The Secure Act

Many of you who watch my bi-weekly Facebook Live videos (which can be found on my website @ www.plantodayfortomorrow.com or Facebook page @ www.facebook.com/plantodayfortomorrow) already know that Medicaid eligibility has recently become even more challenging. As if dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic wasn’t enough, on April 2, 2020, Governor Cuomo’s State Budget implemented a new 2.5-year…

This week, Chuck Newman of Charles Newman Co., joins Sal to discuss Current Trends in Long Term Care Insurance. Learn about the most popular types of long term care insurance together with elder law planning techniques to hedge against the total cost.

This week, we introduce Martin Johnson, Matrimonial and Family Law Attorney with Johnson and Cohen, LLP located in White Plains and Pearl River, NY. Marty and Sal will be discussing the interplay between matrimonial law and estate planning.

Thursday, June 11th, 2020, Sal discussed Special Needs Planning, a common planning technique to shelter the assets of a disabled person. Sal will talk about the various types of supplemental needs trusts. Tune-in and share with people you feel may benefit from hearing this talk.

Do I need to disinherit my disabled child?

I’ve seen plenty of families disinherit a disabled child by leaving the family assets to non-disabled children under the theory that those assets will be used to take care of the disabled child.  This is unnecessary and riddled with complexities.  For instance, what happens if you leave your assets to your daughter thinking that she…

Turkey, Football and Eldercare Discussions

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is the holiday when the entire family, for better or worse, comes together.  After the melatonin calms everyone’s nerves, this a great opportunity for families to discuss sensitive topics which are often set aside for “some other time”.  In some instances, the discussion might be driven by children encouraging family members to get…

Using a Medicaid Trust Without Losing Control

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…

If properly drafted and executed, certain New York estate planning documents, such as a Last Will and Testament (“Will”) or a trust should be recognized outside of New York. For instance, if you sign a Will while present in New York and follow the proper formalities of a Will execution (e.g. at least two witnesses,…

When someone nominates you as the Executor of their Last Will and Testament (“Will”), you are not obligated to accept such nomination. In fact, until the Will is probated, you are only a nominated Executor. Your nomination becomes official once the Surrogate’s Court admits the Will to probate and is represented by a piece of…

If I update my Estate Planning Documents, may I destroy the previous versions?

While the drafting of new estate planning documents generally replaces previous versions, we generally advise our clients to preserve their old documents because they may be useful in defending your intent after your death. For instance, suppose you prepare a new Last Will and Testament (“Will”) when others may be questioning your capacity and in…

Do you understand who will inherit your Estate if you die without a will?

Co-Authored by Joanna C. Feldman, Esq. Do you understand who will inherit your Estate if you die without a Will? We recently read an article about a multi-millionaire who died without having executed a Last Will and Testament (“Will”). Certain members of his extended family, with whom he likely had little to no relationship, inherited…

How should I deal with my personal belongings in my Last Will and Testament?

Personal belongings, such as jewelry, coin collections, furniture, photographs, family heirlooms, and other items of sentimental value are typically referred to as tangible personal property.  Some people are happy to let their personal belongings be part of their residuary estate.  Others prefer to identify certain items in their Last Will and Testament (“Will”) and designate…

Powerless Power of Attorney

by Salvatore M. Di Costanzo, Esq., and Joanna C. Feldman, Esq. Regardless of whether your estate plan is basic or complex, it is important to review the plan every few years for reasons that include life events and changes in laws and/or regulations. Life Events Estate plans can change drastically upon the occurrence of certain…

Elder Law Answers - Do I need a Last Will and Testament if I designate Beneficiaries for all of my Assets?

Co-Authored by Joanna C. Feldman Many people ask whether – or even why – they need a Last Will and Testament (“Will”) if they designate beneficiaries to inherit their assets upon their death. In some cases, designating beneficiaries on all assets may be appropriate. In other cases, however, unintended complications can arise. In all cases,…

Gift Tax

How much can I gift each year? Most people think you can only gift $15,000.00 per recipient in 2019.  You might be surprised to hear that you can gift a lot more than that.  You might be saying, “I thought the annual federal gift tax exclusion is $15,000.00”.  While you are correct, it is important…

First and foremost, I recommend that you have an open discussion with your family about the disposition of your remains. These are very sensitive issues and there is no substitute for a well- informed family. New York State law, however, does provide a mechanism for you to express your wishes in writing. Section 4201 of…

Co-authored by Joanna C. Feldman This question was recently asked at an event we hosted during which we discussed strategies to leave a legacy after death.  A Medicaid Trust is an irrevocable trust used to protect assets should one need nursing home care and seek Medicaid to help cover the cost.  Because assets in a Medicaid…

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…

While I cannot say whether there are mistakes in your estate planning documents, the wording of your document may be confusing to you as a non-attorney. Legal documents contain a great deal of legalese.  For purposes of this response, I am assuming that you are leaving all of your assets to your children.  First, it…

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,…

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