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Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

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 »

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 »

Compelling a Fiduciary to Account an Estate

Compelling a Fiduciary to Account an Estate

Q: My sister is the Executor of my mother’s estate. She had three children and we all share the estate equally.  My sister sent me a Receipt and Release Agreement proposing a distribution to me of $50,000.00. I want the money, but I don’t feel comfortable signing the Receipt and Release. What should I do? A: My advice would be to not sign the Receipt and Release until you are provided an accounting by your sister as Executor of the Estate. You should demand this accounting in w more »

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 »

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