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Elder Law

Trusts for Mommy and Me

Trusts for Mommy and Me

Question:  My mother has a trust that protects her house in case she needs long term care in a nursing home.  Is this legal?  Also, when she dies the trust is paid to another trust for me.  Do I need this?  I am only 53 and my mother is 75.  Answer: I assume what you are describing is an Irrevocable Medicaid qualifying trust.  Based upon that assumption, the trust is a very common and effective way to protect assets in case your mother later needs nursing hom 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 »

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 »

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 »

Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment

Question: I’m currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan and was told that I should switch to traditional Medicare, I am getting overwhelmed with all of the choices and options.  Answer: Fall Open Enrollment for Medicare begins on October 15 this year and will last until December 7th.   During this time period those who are enrolled in Medicare can make changes to their health plan and prescription drug coverage without penalty.  During this time those who are enr 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Executor Commissions

Executor Commissions

Q:         I was named as the Executor in my mother’s Will.  Do I receive a fee for serving as Executor of the Estate?    A:        To begin, it is important to understand the functions of an Executor.  The Executor will be required to perform duties which will depend upon, and be specific to, the respective estate.  Some of these duties may include: probating the Decedent’s Will, marshalling the De more »

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