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Recent Blog Posts

Why You Need a Statutory Gifts Rider

While many people may have a general understanding that a durable power of attorney (POA) allows a person to appoint an agent to take care of their finances, various issues can arise if the POA is not properly prepared and/or executed. One such issue often arises regarding the Statutory Gifts Rider (SGR), which is essential for… Read More »

How Digital Assets Figure Into Estate Planning

As digital assets, electronic communication and electronic information continue to grow, it has become more and more necessary for clients to address this property in their estate planning. Last fall, Governor Cuomo signed into law, Estate Powers and Trusts Law (EPTL) Article 13-A, entitled Administration of Digital Assets. Consider the following scenarios: Henry has an active social… Read More »

Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts

Many people recognize the importance of implementing traditional estate planning techniques such as having a will or revocable trust, executing a durable power of attorney and preparing advance health care directives. But advance planning for long term care (LTC) in a nursing home often doesn’t get the attention it should. Without proper planning, a mere two-year period of… Read More »

When Not To Gift

One of the commonly misunderstood (or perhaps unknown) issues to be considered with regard to the gifting/transferring of one’s property is the issue of “step-up in basis.” Internal Revenue Code §1014(a) provides that the cost basis of property for the person acquiring same from a decedent is the fair market value (FMV) of the property at… Read More »

7 Reasons to Review Your Will

While we may WANT to think that preparing a will is a one-time event, life happens – along with its many curve balls; relationships, preferences, circumstances and even assets change over time. It is therefore recommended that you review your will every three to five years to make sure it still reflects your wishes and desires…. Read More »

Selecting Your Agents

When preparing your estate plan, you will have to make at least three significant decisions: who to select as the executor of your will, your agent under a power of attorney, and your agent via a health care proxy. Depending upon the complexity of your estate plan, you may also need to select trustee(s), guardian(s) of… Read More »

What Is An Elder Law Attorney?

Elder Law Attorneys do more than simply draft wills and trusts, we also plan for future medical and long term care needs. We have very specific knowledge of the various and complex laws and regulations concerning Medicaid, Social Security and income, estate taxes, among others. And it’s our job to implement planning techniques and strategies particular… Read More »

Medicaid Estate Recovery

When applying for Medicaid benefits, you will become educated on the various exempt assets you are allowed to own, while still qualifying for Medicaid. Typically, your most valuable exempt asset is your primary residence/home. As of January 1, 2019, a Medicaid applicant/recipient can own a primary residence with an equity value up to $878,000, and still… Read More »

Advance Directives to Preserve Family Harmony

Most people we work with understand the importance of estate planning and preserving assets. But many overlook their most valued asset: family harmony. Keeping that in mind, there are certain options you may consider when planning your advance directives and/or estate to foster a more harmonious administration of your estate and forestall potentially contentious situations: The… Read More »

Guardianship: A Last Resort

When a spouse or a parent begins to show signs of dementia or other memory problems, what are your options to help care for them? One option is provided under Article 81 of New York’s Mental Hygiene Law, which creates a legal relationship between a court appointed guardian and a ward. A ward is a person… Read More »