A comprehensive estate plan seeks to maximize the benefits of one’s assets while living and then to ensure that assets that remain after one passes are disbursed in accordance with that person’s wishes and with a minimum of taxation.
A legally enforceable declaration of how a person wants his property or assets to be distributed after death.
Trusts are valuable legal planning tools that address many estate planning issues. Trusts may be revocable or irrevocable, testamentary, or lifetime. We assist with tailoring an estate plan to the specific needs of the individual. This may include preparation of specialized trusts such as supplemental needs trusts, life insurance trusts, credit shelter trusts, etc., as may be appropriate.
We plan for people with disabilities to preserve and protect assets to insure that our clients receive the care that they need. Plans may include a particular type of a trust, known as a supplemental needs trust, that when properly created, funded and administered can be used to improve the quality of life of a disabled individual without rendering that individual ineligible for government benefits to which she would be entitled.
We assist with protecting and preserving assets with a minimum of taxation and to avoid the potentially devastating costs of long term care.
The cost of providing care to an aged or disabled loved one can have devastating consequences for a family whether that care is being provided at home or in a nursing home or similar facility. Careful planning to receive the benefits to which you may be entitled under the Medicaid program, whether in advance or in response to an unanticipated need for care, can help protect your estate, whether for your spouse or for your children.
Discharge planning involves the development of an individualized plan for the patient, prior to leaving the hospital, to ensure that patients are safely discharged at an appropriate time and with proper services.
Our firm can assist with the placement process.
A Durable Power of Attorney allows you to appoint an individual as your agent (also known as your attorney-in fact) and give that individual the legal authority to manage some or all of your finances and interests in property and the powers that you grant remain in effect even if you become disabled. It is important that you appoint someone who you trust implicitly.
A Health Care Proxy is a document in which you appoint someone who knows your wishes and who you trust to make health care decisions in the event that you become incapacitated. Medical providers will be compelled to listen to your agent under the health care proxy as if it was you.
A Living Will is a document that sets forth your wishes regarding the use of life prolonging medical procedures such as artificial hydration and cardiac resuscitation. It takes effect when an individual is determined to be unable to make health care decisions.
When an individual becomes incapacitated and if no advanced directives are in place, it might be necessary for family members or friends to bring a proceeding in New York State Supreme Court to have a guardian appointed for that person. The guardian can then manage the individual’s property and personal and medical needs under the supervision of the Court.
Although the family is not required to retain and attorney to handle the affairs of a deceased loved one, the process and proceedings in Surrogate’s Court can become complicated if not complex, depending on the individual circumstances. You may wish to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss options available. If you decide to retain our firm to handle the decedent’s affairs, whether the person died with or without a will, you will find us well positioned to handle all aspects from the initial court filings, through the marshaling and distribution of estate assets to the final settlement of the estate accounts. We also handle all aspects of estate litigation.