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Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Aging in Place

Aging in Place

Concerns about accessing Long Term Care in the community is something we often discuss with our clients.  How will they access the care? Who will pay for it? Is the care reliable? Can I safely and affordably age in place? The positive news is that there are many options for care in the community.  We are fortunate to live in an area where care is accessible, reliable and affordable.  Many of our clients are surprised to learn that Community Medicaid is a way to access care in the more »

Power of Attorney and Statutory Gifts Rider

Power of Attorney and Statutory Gifts Rider

Question: Two years ago my sister used a Power of Attorney given to her by my mother to withdraw $100,000 from my mother’s bank account.  She transferred the money to herself. My mother passed away last week.  My sister says my mother wanted her to have the money and refuses to share it with all of my mother’s children.  My mother had a will that gave her assets to allof us in equal shares.  Can my sister get away with this? Answer:  The first step to answer more »

Will the Government Take My Home If I Apply for Medicaid?

Will the Government Take My Home If I Apply for Medicaid?

Q:  Is it true that if I get help from Medicaid the government will take my home?   A:  No, that is not true, the government does not take the home of those who need assistance from the Medicaid program.  However, without proper planning, there is a potential that the government will deny you payment for your care or put a lien on your home during your lifetime or after you die as repayment for care that you received.  It is important to realize that there are two typ more »

Right of Sepulcher

Right of Sepulcher

Q:        I was chatting with friends over coffee this evening and someone mentioned the “right of sepulcher”.  What exactly is that right?    A:        The right of sepulcher is common law in New York State and prescribes the right to choose and control the burial, cremation, or other final disposition of a deceased person.  In fact, the right of sepulcher has been around for many decades.&n more »

Guardianship

Guardianship

Q: If my mother becomes ill and unable to take care of her own affairs, how can I make sure my mom is properly taken care of and her bills are paid?  Will I need to become her guardian?   A: A Guardianship is a type of court proceeding in which one can be appointed to have certain powers over an incapacitated person with regard to their personal needs and/or property management.  However, a guardianship proceeding is not always required when a loved one requires assistance.  more »

Estate Planning for Snowbirds

Estate Planning for Snowbirds

We have seen many clients considered, “snowbirds,” those who maintain a residence in New York but travel down south during our harsh winters. For our snowbird clients who want to create estate planning documents and plan for possible care needed in the future, it is important to determine if you should see an attorney in New York or elsewhere. The first question that must be answered is whether you are determined a resident of New York or of the other state you are visiting. Some fac more »

Preparing a Will Online

Preparing a Will Online

Q: My neighbor told me that he and his wife used an online service to prepare their wills. My wife and I need to prepare our estate planning documents and are hesitant to have wills prepared by an online service, especially because we are not planning to treat all of our children equally. Can you give me some advice? A:        When an attorney supervises the execution of a last will and testament, a presumption of due execution arises, meaning that the law assumes more »

Senior Scams

Senior Scams

Question: My mom told me that she has been sending money internationally to an unknown person who claimed that my nephew was in trouble. She said that this person has threatened her on numerous occasions and told her to keep their conversations secret. The amount she has sent to date is well over $25,000. I believe she may have been a victim of a senior scam. What do I do now?  Answer: Unfortunately, it does sound like your mom has been a victim of a common senior scam. These individuals t more »

Estate Planning for Snowbirds

Estate Planning for Snowbirds

Question:   My spouse and I live in our home in New York in the summer and we spend the winter at our condo in Florida. We are looking to do estate planning and also prepare for if either of us need long term care in the future. Should I see an attorney in New York or Florida? Answer:  We have seen many clients with your living situation, the “snowbird,” who maintains a residence in New York but travels down south during the harsh winters. The first question that must more »

Advance Directives

Advance Directives

Q: I am going to see my doctor for my annual physical exam, should I discuss my health care proxy at that appointment? A: It is never a bad idea to discuss your advance directives with your physician.  Advance directives are documents that you sign while you still have capacity that are meant to give direction as to how your healthcare should be handled if you become incapacitated.  The term “advance directives” can refer to a health care proxy and a living will.  Bot more »

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