Preserve Your Legacy

Estate Planning | Elder Law | Special Needs Planning

Blog Posts in 2014

  • WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A GUARDIANSHIP AND A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

    A comprehensive estate plan will include an incapacity planning component. A significant percentage of senior citizens become incapacitated to one extent or another. While there are other causes of incapacity, around 45 percent of those who have reached the age of 85 are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. If you were to contract Alzheimer’s, dementia can set in. Those who are suffering from ...
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  • DO I CONTROL ASSETS PLACED INTO A REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST?

    It is important to understand all of your options when you are planning your estate. You may automatically assume that you should use a last will. While you can certainly go this route, you may also want to consider the creation of a revocable living trust. There are those who assume that trusts are only useful for the wealthy. This is not the case. Revocable living trusts can be beneficial for ...
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  • WHAT IS THE FIVE-YEAR MEDICAID LOOK-BACK?

    As you get older, you may begin to think long and hard about the eventualities of aging. When you look at the statistics, you will find that most American senior citizens will need help with their day-to-day needs eventually. Long-term care is very expensive, and Medicare does not pay for custodial care. Medicaid is a government program that will assist with these expenses. Need-Based Health ...
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  • WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF A MEDICAID TRUST?

    Before we get into the disadvantages of a Medicaid trust, we should provide the necessary background information. First of all, you may wonder why Medicaid should matter to you if you are going to qualify for Medicare as a senior citizen. Long-Term Care Costs Medicare provides government administered health insurance for those who qualify, but there are gaps. You must pay deductibles, co-payments, ...
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  • HOW MUCH DOES A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST COST?

    If you want to provide resources for the benefit of someone with a disability, you should consider the creation of a special needs trust. This type of trust, alternately referred to as a supplemental needs trust, can enhance the life of the beneficiary without impacting his or her government benefit eligibility. Let’s look at special needs planning from an overview before we examine the costs. ...
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  • ALZHEIMER'S, HEALTH CARE PROXIES, AND POWERS OF ATTORNEY

    Sometimes people who don’t have an extraordinary amount of wealth assume they don’t need to discuss estate planning with an attorney. They are aware of the fact that the estate tax is only applicable to large estates, and they think that only those who are subject to the estate tax should plan ahead. There are a number of reasons why this is patently untrue, but the one that we would like to take ...
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  • WHAT ARE THE DRAWBACKS OF PROBATE IN NEW YORK?

    The process of probate in New York is a factor to consider when you are planning your estate. Estate planning is often equated to the execution of a last will. If you do utilize a last will as the legal device that will facilitate the transfer of your assets, these transfers won’t take place until the estate has been probated. Positives This post is about the drawbacks of probate in New York. Many ...
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  • CAN I GIVE GIFTS TO MY CHILDREN TAX-FREE

    When you hear about the gift tax you may wonder about the details. Are gifts that you give to your children taxable? Let’s examine the answer to this question. Gift Tax Parameters You cannot discuss the gift tax without discussing the estate tax, because the gift tax is unified with the estate tax. In fact, the gift tax would not exist if it was not for the estate tax, because it is in place to ...
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  • DO I PAY TAXES WHEN I RECEIVE AN INHERITANCE?

    It seems as though you are taxed every time you receive any type of financial boost. For this reason you may assume that you must pay taxes when you receive an inheritance. In fact, you don’t have to report your inheritance as taxable income. There is however a caveat to this. If you inherit property that appreciates, you have to deal with taxes on the gains. This does not mean that taxation is ...
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  • WHAT IS MEDICAID IN KEW GARDENS NY?

    Medicaid is a vast and complicated program that is of interest to different people for different reasons. It has actually become more difficult to understand since the health care laws have been changed. In this post we will look at Medicaid in Kew Gardens NY only as it applies to long-term care for senior citizens. What About Medicare? When you are planning ahead with your senior years in mind ...
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  • CAN A TRUST PROTECT FAMILY WEALTH FROM ESTATE TAXES?

    Estate taxes can significantly erode the wealth that you have accumulated throughout your life. One imposition of the estate tax can play havoc with your financial legacy, but it can actually be levied over multiple generations. The maximum rate of the federal estate tax is 40 percent at the present time. The amount of the credit or exclusion in 2014 is $5.34 million. If your assets exceed this ...
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  • WHAT IS A GUARDIANSHIP OR CONSERVATORSHIP?

    Estate planning should extend to what could be called end-of-life planning. When you reach an advanced age you may not be able to make all of your own decisions or take care of your own needs. This is not the most pleasant thing to contemplate, but it is a fact of life. Most elders are going to need some type of assistance, and a high percentage of people suffer from incapacitation at some point ...
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  • ESTATE TAX PORTABILITY FILING DEADLINE EXTENDED

    There is a $5.34 million per person federal estate tax exclusion in 2014. This is the amount that you can transfer to your heirs free of taxation. Anything that you are transferring that exceeds this amount is potentially subject to the federal estate tax. If you are married, you may have a question about the federal estate tax exclusion: what happens to your exclusion after you die? Can your ...
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  • WHAT IS THE NOMINATION OF A GUARDIAN?

    A high percentage of young adults are unprepared from an estate planning perspective. Many of these people are single individuals who do not have children. However, there are also parents of young children who are going through life without any estate planning documents. This is a huge mistake that is akin to a gamble. You know you are going to die someday, but you expect to live a normal life ...
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  • BE AWARE OF POTENTIAL CHANGES TO TAX LAWS

    Estate planning is an ongoing process. The estate plan that you initially create is going to reflect your life at that time. Things invariably change. In addition to changes within your own life, there can be relevant changes that impact the society as a whole, such as changes to tax laws. When tax laws change, your existing estate plan may no longer be appropriate. If you are not aware of the lay ...
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