A guardian is an individual (or sometimes an entity) appointed by the Court to handle the personal and/or financial affairs of a minor child.  In New York, a child under the age of eighteen is considered a minor.  Usually, the Court appoints a guardian for both the person and property of a minor, but…

  For 2017, the federal lifetime estate and gift tax exemption have increased to $5,490,000.  This means that you can gift this amount over your lifetime without incurring a federal gift tax and to the extent you haven’t done so, any exemption remaining at death can be applied against the value of your estate for…

  Leaving assets to your children gives rise to many considerations.  For instance, if the child is a minor, you do not want assets passing to that minor child outright.  Even if the child is not a minor, there is a widely accepted sentiment that most children should not take total possession and control of…

Medicaid Planning in Advance of Changes to the Healthcare System By: Salvatore M. Di Costanzo, Esq.   With Congress about to break for a two week Spring recess, the repeal of Obamacare appears to have stalled and remains uncertain.  Notwithstanding, we must pay attention to the various proposals that have been put forth by the…

This is a real fact pattern. I recently met with a family whose 86 year old Mother was admitted to a nursing home for dementia.  They sought my assistance in obtaining Medicaid eligibility to pay for the nursing home, which cost $15,000 per month.  Mother is still on Medicare which pays for the first 100…

An integral part of our practice involves planning with the assets of individuals who are disabled or have special needs. These individuals are usually persons who have developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, or who suffer from other severe and chronic or persistent disabilities. We commonly refer to these individuals as supplemental needs beneficiaries and the primary…

At some point, most people experience that enlightening moment when they realize there is a risk of losing their assets if they fall ill and require long-term care. Some will contact an elder law attorney and receive sound advice; others will contact their friends and relatives, who after all, usually know more than most attorneys…

The look-back period is very different from the penalty period and as always the rules are different depending on whether you are seeking Medicaid to cover the cost of homecare or nursing home care. Conceptually, the look-back period is the period where asset transfers may impact your eligibility for Medicaid. The penalty period is the…

Second to the house, an individual retirement account (“IRA”) is usually the largest asset when looking into someone’s financial portfolio. The tax and Medicaid rules dealing with IRAs are very different yet related, quite complex and often misinterpreted or misapplied. It is important to have a general understanding of these rules in order to avoid…

If you are reading this article, it is likely that at some point in your lifetime you may have worked through the placement of a loved one in a nursing home. If not, there is a high probability you know of someone who has. With the cost of nursing home care exceeding $150,000.00 per year…

Estate planning documents need to be regularly reviewed. I often tell clients to review their estate plan every three to five years or upon the occurrence of a significant life event such as a birth, marriage, divorce or death. Documents should also be reviewed for changes in the law. One of the benefits to connecting…

If there is one unavoidable consequence of life and relationships, it is that our loved ones may fall ill at some point, whether it be a parent, grandparent, child, aunt or uncle. Sometimes it could be a tragic accident or disease that affects them, and other times it is simply part of the aging process….

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