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Disinheriting A Spouse or Child

Generally, individuals are free to leave their estate to whomever they want. However, one cannot completely disinherit one’s spouse. In general, a spouse is entitled to the greater of $50,000 or one-third of the deceased spouse’s net estate. This is called the surviving spouse’s elective share. If the deceased spouse does not leave the foregoing … Continue reading “Disinheriting A Spouse or Child”

Things to Consider When Appointing an Executor, Trustee, etc.

One of the most consequential decisions you will make when you are considering a will, trust or a power of attorney is who will be your fiduciary. A fiduciary may be an executor, who administers a will; a trustee, who administers a trust; or an agent on a power of attorney. They all have the … Continue reading “Things to Consider When Appointing an Executor, Trustee, etc.”

Some More Thoughts on Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts

John and Mary have a house worth about $500,000.00 and about $300,000.00 in a bank account. Paul & Sue also have a house worth about $500,000.00 and about $300,000.00 in a bank account. Neither couple have long-term care insurance. Thus, they start off in the same place. However, Paul and Sue decided to place their … Continue reading “Some More Thoughts on Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts”

Who Will Make Your Healthcare Decisions

By Guest Blogger, Nicole Christensen. “We have to talk” can bring dread to many (especially spouses or partners). We also know talking brings joy, understanding and peace of mind. The Spring season brings family and friends closer together. So let’s take this season to talk about what happens if we get really sick and can’t … Continue reading “Who Will Make Your Healthcare Decisions”

Why You Should Consider Long-Term Care or Medicaid Planning Now

Long-term care costs on Long Island are ruinous for a middle-class family. Nursing home costs are north of $150,000 a year and 24/7 home care could cost you over $118,000 year. We are seeing increasing challenges with respect to obtaining Medicaid for our clients.  Medicaid applications are subject to heightened scrutiny. New York State has … Continue reading “Why You Should Consider Long-Term Care or Medicaid Planning Now”

LETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS TO YOUR EXECUTOR AND AGENTS ON YOUR POWER OF ATTORNEY

We have found that very often when a family member becomes mentally incapacitated or passes away, the family is in the dark about his or her affairs.  Therefore, we recommend that everyone draft a letter of instructions to supplement their estate planning documents.  The following people should be informed where your letter of instructions and … Continue reading “LETTER OF INSTRUCTIONS TO YOUR EXECUTOR AND AGENTS ON YOUR POWER OF ATTORNEY”

Seniors and Driving: Effects on Social Isolation and Health

A recent study has found that elderly drivers who stop driving and lack transportation risk becoming socially isolated, which can lead to a decline in their physical and mental health. The study was performed by Teja Pristavec, a sociology researcher at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. The study was published online in May 2016 … Continue reading “Seniors and Driving: Effects on Social Isolation and Health”

Can Someone Who Has Dementia Sign Legal Documents?

Maybe. In order to sign legal documents in New York, the individual must have legal capacity. Being able to sign one’s name is not sufficient to have legal capacity. The person must understand the document that he or she is signing. As you will see below, different documents have different criteria for the determination of … Continue reading “Can Someone Who Has Dementia Sign Legal Documents?”

Reducing Medicaid Home Care Hours Hurts Seniors

In New York State, there are various Medicaid programs that provide home care. The Medicaid application process for home care used to be much simpler than it is today. One would simply apply for Medicaid with the local Medicaid agency and the Medicaid agency would determine financial eligibility and what services would be received. However, … Continue reading “Reducing Medicaid Home Care Hours Hurts Seniors”