Articles Tagged with nyc elder law attorney

Recent Recalls

Open heart surgery has saved the lives of thousands of patients across America, as well as the world. Performing this task takes a highly skilled team of doctors well equipped with the right medical devices to assist them. All of these tools require FDA approval and specific cleaning procedures prior to their implementation during surgery. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention announced that a heater cooler unit that has been used in the majority of these surgeries since 2012, could have been contaminated when it was in the manufacturing process.

Heater Cooler Units for Open Heart Surgery

When we place our loved ones in the care of a nursing home we expect that they will be properly treated and cared for. Sadly, there are many instances where negligent care is given. In one recent case, a nursing home resident was seriously injured after being scaled by hot water that was spilled on her. The woman’s health declined and she died. A representative for the woman’s estate has filed a lawsuit in stating that they did not provide proper care to her.

Burns Can Be Serious

Burns to the skin can occur for a number of reasons. In this case, the woman suffered burns due to hot water that was spilled. The nursing home staff allegedly did not properly supervise the woman while under their care. The woman sustained severe physical injuries that contributed to her death. Burns are painful, and may become infected, causing other medical problems. In this instance, the lawsuit alleges that the burns were quite severe and indeed led to the woman’s decline in health, and subsequent death.

A study released in late November in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal reported that dementia rates for individuals over the age of 65 years old is down almost 24% from rates found in 2000. There are a variety of reasons why this decline may have happened, including elders with higher education levels than those before them, as well as better heart and brain monitoring, and more awareness as to social and behavioral changes that elders have as a way to combat Alzheimer’s Disease.

This news comes as a welcome surprise, as in 2016, 5.4 million Americans lives with Alzheimer’s Disease, roughly translating to one in nine people over the age of 65 years old. By 2050, the elder population will have tripled in size, amounting to a staggering 84 million people over the age of 65 years old. With the aging population growing at such a rapid pace, medical, legal and social professionals are working to determine how to cope with such a large amount of the population potentially living with this disease.

These recent findings shed some light on how the disease, which generally exhibits symptoms of memory loss, confusion, limited social skills, mood changes and disorders as the result of irritability and anxiety, as well as confused speech and muscular movement.

Trustees serve a very important role in the effective administration of a trust. The maker of the trust document, the grantor, gives another neutral third party, the power to administer the terms of the trust throughout the lifetime of the grantor and after, if the terms of the trust provide so. The trustee is essentially in charge of managing all the assets of the trust, without taking an interest in them. While a trustee can also be the maker of the trust, many people elect another individual, or a corporate trustee to continue administering the trust upon their death.

There are some express terms that a trustee must follow, such as:

  • Keeping separate the investments and accounts of the trust,

New York Statute

In February 2011, New York amended the Palliative Care Information Act, requiring doctors and nurse practitioners to inform terminally-ill patients about end of life options and counseling regarding palliative care. To receive palliative care information under the New York statute, the patient must reasonably be expected to be within the last six months of his or her life, a standard that is commonly associated with hospice care. The information provided to the terminally ill patients includes their diagnosis and the likely course of the disease, the options that would be available to treat the disease, risks and benefits of those options, and their legal rights to pain and symptom management during their final months. If the patient lacks decision making capacity, their appointed proxy or representative must be provided with the information.

Hospice versus Palliative Care

While most of us know that the baby boomer population is vast, many do not realize the impact this population will have as they start to retire over the next few decades. In fact, over the next 20 years, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 everyday. Between 65-70 years old has been the age of retirement for many, with some retiring early and some pushing through another decade of work. However, as this generation gets older, their need for care will continue to grow.

Federal Level

In late June, the Supreme Court decided not to hear Home Care Association of America v. Weil, a case that was attempting to deprive home care workers of their ability to qualify for minimum wage and additionally, for overtime pay for those hours worked over 40 per week. These home care workers have been part of the ‘Fight for 15’ movement to get equal pay and higher pay for minimum wage. Home care workers have previously been labeled by the Labor Department as ‘companions,’ which does not allow them to qualify as employees who are subject to minimum wage and overtime pay. The rules governing home care workers were not fixed until this past year, when the Labor Department determined that home care employers needed to follow the same rules as any other employer and pay their employees according to minimum wage standards.

Nationwide

The Death with Dignity Act gained national attention when it Brittany Maynard, a 29 year old woman suffering from an incurable brain tumor, chose to end her life with the help of a lethal dose of medication. Since then, a national debate has resurfaced about terminally ill patient’s ability to decide when, not if, they are going to die. Currently, the Death with Dignity Act has been passed in California, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, with proposals in many more states, including New York.

New York

When writing a will, many people seek to ensure that certain people in their lives get specific things, such as a family heirloom necklace, property, or an allotted amount of money. The gifting of property or assets to a certain person through the provisions of your will is called a bequest. There are few types of bequests and different situations in which to use them.

(1) Specific Bequest: It is the gifting of a specified property or asset to an identified person or entity, distinguished from the property in the estate. For example, a specific bequest would be gifting your home to your son, or gifting your diamond earrings to your niece. The main issue faced by the estate is when, upon death, the specific gift that is to be given, i.e. the property or the diamond earrings, are no longer owned by the testator. In this situation, the intended beneficiary then gets nothing, because there is nothing to satisfy or substitute from the estate.

(2) General Bequest: A general bequest is what most people think of when they think of gifts in a will. This bequest is a gift that is payable from the assets of the estate. Most commonly seen are provisions gifting a specified amount of money to a certain person, for example, $10,000 to my nephew, or a stock or securities bond. Unlike specific bequests, these type of bequests are not for a specified item, so other assets in the estate may be sold to satisfy the gift if it is not available when distribution comes.

International Will Issues

As our world continues to grow and technology allows us to move places once never thought imagined, many individuals have the opportunity to live abroad throughout the course of their lives. After spending time in a specific area, whether it is for the majority of your life or for a shorter time, you may acquire property in that new place. However, when it comes to estate planning, issues may arise for a citizen who has acquired property in another country and has executed multiple wills for their multiple properties.

If you have property in another country, having a will in that jurisdiction disposing of that property generally will make it easier than if the property’s disposition is listed in a will in a different country, since it will increase the efficiency of estate administration for the property in that jurisdiction. However, if the testator has multiple wills in multiple countries, covering multiple pieces of land, he must write the most recent will in a way as to not revoke the previous foreign wills and subject the land to differing dispositions.

Over the course of your life, you go through many stages. For some people that includes moving to and from different states, entering or dissolving a marriage, having children, losing loved ones, and having significant changes in income. As these events shape your life, your outlook and perspective on how you want your assets to be taken care of may change. If you decide your wishes have changed and you execute a new will, you should carefully assess whether any previous wills or documents differ from the terms of your new will, as to make sure your wishes are properly followed.

Two Wills

Traditionally, in estate planning if a person leaves two wills and both are offered into probate, the court will look at the surrounding circumstances to determine which will ends up taking precedence and which will be considered revoked. The best way for the maker of the will to express that the most recent will is the one they want followed, is by explicitly revoking the earlier will in the writing of the new will. Issues can arise in probate court when it is not clear whether the maker of the will, also known as the testator, wanted the first will completely revoked.

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