Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

How Do I Know If I Have to Probate the Will?

Q: My loved one recently passed away and I am the nominated executor in the Will. How do I know if I have to probate the Will? A: The answer to this question depends on how the individual’s assets are titled at the time of death. Generally, assets that are titled in the individual’s name…

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Seeking an Attorney for Medicaid Application

Q: Do I need to hire an attorney to complete a Medicaid application for my dad?  He has some assets in his name, including his primary residence, which I have heard is automatically protected from Medicaid. A: The Medicaid health care system is a tricky system to navigate with its extensive rules, regulations and exceptions. …

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Health Care Proxy and Living Will

Question: If I have a health care proxy do I also need a living will? Answer: That’s a great question and one that we are often asked. A health care proxy is the document which designates an agent or “proxy” to make health care decisions for you in the event that you are unable to…

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Can I Refinance My Home If it is in an Irrevocable Trust?

Many people use irrevocable trusts as part of their estate plan for tax savings, asset protection and Medicaid planning. In all these types of trusts, the Grantor (creator) of the trust is going to be limited to their access of the principal of the trust in order to ensure that their planning needs are met….

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Expectancy Interest in Transfer on Death Accounts

Q: My mother is an assisted living facility and while going through some of her papers, I found that there is a bank account worth about $120,000 in her sole name that I am listed as a transfer on death (TOD) beneficiary. I have 2 other siblings that are not listed on this account. What…

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Chronic Medicaid

Question: I was speaking with a friend and she mentioned that I should consult an attorney for asset protection. I do not have a taxable estate, but she referred to a 5-year lookback. I do not understand why I would need asset protection. Answer: Your friend was most likely referring to asset protection relating to…

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Resale of Property in a Trust

Q: I transferred ownership of my house to a Medicaid Qualifying Trust ten years ago. I just put it on the market for sale, where will the proceeds go after sale? Are they protected? A: Many clients choose to place their primary residence into a Medicaid Qualifying Trust. Once the trust is drafted and signed…

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Nancy Burner, Esq. included in Best Lawyers 2020 Lawyers of the Year Honors

Nancy Burner, Esq. has been recognized by Best Lawyers TM as the 2020 Long Island Elder Law “Lawyer of the Year.” Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers ® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Almost 94,000 industry leading lawyers are eligible to…

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Descendant or Beneficiary Trusts

Question: My friend told me that when he dies, his house and brokerage accounts are going to go to his children in trusts. I thought that trusts were only for people with large amounts of money that are trying to avoid taxes. Is this true? What are the benefits of his children receiving assets in…

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Differently Abled Person Tax Exemption

While the beginning of the year is typically tax season, it is important to remember that property tax exemptions can be applied for at this time. There are different programs that homeowners should be aware of in order to potentially save with respect to property taxes. Most individuals are familiar with the STAR program which…

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