Change is inevitable, and it comes in many shapes and sizes.  Death, disability, and divorce are three of the most common changes in life that can wreak havoc on an estate plan.  If your estate plan is not flexible, there could be unintended consequences.  With the increasing popularity of revocable trusts, whether drafted by attorneys…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman Let’s consider the cost of care versus the legal fees to implement proper planning. So often, when I ask clients about their assets, they respond “I have nothing”, yet they own a house.  For some reason, it seems to be common that where there are little cash assets, there is a…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman To be eligible for Medicaid benefits in a nursing home in 2018, one may have no more than $15,150.00 in available assets. A life insurance policy with no cash value is not considered an available asset. If a life insurance policy has cash value, however, the cash value of the…

While an annuity might serve you well from a financial planning perspective, financial planners and clients must be aware of the treatment of annuities for Medicaid purposes. For Medicaid eligibility purposes, the cash value of an annuity is considered an available resource. This means that an annuity is treated like cash and if you need…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman A Medicaid Trust is often used when planning for the future and contemplating the fact that one might eventually need nursing home care.  The average monthly cost of a nursing home in our area exceeds $12,000.00, and there are only four ways to pay for such care: privately (which can be…

We have all heard the saying “life is full of regrets”.  I have compiled a list of the most common regrets that I often hear from clients, but more often, their family members, during my practicing as an elder law and special needs planning attorney.  If you have neglected any of these topics, my hope…

The median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States has increased to $97,455 a year, up 5.5 percent from 2016, according to Genworth's 2017 Cost of Care survey.

Unfortunately, we cannot control if and when we may fall ill but we can be proactive to protect our financial assets by planning early.  The risk of requiring a nursing home within five years of creating a Medicaid Trust is generally a risk associated with waiting too long to meet with and elder law attorney….

It is worth noting at the outset that there are many types of irrevocable trusts.  I think it is safe to assume that when you reference an irrevocable trust, you are speaking of the trust that we regularly use to protect your assets if you need to apply for Medicaid in the future.  For our…

  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…

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…

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…

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…

I recently entered the world of beekeeping. When contemplating this new hobby, I obviously vetted my ideas with friends and family (not the neighbors). Their responses were comical and in all cases, far from the truth. Sitting down to write this piece I thought, this is no different than the practice of elder law. So…

In Yorktown, NY and the surrounding community, I often see the homestead as the single most valuable asset of an estate. The “American Dream” is to own a home, create memories there, and one day, leave it to your children. However, without proper planning, the dream can soon turn into a nightmare if nursing home…

In a perfect world, everyone would craft an estate and elder care plan well in advance of having to implement it˗ but the world isn’t perfect! I have had the opportunity to work on a fair amount of cases where clients, who had no estate or elder can plan, fell ill or became disabled. In…

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