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Health Care Proxy vs. Living Will vs. Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) vs. MOLST

This entry was posted on January 21, 2016

Health Care Proxy

A Health Care Proxy is a legal document in New York State which allows you to appoint someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.

Continue reading Health Care Proxy vs. Living Will vs. Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) vs. MOLST.

Can I make gifts to my grandchildren?

This entry was posted on January 21, 2016

Can I make gifts to my grandchildren? If Medicaid penalizes you for making transfers, does that mean you can no longer make gifts?

Example: Grandma gives her grandson $5,000 to use towards purchasing a car. Two years later, Grandma has a stroke and permanently enters a nursing home. Will this gift by Grandma be penalized by Medicaid?

Continue reading Can I make gifts to my grandchildren?.

Medicaid Transfer Penalty Rules

This entry was posted on January 15, 2016

A common misconception is that the Medicaid transfer penalty is five years. In reality, the five year rule is a "Look Back" rule. When you apply for Medicaid, the Medicaid Agency will review your finances for the five years immediately prior to the date of application. You will be required to provide five years of all your financial statements and five years of any real estate transactions.

Continue reading How Medicaid Transfer Penalty Rules Impact Medicaid Eligibility in NY.

How Nursing Home Costs Can Be Covered By Medicaid in New York

This entry was posted on September 14, 2015

There are Three main ways that Nursing Home Costs can be paid.

  • You can pay privately with your own life savings.
  • You can pay with long-term care insurance to the extent of your coverage.
  • Medicaid can pay for the cost of care.

Continue reading How Nursing Home Costs Can Be Covered By Medicaid in New York.

Do Nothing vs. Long-Term Care Insurance vs. Gifts vs. Irrevocable Trust

This entry was posted on March 2, 2105

If you need long term care in a nursing home or at home, which in upstate New York costs around $10,000 per month, there are three ways to pay for it:
(1) Pay for your care with your life savings
(2) Pay for your care with long-term care insurance
(3) Pay for your care with Medicaid

Continue reading Do Nothing vs. Long Term Care Insurance vs. Gifts vs. Irrevocable Trust.

Need for an Annual Legal Checkup

This entry was posted on January 20, 2015

Just like the way you go to the doctor for an annual check up, you should do an annual check up of your estate planning.

Estate Planning Basics: Which Estate Planning Documents Should You Have?

At the initial appointment with our clients, the Koldin Law Center, P.C. reviews your current Will, Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy.

Continue reading Need for an Annual Legal Checkup.

Power of Attorney Gift Rider

This entry was posted on November 10, 2014

A Power of Attorney is an important legal document where you give your agent(s) (person you appoint to serve on your behalf) the legal authority to handle your finances and make other decisions on your behalf. If you become incapacitated in the future and have not signed a Power of Attorney, a Guardianship proceeding may become necessary.

Continue reading Power of Attorney Gift Rider.

Scam Alert: Recorded Deed Notice

This entry was posted on November 3, 2014

There has been a recent scam regarding recorded deeds that is being mailed to people titled "Recorded Deed Notice" and has the following opening sentence, "Why you need a copy of Your Current Grant Deed and Property Assessment Profile?"

Continue reading Scam Alert: Recorded Deed Notice.

Troubling Court Decision on Return of Transferred Assets

This entry was posted on October 29, 2014

There has been a troubling recent decision by an Appellate Court in New York State regarding what is considered a return of transferred assets.

In New York State, to be eligible for Medicaid in 2014, a single person cannot have resources of more than $14,550. If there is a healthy spouse, he/she can keep one half of their total resources of not less than $74,820 up to a maximum of $117,240.

Continue reading Troubling Court Decision on Return of Transferred Assets.

New Basic New York State Estate Tax Exclusion

This entry was posted on October 16, 2014

New York has recently changed the basic Estate Tax exclusion. The Federal Estate Tax exclusion for 2014 is $5,340,000. For those passing away in New York State prior to April 1, 2014, the Estate Tax exclusion was $1,000,000. Under the new law, the basic Estate Tax exclusion in New York is changing as follows:

Continue reading New Basic New York State Estate Tax Exclusion.

Trusts for Pets

This entry was posted on August 19, 2014

You have options to provide for your pet(s) as part of your Estate Planning.

If you have a pet that close family members love and promise to adopt, you already have a sense of security that your pet will be well taken care of after your death. However, if you are relying on friends or family members who are not already close to your pet, a Pet Trust is something that you may want to consider as part of your estate planning.

Continue reading Trusts for Pets.

Problems with Using a Non-Lawyer to Handle Applying for Medicaid

This entry was posted on May 15, 2014

Some Nursing Homes have begun to refer their patients to non-lawyer companies to handle the Medicaid application process and this can lead to terrible results. These non-lawyer companies are not your advocates. They do not provide you with legal advice on how to protect some or all of your life savings. The job of these companies is to monitor the spending away of your life savings on your Nursing Home bills down to the Medicaid eligibility levels ($14,550 for a single person in 2014) and then handling the Medicaid application process on your behalf.

Continue reading Problems with Using a Non-Lawyer to Handle Applying for Medicaid.

Protecting the Family Home after Illness Even When in a Nursing Home

This entry was posted on May 12, 2014

This Blog reviews options for how you can protect your family home after you are already ill and even when you are already in a Nursing Home.

Under the Medicaid law, the family home is a special asset that has important additional protections in the event of a long term illness.

Continue reading Protecting the Family Home after Illness Even When in a Nursing Home.

Protecting the Family Home–Transfer to Children and Retain Life Estate vs. Irrevocable Trust

This entry was posted on January 22, 2014

When taking steps to protect the family home, there are important Medicaid asset preservation and tax planning considerations.

Tax planning considerations include preserving the $250,000 individual exemption ($500,000 for husband and wife) on the capital gains from the sale of the home and preserving the stepped-up basis date of death value of the home for the remainder beneficiaries.

Continue reading Protecting the Family Home–Transfer to Children and Retain Life Estate vs. Irrevocable Trust.

Supplemental Needs Trust for Person with Disabilities

This entry was posted on January 22, 2014

A Supplemental Needs Trust provides that income and principal may be made available to the person with disabilities but only to supplement and not to replace government benefits.

Continue reading Supplemental Needs Trust for Person with Disabilities.

Wills–Self Proving Affidavit

This entry was posted on October 28, 2013

When a person who has a Last Will and Testament dies with assets titled in his/her name alone, the Will normally must be submitted to the Court in a proceeding is known as "Probate."

Continue reading Wills–Self Proving Affidavit.

Wills–Appoint a Guardian for Children

This entry was posted on October 28, 2013

Wills are generally thought of as a document to designate where your life savings should be distributed at the time of your death. Another important purpose for a Last Will and Testament is to designate a Guardian of your minor children. You should also consider designating an alternate Guardian in case your appointed person becomes unable or unwilling to serve.

Continue reading Wills–Appoint a Guardian for Children.

Transfer of Assets–Court Case

This entry was posted on October 28, 2013

Under the Medicaid transfer penalty rules, any transfers made within 5 years from the date of the Medicaid application will be presumed by the Medicaid Agency to have been made for the purpose of depleting assets to qualify for Medicaid and subject to a transfer penalty.

Continue reading Transfer of Assets–Court Case.

Estate Recovery Rules

This entry was posted on October 15, 2013

We received an email question on our website as follows:

"My mother was on Medicaid and living in a nursing home when she passed away early this year. Will Medicaid try to recover her $14,400 savings she was allowed to keep when she was alive and a small $5,000 life insurance policy that named me beneficiary?"

Continue reading Estate Recovery Rules.

Health Care Proxy — Importance of Filling in the Optional Section

This entry was posted on April 26, 2013

A Health Care Proxy is a legal document in New York State which allows you to appoint someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.

New York State provides a standard form in the law. This standard form is widely used by attorneys, physicians and hospitals.

Continue reading Health Care Proxy — Importance of Filling in the Optional Section.

Power of Attorney — Importance of Gift Rider

This entry was posted on April 26, 2013

A Power of Attorney is an important legal document where you give your agent(s) (person you appoint to serve on your behalf) the legal authority to handle your finances and make other business decisions on your behalf. If you become incapacitated in the future and have not signed a Power of Attorney, a Guardianship proceeding may become necessary.

Continue reading Power of Attorney — Importance of Gift Rider.

New Law Reverses Case Where U.S. Supreme Court Restricted Medicaid's Right to Put a Lien Against Personal Injury Settlement

This entry was posted on April 26, 2013

In a Blog we published on April 26, 2013, we wrote:

"When someone receiving Medicaid settles or wins a personal injury lawsuit, a portion of the award is for medical expenses and usually there is a portion for pain and suffering along with possible punitive damages.

Continue reading New Law Reverses Case where U.S. Supreme Court Restricted Medicaid's Right to Put a Lien Against Personal Injury Settlement.

Transfer to Child Who Went Bankrupt

This entry was posted on April 2, 2013

In 2002, a woman in Virginia transferred a portion of her life savings to her daughter for the specific purpose of protecting her assets in case she ever needed nursing home care. The daughter later filed for bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Trustee demanded that the daughter turn over all her assets to pay off her creditors. The daughter argued that she should not have to turn over the funds she received from her mother because she was really just holding the funds for the benefit of her mother.

Continue reading Transfer to Child Who Went Bankrupt.

529 Plan and Medicaid

This entry was posted on March 5, 2013

Sometimes grandparents desire to contribute to a 529 college savings plan for their grandchildren. We are often asked whether these 529 plans are at risk of being taken by Medicaid if a grandparent needs to enter a nursing home.

Continue reading 529 Plan and Medicaid.