Articles Tagged with NY elder law

After taking the time to plan and execute a will, many people wonder what to do with the actual document to ensure it stays safe and can be found by the executor when the time comes. Without the original, executed copy of the last will and testament, the executor may be unable to pass the estate through probate and the court will consider the estate to be in intestacy.

Some of the most common places people keep their wills can include the office of the attorney who may have helped draft the will and advise the client, a safe deposit box in a bank, or in a fireproof safe at the individual’s home. Each of these scenarios have strengths and weaknesses and what may be the right fit for one person may not be the best for another. In any case, the executor’s access to the original copy of the last will and testament is crucial to the estate passing through probate.

Another less well known option is the register the original copy of the will with the appropriate Surrogate’s Court while the testator is still alive. Filing the will with your local probate court is a good plan in case the executor to your estate cannot find the original copy of the will or if you believe the document may be subject to tampering.

Medicaid is a safety net for millions of senior citizens across the country, providing funding to pay for home care, adult day care, or prescription drugs. However, the program is designed for low income individuals and can leave many on the fence financially over whether to choose to spend down assets or pay for these necessary services themselves.

Currently, the threshold to receive Medicaid services is only a few hundred dollars for individuals and just over $1,000 for married couples, which leaves these individuals with little income to pay rent, utilities, or buy groceries. Even financially secure seniors can find themselves needing vital Medicaid services like in-home or nursing home care in the event of a catastrophic health event, making planning for the future and keeping options open all the more vital.

One option that may be viable for certain individuals is joining a Pooled Supplemental Needs Trusts, also known as a Pooled Income Trust. Pooled income trusts work by the individual sending his or her income from Social Security, pensions, or annuities to non-profit organizations to pay bills and other expenses to stay below the Medicaid threshold. Any income left over after the individual passes away goes to the non-profit.

Many of the assets we own are held in joint ownership with another person, typically a spouse or other family members. Types of assets commonly held in joint ownership with others include homes, real estate, bank accounts, and other investments. When it comes time to writing a will and engaging in estate planning, asset holder need to understand the different types of joint ownership under New York law and how it can affect the outcome of passing an estate through probate.

One of the most familiar forms of joint ownership in New York is known as joint tenancy with rights of survivorship and is very common between married couples for joint checking accounts, homes, and other property. Under this type of arrangement, assets do not need to pass through probate since the surviving spouse or person automatically receives the deceased’s property rights.

Under joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, each person has an equal and undivided share of the assets and is entitled to sell his or her share to another party. If a sale occurs, the joint ownership agreement becomes a tenancy in common and the assets lose some of the protections they otherwise would have enjoyed under a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.

It is often difficult for parents to determine whether to share details about an estate plan with their adult children. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer or easy solution to determining when to share this information with adult children. Fortunately, there is some advice to help parents decide when to disclose these details with adult children. This article will list some critical advice that parents should follow when discussing information about their estate plan with adult children.

Tip #1 – Be Certain to Make Personal Property Plans

It is very important that parents have a conversation with adult children about any personal property that multiple individual might want because personal property is one of the estate planning areas most likely to result in arguments between beneficiaries. To fully anticipate any arguments that might arise, parents should make sure to afford each adult child the opportunity to talk about their favorite items so that an agreement regarding how the personal property will be divided can be made.

It is important for individuals to properly plan the end of their lives. There are many critical estate planning tools that should potentially be used during this planning process. While an estate planning attorney can help individuals navigate each of these issues, it is important for people to understand what each of these documents are and why they are very important. This article will review four of the most important end of life documents that individuals should consider creating with the assistance of a strong estate planning attorney.

Document # 1 – Advance Care Directives

These documents place in writing the desires that a person has about their health care to make sure that their wishes are followed in the event that they become incapacitated or in any way are unable to communicate them. These documents are very important because they make sure that patients who are permanently unconscious or terminally ill receive the care they deserve.

The co-founder of Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship recently organized a town hall meeting about guardianship.  The topic of the meeting is the increasing number of guardianship cases occur in which guardians take money from a loved one’s estate. This concern comes at a time when other states like Nevada have made multiple arrests of guardians who were accused of abusing their relationship with an incapacitated individual.  In addition to a lack of enforcement by the law of elder abuse, the meeting discussed the other inequalities that are occurring in the system.

The Types of Elder Abuse

Financial abuse is just one type of elder abuse. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention consider elder abuse to include any intentional act that has the potential to harm a person who is 60 years of age or older. 1 in 10 senior citizens are reported by the Center for Disease Control to be subject to elder abuse. Some of the common types of elder abuse are:

The new year has brought a number of changes to our healthcare system and is projected to make many more in the coming months. In an effort to control the state budget, many lawmakers are attempting to find ways in which to decrease spending in order to get out of the major defect they have incurred over the past few years.

One of those states is Massachusetts, where, Governor Baker, is attempting to reduce their budget by cutting nearly $100 million dollars in funding for a number of organizations. This budget cut was cited as an adjustment due to lagging state revenues, which need to be counterbalanced. The organizations most affected by the cuts include HIV treatment centers, opioid abuse relief centers that assist many citizens of the state in dealing with the drug problem that has run rampant through the city, as well as other elder care organizations.

The majority of the funding to be cut will come from programs in charge of assistance in paying for long term care, nurse visits, as well as other specialists. This ultimately affects the demographic of aging people who seek to age in place and receive care in their home as their health declines.

David Bowie’s Estate

This year, we lost two music icons. While the death of Prince came as a surprise to the music community, David Bowie lost his battle with cancer. It was not surprising that David Bowie’s estate was left with almost $100 million dollars, a very large sum of money that was all properly distributed according to the terms of his will. Bowie outlined his wishes in his will, that was made over a decade ago, which even stating how he wanted to be cremated. The star died on January 10th, 2016, and in accordance with the terms of his will, his last wishes to be cremated were followed, on January, 12th. The will not only outlined how to distribute the estate, but also how and when funds set aside in trusts were to be distributed to his wife and children.

Additionally, the making of this will has provided a straightforward method to determine how future earnings from his music, past as well as unreleased, will be distributed. Bowie recorded a final few songs which are set for release at specific times in the future.

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