living will vs. healthcare proxy

This question often arises where an individual requires some assistance with her activities of daily living but can largely function on her own. These are almost always homecare cases and can be tricky from a planning perspective. We utilize the professional knowledge of geriatric care managers, nurses or social workers to assess the functional limitations…

living will vs. healthcare proxy

Co-Authored by Joanna C. Feldman, Esq. Long-term care insurance can be a great arrow in one’s quiver of tools when planning for the future.  But long-term care insurance premiums can be expensive, or, possibly more importantly, the coverage can be capped in a variety of ways. Many long-term care insurance (“LTCI”) policies have a maximum…

Estate-planning-assets-for-children

Co-Authored by Joanna C. Feldman, Esq. The short answer is no, but let’s go further. Medicaid applications to cover expenses in a nursing home are subject to the five-year look back period.  This means that any gifts, uncompensated transfers, or transfers for less than fair market value made by the applicant within the five years…

How long does a Medicaid home care application take? What is the process?

by Salvatore M. Di Costanzo, Esq., and Joanna C. Feldman, Esq. An application for Medicaid benefits to cover home care services is less complicated than an application for coverage for nursing home care, which requires submission of a full financial history for the previous five years. A Medicaid home care application requires submission of a…

While you generally do not have to sell your home in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, it is possible the state can file a claim against your house after you die, so you may want to take steps to protect your house. 

Powerless Power of Attorney

The Power of Attorney (“POA”) and Statutory Gifts Rider (“SGR”) are two of the most important documents drafted by an elder law attorney.  The absence of or deficiencies in these documents increases the likelihood of the need to commence a costly guardianship proceeding to be able to implement many common elder law planning techniques necessary…

A Medicaid Trust is an irrevocable trust designed to protect your assets from the staggering costs of long-term care, usually nursing home care. You will be pleased to know that while the trust is irrevocable, many bells and whistles can be included in the trust, which give you a great degree of control. In fact,…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman Under the usual fact pattern, a retirement account will not render someone ineligible for Medicaid.  There are initially two major issues when considering whether someone is eligible for Medicaid: resources and income.  Retirement accounts can fall in both categories. For resources purposes, in New York, retirement accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s,…

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…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman This is a question we’re continually asked, so we’re glad we have another opportunity to clear things up. The main thing to remember is this: IRS rules are different from Medicaid rules. Under current IRS rules, you may gift up to $15,000.00 to as many people as you’d like in…

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 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…

Coauthored by Joanna C. Feldman We’re so glad you asked this question, which shows pervasive misinformation that causes unnecessary struggle.  Based on the facts presented, it sounds like your aunt could qualify for Medicaid, which would help pay for aides at home.  This is known as community Medicaid. To be eligible for Medicaid, one cannot have…

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…

A 529 plan is a very common planning technique used by grandparents to fund a grandchild’s college education.  Simply stated, contributions to a 529 plan grow tax-free over the life of the plan and if used for qualified tuition costs, the distributions from the plan are also tax-free. Notwithstanding the beneficial tax treatment of a…

Contrary to popular belief, it is never too late.  An elder law attorney can work to implement many different techniques even at the 11th hour to preserve assets.  What is important is that you have a relationship with an elder law attorney.  An elder law attorney can relieve some of the anxiety natural to this time…

  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…

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