Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

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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Grantor Trust Rules

Question: My friend has an irrevocable trust to protect assets in case she needs Medicaid to pay for her long-term care. What are the tax ramifications of this kind of trust? Answer: The typical Medicaid trust is a grantor trust for income tax purposes and is includible in your estate for estate tax purposes.  The…

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Small Estate Proceeding

Question: My father died without a Will leaving only a checking account in his sole name with a balance of $35,000. My brother and I are his only heirs. I have heard that there is a proceeding in the Surrogate’s Court to handle an estate of this value. Can you tell me about it? Answer:…

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2020 Medicaid Levels

Question: My husband may require care in a Nursing facility. I was considering applying for Medicaid but I have heard that we could lose everything if we accept assistance through the Medicaid program. Is this correct?  Answer: No, however this is a common misconception. Medicaid is a means tested program and accordingly applicants must meet…

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STAR Program Changes

Question: I heard there have been some changes with the STAR program, how can I be sure that I will continue to get my reduction in my tax bill? Answer: Yes, there have been some changes to the STAR program effective this year. STAR is the New York State Tax Relief Program which provides qualified…

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Retirement and the SECURE Act

The new Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, effective January 1, 2020, is the broadest piece of retirement legislation passed in thirteen years. The law focuses on retirement planning in three areas: modifying required minimum distribution (RMD) rules for retirement plans; expanding retirement plan access and increasing lifetime income options in retirement…

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Social Security and Medicaid

Q: Will my Social Security deposit increase in the New Year?  A: New Year, new income and asset thresholds! Each year the Social Security Administration determines if there will be an across the board Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income. For 2020, this increase will be 1.6%. With this COLA, Medicare…

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