        services before July 1, 1997, under Laws 1996, chapter 451, 
        article 2, section 55.  All notices served on the commissioner 
        before July 1, 1997, pursuant to Laws 1996, chapter 451, article 
        2, section 55, shall be deemed to be legally sufficient for the 
        purposes for which they were intended, notwithstanding any 
        errors, omissions or other defects. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 525.312, is 
        amended to read: 
           525.312 [DECREE OF DESCENT.] 
           Upon the filing of such petition, the court shall fix the 
        time and place for the hearing thereof, notice of which shall be 
        given pursuant to section 524.1-401.  Notice of the hearing, in 
        the form prescribed by court rule, shall also be given under 
        direction of the court administrator by publication once a week 
        for two consecutive weeks in a legal newspaper in the county 
        where the hearing is to be held, the last publication of which 
        is to be at least ten days before the time set for hearing.  
        Upon proof of the petition and of the will if there be one,; or 
        upon proof of the petition and of an authenticated copy of a 
        will duly proved and allowed outside of this state in accordance 
        with the laws in force in the place where proved, if there be 
        one,; and if a clearance for medical assistance claims is on 
        file in the proceeding and any medical assistance claims are 
        paid or satisfied, the court shall allow the same and enter its 
        decree of descent assigning the real or personal property, or 
        any interest therein, to the persons entitled thereto pursuant 
        to the will or such authenticated copy, if there be one, 
        otherwise pursuant to the laws of intestate succession in force 
        at the time of the decedent's death.  The decree of descent 
        shall operate to assign the property free and clear of any and 
        all claims for medical assistance arising under section 525.313 
        without regard to the final disposition of those claims.  The 
        court may appoint two or more disinterested persons to appraise 
        the property.  
           Sec. 8.  [525.313] [CLEARANCE FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE 
        CLAIMS.] 
           (a) The court shall not enter a decree of descent until the 
        petitioner has filed a clearance for medical assistance claims 
        under this section, and until any medical assistance claims 
        filed under this section have been paid, settled, or otherwise 
        finally disposed of. 
           (b) After filing the petition, the petitioner or the 
        petitioner's attorney shall apply to the county agency in the 
        county in which the petition is pending for a clearance of 
        medical assistance claims.  The application must state the 
        decedent's name, date of birth, and social security number; the 
        name, date of birth, and social security number of any 
        predeceased spouse of the decedent; the names and addresses of 
        the devisees and heirs; and the name, address, and telephone 
        number of the petitioner or the attorney making the application 
        on behalf of the petitioner, and include a copy of the notice of 
        hearing.  
           (c) The county agency shall determine whether the decedent 
        or any of the decedent's predeceased spouses received medical 
        assistance under chapter 256B or general assistance medical care 
        under chapter 256D giving rise to a claim under section 
        256B.15.  If there are no claims, the county agency shall issue 
        the petitioner a clearance for medical assistance claims stating 
        no medical assistance claims exist.  If there is a claim, the 
        county agency shall issue the petitioner a clearance for medical 
        assistance claims stating that a claim exists and the total 
        amount of the claim.  The county agency shall mail the completed 
        clearance for medical assistance claims to the applicant within 
        15 working days after receiving the application without cost to 
        the applicant or others. 
           (d) The petitioner or attorney shall file the certificate 
        in the proceedings for the decree of descent as soon as 
        practicable after it is received.  Notwithstanding any rule or 
        law to the contrary, if a medical assistance claim appears in a 
        clearance for medical assistance claims, then: 
           (1) the claim shall be a claim against the decedent's 
        property which is the subject of the petition.  The county 
        agency issuing the certificate shall be the claimant.  The 
        filing of the clearance for medical assistance claims in the 
        proceeding for a decree of descent constitutes presentation of 
        the claim; 
           (2) the claim shall be an unbarred and undischarged claim 
        and shall be payable, in whole or in part, from the decedent's 
        property which is the subject of the petition, including the net 
        sale proceeds from any sale of property free and clear of the 
        claim under this section; 
           (3) the claim may be allowed, denied, appealed, and bear 
        interest as provided for claims in estates under chapter 524; 
        and 
           (4) the county agency may collect, compromise, or otherwise 
        settle the claim with the estate, the petitioner, or the 
        assignees of the property on whatever terms and conditions are 
        deemed appropriate. 
           (e) Any of the decedent's devisees, heirs, successors, 
        assigns, or their successors and assigns, may apply for a 
        partial decree of descent to facilitate the good faith sale of 
        their interest in any real or personal property described in the 
        petition free and clear of any medical assistance claim any time 
        before the entry of a decree of descent under section 525.312.  
        The applicant must prove an interest in the property as provided 
        under section 525.312.  The court may enter a partial decree of 
        descent any time after it could hear and decide the petition for 
        a decree of descent.  A partial decree of descent shall assign 
        the interests in the real and personal property described in the 
        application to the parties entitled to the property free and 
        clear of any and all medical assistance claims.  The net sale 
        proceeds from the sale shall be: 
           (1) substituted in the estate according to this section for 
        the property sold; 
           (2) paid over to and held by the petitioner pending the 
        entry of a decree of descent; 
           (3) used for payment of medical assistance claims; and 
           (4) distributed according to the decree of descent after 
        any medical assistance claims are paid. 
           (f) The clearance for medical assistance claims must: 
           (1) include the case name, case number, and district court 
        in which the proceeding for a decree of descent is pending; 
           (2) include the name, date of birth, and social security 
        number of the decedent and any of the decedent's predeceased 
        spouses; 
           (3) state whether there are medical assistance claims 
        against the decedent, or a predeceased spouse, and the total 
        amount of each claim; and 
           (4) include the name, address, and telephone number of the 
        county agency giving the clearance for medical assistance 
        claims.  The certificate shall be signed by the director of the 
        county agency or the director's designee.  The signature of the 
        director or the director's designee does not require an 
        acknowledgment. 
           (g) All recoveries under this section are recoveries under 
        section 256B.15. 
           (h) For purposes of this section and chapter 256B, all 
        property identified in the petition and all subsequent 
        amendments to the petition shall constitute an estate. 
           Sec. 9.  [DAY SERVICES PROGRAMS.] 
           The commissioners of human services, revenue, and finance, 
        in consultation with representatives of interested groups, 
        including family members, advocacy organizations, counties, 
        service providers, and others, shall develop specific 
        legislative recommendations on the transfer from county funds to 
        the state general fund for the responsibility for funding day 
        training and habilitation services under Minnesota Statutes, 
        section 252.41, including a proposal for a home and 
        community-based waiver for day services programs.  The 
        recommendation shall include estimated cost of the nonfederal 
        share of medical assistance day services.  The recommendations, 
        including cost estimates, shall be provided to the chairs of the 
        house health and human services policy and finance committees 
        and the senate health and family security committee and budget 
        division by January 1, 2001. 
           Presented to the governor April 11, 2000 
           Signed by the governor April 14, 2000, 2:45 p.m.