Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Taxation of a Decedent

Question:  I want to know what taxes will be owed on my mother’s Estate.  I am her Executor and she died on April 2, 2015.  She left an IRA worth $100,000.00 and a house worth $250,000.00 that was purchased many years ago for $20,000.00.  I am so confused with regard to income taxes, estate taxes…

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Duties of an Estate Fiduciary

Q: My father recently passed away and I was just appointed executor of his estate. The information letter the Surrogate’s Court sent in the mail says that I am a “fiduciary,” what does that mean? A:  The executor is a fiduciary of the estate and must administer the estate in accordance with the decedent’s wishes…

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Supplemental Needs Trust for Disabled Child

Question:  I have three sons and one is disabled.  Should my Will leave everything to my other two sons so that my disabled son does not lose his government benefits when he receives an inheritance?  I am sure my other two sons will always take care of him. Answer:  There is no reason to disinherit…

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Do I Lose Everything If My Spouse Applies for Medicaid to Pay for a Nursing Home?

*Updated August 2020 A common misconception of people researching the viability of Medicaid to pay for a Nursing Home is that the “well” spouse will be left with no assets. Despite Medicaid being a means tested program with strict income and asset requirements, there are protections for spouses who remain in the community. In 2020,…

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IRA Beneficiary Designations

Question:  I have recently rolled over my employer sponsored 401(k) plan into an existing IRA. I am not sure if I need to update the beneficiary designation forms on file; can you give me some advice? Answer: Some of the most costly estate planning mistakes I see involve retirement accounts. The mistakes are usually made…

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VA Benefits

Question: My father is a World World II Veteran. He is 89 years old and lives alone. Unfortunately, his health is declining and he needs some assistance with his activities of daily living. What benefits might be available to him? What estate planning would he need to complete in order to be eligible for these…

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Release of Medical Records

Question: My mom recently came to live with me, can I get a copy of her medical records? Answer: The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) is meant to protect your mom’s confidentiality and privacy regarding her health information. You may only have access to your mom’s medical information if she gives you authorization. …

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2nd Annual Client Appreciation Event: Family Night at the Long Island Museum

This past Wednesday, August 26th 2015, over 350 of our clients and their families joined us for our 2nd Annual Client Appreciation Event: Family Night at the Long Island Museum. Fun was had by all as we enjoyed music from the Hackensack Men and Trenton Horns, a BBQ dinner from Villa Sorrento Restaurant & Catering…

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FIDA: You Must Opt Out

Beginning in March 2015, if you are Medicare and Medicaid eligible (dual eligible) in Suffolk County, you will receive a notice alerting you of the option to enroll in a FIDA plan.  FIDA stands for Fully Integrated Duals Advantage.  This is a new health coverage program which will allow you to throw away all your…

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Taxation of a Decedent

Q: My brother passed away in September 2014, and I was recently appointed Executor of his estate.  I have started to get 1099s for his various financial accounts. I know that tax season is right around the corner and I have to file tax returns, but am not sure what returns need to be filed…

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