Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Why You Need a Living Will

Making medical decisions for a loved one is extremely difficult, but making end of life decisions for someone is legally impossible without proof of his or her wishes. In New York, nobody may make end of life decisions for another–such as to forgo life sustaining treatments which only serve to artificially prolong one’s life—unless there…

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Burner Law Group, P.C. Celebrates 25 Years

It is with great pride that we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Burner Law Group. It is a milestone attributable to the core principles on which our firm is built: to put the client’s needs first and foremost, to give employees opportunity for growth and a work-life balance because happy employees make happy clients, and…

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When would I use a Qtip Trust?

What is a Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) trust and when would I use it? A Qualified Terminable Interest Property trust, commonly known as a QTIP trust for short, is a type of marital trust that offers flexibility in planning for your spouse and remainder beneficiaries upon your death, while also providing estate tax planning…

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Avoiding Probate with an Affidavit

When someone in New York State dies with a small amount of money, the family may be able to avoid probate by using a “1310”, or small estate affidavit. This affidavit may be used by certain family members or the decedent’s creditors to collect assets up to a certain value in the decedent’s sole name….

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A Power of Attorney is Essential for Medicaid Planning – Even if You are Married

A common misconception is that spouses have full access to each other’s finances, but this is not the case. Retirement accounts, pensions, and other assets in one’s individual name cannot be accessed by a spouse unless that spouse has been authorized to do so under a valid Power of Attorney. Medicaid recipients with retirement accounts…

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How Gifting Affects Medicaid Eligibility

Gifting and Medicaid planning is commonly misunderstood.  We often see clients who believe that the gifting rules for Medicaid are the same as the IRS gifting regulations.  The IRS allows a person to give up to $15,000.00 per person annually without penalty.  Under the Code, all gifts made in any given year are subject to…

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Revocable Trusts Are Not for Medicaid Planning

A revocable trust is not used in Medicaid planning. According to the Medicaid program, assets in a revocable trust are still considered available resources for eligibility purposes.  This is because the grantor of a revocable trust has full control of and access to the money and property in the trust, and thus can utilize those…

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What is a Revocable Trust?

A Revocable Living Trust, also called an intervivos trust, is a trust created during a person’s lifetime and is designed to give the grantor (creator) flexibility and control over his or her assets.  With a Revocable Trust, you may act as your own Trustee, thereby maintaining complete control over your assets during your lifetime. With a…

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Spousal Refusal

If the spouse living in the community executes a Spousal refusal form, the community spouse’s assets are not used in calculating the asset eligibility of the medicaid applicant.  If one spouse requires nursing home care, the community spouse does not need to spend down all his or her assets and become impoverished paying for care. …

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What is Community Medicaid?

The Community Based Medicaid program assists applicants in paying for the cost of nursing home level care while remaining in their home. The Medicaid home care program can also pay for certain adult day care programs and needed medical supplies. Since Medicaid is a mean-based joint state and federal program, certain eligibility requirements must be…

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