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Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Irrevocable Trusts and the Grantor Trust Rules

Irrevocable Trusts and the Grantor Trust Rules

For many clients the idea of creating and funding an Irrevocable Trust with an end goal of protecting assets should the need for long term care arise raises questions and concerns about the potential tax implications. Specifically, questions surrounding taxation of the assets that are transferred to the trust and concerns about losing property tax exemptions such as STAR and Enhanced STAR are common in our practice.  Although there is some truth to the idea that there could be negative hi more »

Super Lawyers Top Women Attorneys in New York

Super Lawyers Top Women Attorneys in New York

Congratulations to our attorneys Nancy Burner, Robin Burner Daleo, Kera Reed, Britt Burner, Brittni Sullivan and Roseanne Beovich (not pictured) for their inclusion in Super Lawyers Top Women Attorneys in New York list. The list will be published in a special section of The New York Times newspaper on Sunday, March 24.

Intestacy

Intestacy

Question:  My dad died. He was remarried and survived by a wife and two children from that marriage. I’m a non-marital child.  There is no last will and testament.  I think he owns some property in his own name but everything else is joint with his wife.  What happens now? What rights do I have? Answer:   When someone dies without a last will and testament, a decedent’s estate is distributed by the law of intestacy.  This simply means that the dece more »

Medicare Rehabilitation Days

Medicare Rehabilitation Days

Q:  I recently fell and broke my hip.  I am now being discharged from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility, will Medicare pay for my stay?   A:  As you may know, Medicare will pay for a patient to receive rehabilitation in a facility if they have a qualifying stay in a hospital, i.e. being admitted to the hospital for two nights. The first twenty days of rehabilitation are completely covered by Medicare. The twenty first day through the one hundredth day will have more »

Effects of Income Change on Medicaid

Effects of Income Change on Medicaid

Q: I am looking into different care options for my mom, but I am concerned that she will lose her income to pay for care.  This is the money she lives on every month.  I recently heard that I could get her care at home through Medicaid and she would still be able to use her income for her regular monthly expenses.  How does this work? A: Community Medicaid is a great way to get the care mom needs at home while still being able to use all of her income for her every day expenses.& more »

Guardianship Options

Guardianship Options

Q: I have a daughter that is 18 years old and has Autism. I know that I need to become her guardian to make decisions for her, but I am not sure about the options.  Can you explain them to me? A: In New York State, when a person turns eighteen, they are presumed to be legally competent to make decision for themselves. However, if a person is intellectually disabled or developmentally disabled, as defined by Article 17-A (“Article 17-A”) of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure more »

Guardianship Article 17-A vs. Article 81

Guardianship Article 17-A vs. Article 81

In New York State, when a person turns eighteen, they are presumed to be legally competent to make decision for themselves. However, if a person is intellectually disabled or developmentally disabled, as defined by Article 17-A (“Article 17-A”) of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, a parent or concerned relative can ask the Surrogate's Court to appoint a guardian to assume the decision-making functions for that person. If a young adult has issues with mental illness or other more »

Sweetheart Wills

Sweetheart Wills

Question: My husband and I did Last Will & Testaments when our children were young – probably about 20 years ago.  Is there any need to update? Answer: In our practice, we see a lot of Last Will & Testaments that were executed when a couple was younger that were appropriate when drafted but outdated.  Your Last Will & Testament probably leaves everything to each other and then to your children.  This is referred to as a “Sweetheart Will.”  While more »

Death of a Gun Owner

Death of a Gun Owner

Q: My father died and owned a gun.  I was named as the executor on his Last Will and Testament.  What should I do with the gun? A:When a gun owner dies, New York law states that the “person in charge of the decedent’s personal belongings” within fifteen days of the death of the gun owner must either: 1) lawfully dispose of the gun(s); or 2) turn the gun(s) over to the police.Failure to do so can result in criminal liability. Fifteen days is not a long time, especiall more »

Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts and Taxes

Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts and Taxes

Question:  My mother has a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust and her house has been owned by this trust for 6 years.  She purchased the house in 1980 for $30,000. It's now worth $400,000. What will be the tax consequences if she sells the house while she is alive? What if we sell it after her death?  Answer:  First, let me say that an attorney should review the trust.  Not all trusts are the same and the answer to your question depends upon what terms are contained in th more »

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