Remember, the purpose of a revocable trust is to avoid probate and following fact patterns make it a necessity to use a revocable trust. Owning property outside of New York State If you own property outside of New York State in your individual name, a proceeding must be commenced in the other state to transfer…

For many families, a good portion of their wealth exists through the equity in their home.  The home may also be the most sentimental asset as it carries many memories and emotional ties.  We often counsel clients on different planning techniques to protect the home where Medicaid is contemplated to pay for nursing home or…

Special Needs Trusts are an integral part of almost every estate plan.  I use them in most of my estate planning documents.  There are two types of Special Needs Trusts: First Party and Third Party. A First Party Special Needs Trust is a trust created with the assets of a disabled person who is under…

Special Needs Trusts are an integral part of almost every estate plan, yet, most people do not realize this.  Typically, those who consult us on the applicability of Special Needs Trusts are either disabled or closely involved with a disabled child or other adult.  In these instances, the need for a Special Needs Trust might…

This is a very common issue with revocable trusts and it results from not respecting the formalities of the trust. In order for a revocable trust to work as intended, that is, to avoid probate, your assets must be transferred to the trust.  For instance, if you own a house, the deed needs to be…

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…

  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…

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…

Many people are unsure as to whether a Last Will and Testament (“Will”) is sufficient to accomplish their estate planning goals and objectives or if a Revocable Trust (“Trust”) is the more pertinent planning technique. Adding to the uncertainty is the plethora of propaganda disseminated by attorneys who promote trusts. Both serve a purpose but…

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…

Over the years, I have found that one of the biggest obstacles preventing clients from pulling the trigger on a Medicaid Trust is the perception that all control is lost over the assets being transferred to the trust. While it is true that legal title to the assets must be transferred to the trustee, a…

PLANNING FOR THE NEEDS OF A DISABLED PERSON According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), approximately 20% of U.S adults are disabled. A growing number of people between the ages of 45 and 64 are becoming disabled. Some argue that the recent economic downturn, coupled with caring for adult parents and young…

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