Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Internet Wills

Question: My friends used an online service to prepare their Wills.  They signed them at in the presence of their neighbors.  They said it was much less expensive than going to an attorney to have a Will prepared. I am planning to disinherit one of my children but I am hesitant to have my Will…

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Home Transfer When On Community Medicaid

 Question: My mother is receiving Community Based Medicaid. She owns a house in her sole name. She has received advice on what to do with the house such as transfer it to her children or to a trust. Are these options advisable?  Answer: The house should be transferred out of your Mom’s name.  Individuals who…

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Protecting Your Home

Clients often ask how they can ensure the home in which they live or their vacation home can be protected against the cost of long term care. These assets are often worth much more to our clients than the cash value; they represent hard work to pay off the mortgage and are wrapped in memories….

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Consenting to the Probate of a Will

Question: My aunt recently passed away and I received something in the mail from an attorney’s office called a “Waiver of Process; Consent to Probate”, what does this form mean? Answer: You received this document because the nominated Executor is trying to “probate” your aunt’s Will.  Probating a Will means that the nominated Executor is submitting a…

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New York State Estate Tax Update

The New York State Estate Tax exclusion amount has increased again as of April 1, 2015 to $3,125,000.00. This is an increase from the $2,062,500 exclusion amount which was in effect from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015.  The exclusion will continue to increase each April 1st in the years 2016 and 2017. On…

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Guardianships

Question:  My mother was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She never executed a health care proxy or power of attorney so no one has been appointed to handle her finances or make medical decisions on her behalf.   Is it too late now to execute these documents? What will happen if she never executes them?  Answer:  Having…

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Revocable Trusts

Question: My mom has her house in a Revocable Living Trust.  Will the Revocable Trust protect the house if she needs long term care in a nursing facility? Answer: No, a Revocable Living Trust offers no asset protection with respect to Medicaid eligibility.  A Revocable Living Trust is a trust that you create during your lifetime, it…

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Gifting 2015

Question: My mother is widowed and is beginning to decline in health. I have four siblings. We know that in order to qualify for Medicaid, Mom cannot have more than a certain amount of assets in her name. She rents a house, but has approximately $150,000.00 in various CD accounts. A friend of hers told her…

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Chronic Care Eligibility

Question: If I go to a nursing home, will I have to spend all my assets before I can get on Medicaid? Answer: No, it is not necessary to spend all your assets before the Medicaid program will be able to pay your nursing home bill. Let us begin this discussion with an explanation of…

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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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