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February 2017 Archives

Estate planning for people with no children

Fifty-six percent of people in the United States admit to not having a will, and the results of a 2016 Gallup survey indicate that a majority of Americans have failed to designate how their estate should be allocated after their death. New York residents should be aware that some basic estate planning is necessary, even for those who have no children.

Proposed legislation could affect Medicaid eligibility

Many elderly New Yorkers reside in nursing homes, and many of those who do rely on Medicaid to cover all or a portion of the costs. The Medicaid program is funded by both the federal and state government, and there are strict financial tests in place that determine eligibility.

Assessing the safety and security of an assisted living facility

By law, assisted living facilities must provide residents with the highest feasible level of care in terms of physical, mental and social well-being. If the facility receives federal funds, it must meet certain standards as set forth in the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. If you or a loved one is considering moving to such a facility, you will have a lot of questions, including how matters of safety and security are handled.

How to leave assets to minor or adult children

New York parents may have a desire to leave money or other assets to their children either while still alive or after their deaths. However, there may be a right way to do so. For instance, it may not be a good idea to name a minor child as the beneficiary to an asset. Instead, it may be better for a parent to create a trust that will inherit financial assets when he or she dies.

Planning eases transition to managing an elder's affairs

Many New York families eventually need to address the care of an aging relative. Caretakers can reduce stress and legal roadblocks by preparing the legal framework to transition responsibilities before the need arises. Proper documentation can express the elder's wishes about medical care, living arrangements and who receives control of money and property. Talking to an elder about an advanced medical directive and a power of attorney creates an opportunity to make additional decisions that could protect assets if the relative needs to enter a nursing home.