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Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary Designations

Q: I have an estate plan in place including a will, power of attorney, and healthcare documents. Is there anything else I need to do? A: Creating an estate plan is the first step in preparing for your future. It is also important to ensure that all your assets are properly titled or have the correct beneficiary designation language in order to carry out your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets at your death.  Your last will and testament is a document that memorializes your...more »

Does Community Medicaid Cover Supplies?

Does Community Medicaid Cover Supplies?

Question: I am considering applying for Community Medicaid for my mom in order to cover the cost of home health aides. I heard that Community Medicaid might pay for certain supplies my mom could use in her home, is that true? Answer: Yes. The Community Based (Homecare) Medicaid program can assist families in paying for the cost of home health aides as well as other programs, supplies and equipment. Once approved for Community Medicaid, the individual may be enrolled in a Managed Long Term Care...more »

Estate Planning and Supplemental Needs Trust

Estate Planning and Supplemental Needs Trust

When planning for the differently-abled, the use of Supplemental Needs Trusts as part of your estate planning will ensure that you have provided protections for those with special needs and disabilities. When considering your estate planning it is important to consider any beneficiaries who may have special needs or disabilities. Receiving an outright inheritance could negatively affect these individuals, as oftentimes they are entitled to, and receive, need-based government benefits such as SSI...more »

Compelling a Fiduciary to Account an Estate

Compelling a Fiduciary to Account an Estate

Q: My brother is the Executor of my mother’s estate. It has been three years since she died, and he has not distributed anything. What do you recommend I do? A: I recommend that you demand that your brother to provide an accounting. This demand should be in writing. This accounting should show what he collected, what was paid out, how much is on hand and how he calculated your share. In the alternative, your brother could provide you with copies of all estate account statements and copies...more »

Community Medicaid and Your House

Community Medicaid and Your House

Question: I am currently paying for caregivers to come to my house and assist me with day to day tasks. My friends tell me that I should apply for Community Medicaid but I own my home. Does the equity in my home disqualify me for Community Medicaid? Answer: The answer is technically that you can own your home and qualify for Community Medicaid benefits. However, the complete answer is more complex than a simple yes or no. Medicaid is a needs-based benefit that you must qualify for with certain...more »

Chronic Medicaid

Chronic Medicaid

Question: I was speaking with a friend and she mentioned that I should consult an attorney for asset protection. I do not have a taxable estate, but she referred to a 5-year lookback. I do not understand why I would need asset protection. Answer: Your friend was most likely referring to asset protection relating to long term care planning. In the event that you require care in a nursing facility, you may be able to rely on Medicaid to pay for your room and board. As you are likely aware,...more »

I Have an Irrevocable Trust, Now What?

I Have an Irrevocable Trust, Now What?

Commonly, clients will create a trust to protect certain assets in case they need to apply for government benefits as they get older and require assistance with their daily activities. While certain provisions of this type of trust will be consistent from client to client, not all trusts are the same. Understanding your trust is the first step to successfully achieving your estate planning goals.  The drafting process of the trust document is vital because it outlines the rules of the...more »

Gifting to Minors

Gifting to Minors

Question: I want to designate my grandchildren as the beneficiaries of my retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Currently, they are ages 4 and 6. Is this possible? Can I simply complete a new designated beneficiary form with my financial institutions? Answer: You can absolutely designate minor children to receive money under retirement accounts and life insurance policies. However, you NEVER want to designate that the child receive those monies outright. In other words, you would not...more »

Contested Guardianship

Contested Guardianship

Question: I received Court papers that say that my brother is trying to take control of my mother’s finances and make medical decisions for her. I have been taking care of my mother for years and my brother is estranged from me and my mother. What should I do? Answer: It appears that your brother has started a proceeding asking the Court to appoint him as your mother’s legal guardian. A guardianship proceeding is usually commenced if someone believes that another adult is...more »

Kera Reed, Esq. Featured in June 2019 Suffolk Lawyer

Kera Reed, Esq. Featured in June 2019 Suffolk Lawyer

Congratulations to our attorney Kera Reed who was featured in the June issue of Suffolk Lawyer! Check out her profile here on page 5

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