Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

New NY Estate Tax Law

New York’s Estate Tax law has just seen its most dramatic change in recent memory. Finally, the exemption has increased from $1,000,000.00 where it has remained since 2002, with the exemption set to increase annually until it matches the federal estate tax exemption in 2019. After 2019, the exemption will be indexed for inflation annually…

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Do I Need a Power of Attorney?

Question: My husband and I own almost all of our assets jointly and those which we do not, have designated beneficiaries.  Is it still necessary to have a Power of Attorney? Answer: The answer is yes.  Clients often ask this question and our answer is always the same, no matter how your property is titled…

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Ancillary Probate Proceedings

  Question:  My mother is a resident of Virginia.  She owns a condominium in Virginia and has several bank accounts in her sole name. She also owns a summer home in Westhampton that is titled in her sole name.  When she passes away, what is the procedure to transfer her Westhampton home to the beneficiaries…

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Community Medicaid Income Options

Question:  My father recently fell and broke his hip, he is coming home from the hospital and will require some help at home.   I’ve heard that Medicaid can provide those services, however he has approximately $2,000.00 per month in income and my mother has approximately $1,000.00 per month income.  Can he qualify and if so,…

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Nancy Burner has been named by “New York Super Lawyers” magazine as one of the top attorneys in the State of New York for 2013

Nancy Burner has been named by New York Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top attorneys in the state of New York for 2013. Only five percent of the lawyers in the state are named by Super Lawyers. This is Nancy’s sixth year as an Elder Care and Estate Planning attorney receiving this honor….

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Annuities and Medicaid

This week’s column is a continuation of our column from last week where we answered questions regarding tax-deferred annuities, the different types and the tax benefits and consequences of purchasing or owning one. Included in the questions posed last week was “what are the Medicaid implications for the owner of an annuity.”  We address that…

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Decendants Trusts

As an Elder Law attorney, many clients consult with me with regard to trust planning to protect assets from the cost of long term care. However, many clients do not realize trusts can also be used to protect assets for your children. These types of trusts are known as Descendants’ Trusts and can be incorporated…

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Completing IRA Benficiary Designation Forms

Question: I have several IRA accounts; can you give me advice on completing the beneficiary designation forms? Answer: Some of the most costly estate planning mistakes we hear about involve IRA’s. For every IRA you should complete a beneficiary designation form. Keep a copy of the form(s) among your important papers. Do not rely on…

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Estate Recovery and Homestead

  Question:  My mother, who is widowed, is receiving Community Based Medicaid services.  She currently owns a home in her own name; she has been hesitant to transfer it out of her name.  I am concerned about Medicaid having a claim against the house after her death, am I right to be concerned? Answer:  Yes. …

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Power of Attorney

  Question: My aunt has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She is in the early stages, can she sign a power of attorney? Who determines if she has capacity? Answer: This is an excellent question and one that comes up often in the practice of Elder Law. The fact that your aunt has a diagnosis…

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