In many cases, a divorce is a traumatic experience for both parties. Usually, neither party has given any thought to the unintended consequences of death or disability during divorce. Until there is a final decree or judgment of separation or divorce, each party remains the spouse of the other. Upon the death of one party,…

When I meet with people for the first time who are interested in estate planning, their focus is usually on after-death planning.  Whether their concern is minimizing estate taxes, planning for minor or spendthrift children, or simply passing assets to the next generation as quickly and efficiently as possible, nearly every meeting begins with a…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman The truth is that very often, “elder law” attorney is a misnomer as it pertains to many of our clients.  For example, nearly everyone should have a comprehensive Power of Attorney. Some of our youngest clients have just become adults who come to us for a Power of Attorney before…

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…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman This is a question that often comes up in the midst of the grief of losing a loved one.  The thought of having to deal with bureaucracy, attorneys and Courts can be overwhelming. The first step is to determine – to the extent that you’re able – whether your sister…

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…

You are never too young to draft your estate planning documents.  I am sure you would agree that anything can happen to anyone at any time.  There are several cases in my office that can be used for illustrative purposes. A few months ago, I was retained by the family of a 43-year-old male who…

Actually, yes!  When someone dies, the first step is to determine if the decedent owned any assets individually, meaning there were assets with no joint owner or designated beneficiary.  A very common fact pattern is where a surviving spouse dies owning a house.  Once it is determined that individually owned assets exist, someone needs to…

The main purpose of a will is to direct where your assets will go after you die, but it can also be used to instruct your heirs how to pay money that you owe.

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…

Assuming by your question that you are a beneficiary of your parent’s estate, you are entitled to certain information.  For instance, where the Estate is not required to file an estate tax return, an Executor must file an Inventory of Assets with the Court within six months of his appointment.  Where the Executor is prepared…

The answer to this question is dependent on the County you live in.  Regardless, the probate process can take quite some time and delay the distribution of assets to your heirs. The probate process begins by retaining us to prepare certain documents that must be filed with the Surrogate’s Court in the County where the…

Grandparents may be tempted to leave an IRA to a grandchild because children have a low tax rate, but the “kiddie tax” could make doing this less beneficial.

  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…

  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…

This is Attorney Advertising. This web site is designed for general information only.
The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons