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Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act

Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act

Q: My sister wants me to sign a document that allows her to probate my mother's will. The problem is that the will favors my sister, and I think the circumstances around the will are suspect. Is there a way I can get more information about the will signing?  A: The document  that  your sister is asking you to sign is called a Waiver of Process;  Consent to Probate. The purpose of the Waiver is twofold. First, by signing the Waiver you are consenting to the Will being admit more »

Veterans Benefits

Veterans Benefits

Question: I heard that there has been a change in Veteran’s Benefits recently, is this true? Answer: Yes, that is correct.  Specifically, the Pension system, most often referred to as “Aid and Attendance” has been revamped.  New asset and income levels have been created and for the first time with this type of benefit a three year look back now applies.  In order to be eligible for the pension program the veteran must have served during specific wartime periods more »

Garn-St Germain Depository Institutions Act

Garn-St Germain Depository Institutions Act

Question: I have created a Medicaid Qualifying Irrevocable Trust and I am attempting to transfer my home to my trust. The bank which holds my mortgage has advised that they do not allow transfers to Irrevocable Trusts. Can they prevent me from protecting my house?  What can they do? Answer: No, your bank should allow the transfer of your home to you Irrevocable Trust. First, it is important to understand why your bank is pushing back on this transfer. Your bank is likely claiming that this more »

Special Needs Trusts

Special Needs Trusts

Question:  I have two daughters, one of them has special needs and receives benefits.  I have been told that I have to disinherit them from my will so that if something happens to me they won’t lose these benefits, is that true?   Answer:  No, it is not correct that you must disinherit your daughter. However, it is important when drafting your will or other estate planning documents to make certain provisions so that, at the time of your passing, any inheritance will more »

Inheritance

Inheritance

Inheritance is the practice of passing property upon the death of a decedent.  The rules of inheritance differ from state to state.   In New York, a decedent generally cannot disinherit his spouse.  This principle is governed by Estates, Powers and Trusts Law Section 5-1.1-A (Right of Election by Surviving Spouse) and requires that the surviving spouse receive a portion, or share, of the decedent’s estate.  The surviving spouse’s share will be equal to the g more »

In Terrorem Clauses

In Terrorem Clauses

In Terrorem is a term derived from Latin which translates to “in fear”.  An In Terrorem provision in a Decedent’s Last Will and Testament “threatens” that if a beneficiary challenges the Will then the challenging beneficiary will be disinherited instead of inheriting the full gift provided for in the Will.  An in terrorem clause is intended to discourage beneficiaries from contesting the Will after the testator’s death.  New York law recognizes more »

IRA Beneficiary Designations

IRA Beneficiary Designations

Question:  I have recently rolled over my 401(k) plan into an existing IRA. I am not sure if I need to update the beneficiary designation forms on file; can you give me some advice? Answer: Some of the most costly estate planning mistakes can involve retirement accounts and are usually made in the beneficiary designation forms.  When you originally opened your account, you should have completed a beneficiary designation form.  You should periodically check such designations with more »

Super Lawyer Honors Attorneys From Burner Law Group, P.C.

Super Lawyer Honors Attorneys From Burner Law Group, P.C.

Join us in congratulating Nancy Burner, Esq. on her 11th Super Lawyer achievement.  Congratulations are also in order for Robin Burner Daleo, Esq., Britt Burner, Esq., Maria Johnson, Esq., Kera Reed, Esq. and Brittni Sullivan, Esq. for their Rising Star honors.  The Super Lawyers list will be available in the October 21st issue of the New York Times Magazine. 

Pre-need & Chronic Medicaid

When someone enters a nursing facility, an application for Chronic Medicaid may be appropriate.  The average cost of a nursing facility on Long Island is $15,000.00 per month.  This type of cost would exhaust assets very quickly in most cases.  Chronic Medicaid is the program that covers nursing home care.  Medicaid is a needs based program which means there are resource and income requirements that must be met.  For 2017, an individual applying for Chronic Medicaid more »

Elder Financial Exploitation

Elder Financial Exploitation

Q: My friend recently relayed a story about her father being a victim of elder financial exploitation.  What is this? How can I protect myself, as well as my family from becoming victims?   A: The National Center of Elderly Abuse defines financial exploitation as the “illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property, or assets”.  Exploitation tends to be more prevalent in the aging community, specifically targeting those that are over 65 years old and have more »

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