Family Comes First Season Twelve!

Brand New Episodes of Family Comes First!

Vincent J. Russo and Victoria Roberts Drogin are proud to announce the premiere of the Twelfth Season of their three-time Telly Award-winning show, Family Comes First.

Join us for the next episode “Up Close & Personal with Victoria Roberts Drogin” on Monday, November 18th, 2019 at 9:30 am.

Family Comes First™ episodes will also run on Mondays at 10:30 pm, Wednesdays at 1:30 pm and Fridays at 1:30 pm.

Family Comes First™ airs exclusively on Catholic Faith Network (formally, Telecare TV) – Cablevision Channels 29 and 137, Time Warner channels 106 (Manhattan), 471 (Queens) or Verizon FiOS TV Channel 296.

For more information and resources on Family Comes First™, please follow us on Facebook or visit our Family Comes First™ website at www.vjrussolaw.com/familycomesfirst.


 Family Comes First 
Airs Exclusively on Catholic Faith Network
Cablevision: Ch. 29 & 137
Verizon Fios: Ch. 296
Charter Spectrum: Ch. 162/471
Live streaming at www.CFNtv.org
Episodes air:
Mondays at 9:30 AM & 10:30 PM
Wednesdays at 1:30 PM
Fridays at 1:30 PM
Copyright © 2019
All Rights Reserved.

 

Today, many assets exist only in an electronic form. These digital assets can result in more complexity when settling a loved one’s estate.

The Role of An Executor or Administrator

The ordinary role of an executor or administrator is to collect the assets of the Decedent and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries of the Decedent’s Estate. This is often done by going through the decedent’s files and mail to uncover the assets he or she possessed. However, due to many assets existing in only electronic form, the estate representative may have a harder job. Not only does he or she need to uncover the asset, but he or she may need to obtain the password to access it. Many internet companies have strict privacy policies, so accessing the digital asset is often difficult.

New York Digital Assets

In New York, Article 13-A of the Estates, Powers, and Trusts Law (EPTL) governs the administration of digital assets. Pursuant to EPTL 13-A-1[i], a digital asset is an “electronic record in which an individual has a right or interest. The term does not include an underlying asset unless it is itself an electronic record”.

Pursuant to EPTL13-a-1(e), the content of electronic communication means the information was:

  1. Sent or received by the user;
  2. In electronic storage by a custodian that provides an electronic communication service to the public or is carried or maintained by a custodian providing a remote-computing service to the public; and
  3. Not readily accessible to the public.

With regard to non-content digital assets, such as a contact list or calendar information, EPTL 13-A-3.2 governs. Pursuant to EPTL 13-A-3.2, the estate representative can access the non-content digital assets if the estate representative provides the custodian with certain documentation, unless the user prohibited disclosure of such assets or a court directs otherwise.

Online Tools

Some custodians offer an online tool that permits a user to provide direction to the custodian regarding the disclosure of his or her digital assets. However, this online tool is not offered by all custodians and sometimes the user does not avail himself or herself of such an online tool. If that is the case, then the custodian may look to the decedent’s Will, Trust, or other agreement before disclosing any information to the estate’s representative.

A Case Study

In Matter of Coleman, a twenty-four (24) year old man passed away unexpectedly without a will. His parents were appointed Co-Administrators of his Estate. After his passing, his parents took possession of his iPhone; however, they were unable to access any information since they did not know his passcode. His mother contacted Apple, Inc. to see if she would be able to obtain any information from her son’s iPhone. The Apple representative informed her that she would not be able to retrieve any information from the iPhone without the passcode; however, if the phone was backed up to the iCloud, then she would be able to obtain information without the passcode. In order for Apple to release any information from the iCloud, a court order would be needed since the decedent did not provide Apple with authorization to disclose the content of his digital assets.

Thereafter, the Co-Administrators of the Estate petitioned the Court seeking an order to have access to their son’s digital assets associated with his iPhone. After analyzing the facts at hand and balancing the decedent’s interests in his not having consented to the disclosure of content of any of these digital assets during his lifetime, the Court found that, at this time, the Petitioners did not demonstrate the need to access the content of the decedent’s digital assets for the administration of his Estate; however, the Petitioners were permitted to have access to the non-content digital assets. Matter of Coleman, 2019 N.Y. Slip. Op. 29067 (Westchester Cnty. Surr. Ct. Mar. 11, 2019).

As you can see, digital assets can be a complex matter when it comes to settling a loved one’s estate. As always, we encourage you to seek counsel and plan ahead accordingly.

 

Wednesday, November 6
12:00-2:00pm
Red Lobster
211 Old Country Rd #217
Carle Place, NY 11514
(Lunch)

Register Here

Tuesday, November 12
12:00-2:00pm
The Irish Coffee Pub
131 Carleton Ave.
East Islip, NY 11730
(Lunch)

Register Here

 

Seating is Limited. Online Registration Required.
Register Online at vjrussolaw.com
Contact: Ashley 516-393-3164

 

Family Comes First

Premiere of Season Twelve!

Vincent J. Russo & co-host, 

Victoria Roberts Drogin are thrilled to announce the Season 12 premiere of 

Brand New Episodes of Family Comes First!

Vincent J. Russo and Victoria Roberts Drogin are proud to announce the premiere of the Twelfth Season of their three-time Telly Award-winning show, Family Comes First.

Join us for the premiere episode “Up Close & Personal with Fr. Tony Stanganelli” on Monday, October 28th, 2019 at 9:30 am.

Family Comes First™ episodes will also run on Mondays at 10:30 pm, Wednesdays at 1:30 pm and Fridays at 1:30 pm.

Family Comes First™ airs exclusively on Catholic Faith Network (formally, Telecare TV) – Cablevision Channels 29 and 137, Time Warner channels 106 (Manhattan), 471 (Queens) or Verizon FiOS TV Channel 296.

For more information and resources on Family Comes First™, please follow us on Facebook or visit our Family Comes First™ website at www.vjrussolaw.com/familycomesfirst.


 Family Comes First 
Airs Exclusively on Catholic Faith Network
Cablevision: Ch. 29 & 137
Verizon Fios: Ch. 296
Charter Spectrum: Ch. 162/471
Live streaming at www.CFNtv.org
Episodes air:
Mondays at 9:30 AM & 10:30 PM
Wednesdays at 1:30 PM
Fridays at 1:30 PM
Copyright © 2019
All Rights Reserved.

 

Trusts – Do You Need One?

Frank L. Buquicchio joined Hilary Topper on her talk show, Hilary Topper on Air.  During this podcast, Frank discusses how a Living Trust can be an invaluable planning tool. Trusts can be utilized for a myriad of reasons including avoiding probate and protecting assets from the cost of long term care. They can also be used to protect a loved one who has special needs. It is a common misconception that trusts are “for rich people”. “Rich” is, of course, a relative term, but you do not have to be financially “rich” for a trust to be helpful in your estate plan.

Frank will address the topic trusts and answer common questions such as:

  • What is a living trust?
  • What’s the difference between a revocable and irrevocable living trust and when should each be used?
  • How do living trusts work?
  • How can you determine if you need a living trust to protect a loved one with special needs?

Frank is a wealth of information and was able to direct listeners on how to best inform themselves.  If you missed this podcast on trusts, it can be replayed here.

In Case You Missed It

WATCH THIS SEMINAR TO LEARN:
  • How to Access Quality Long Term Care
  • How to Pay for Long Term Care
  • How to Protect Your Assets and Income
  • What Will Happen if You Don’t Have a Plan

Presenter: Vincent J. Russo, Esq.

Vincent Russo
Vincent J. Russo is the Founder and Managing Shareholder of Russo Law Group, P.C., Serving Seniors and People with Disabilities Since 1985:
  • Co-Founder of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Academy of Special Needs Planners
  • Three Time Telly Award Winner for Family Comes First
  • National Speaker, Author and Advocate for Seniors and People with Special Needs

As elder law attorneys, we frequently meet with family members frustrated by the cost of long-term health care. Many of our clients wish to remain at home but are misinformed as to their options.

A Pooled Income Trust

A Pooled Income Trust is a great vehicle to facilitate the goals of applying for Community (home care) Medicaid and remaining in your own home. This Trust has no age limitation and no pay-back provision. It is established and managed by not-for-profit associations along with a trust company as trustee. The beneficiary of the Trust is the Medicaid applicant/disabled person. The Trust has numerous beneficiaries (hence the term “pooled trust”) so a sub-account is created specifically for each one. During the lifetime of the beneficiary the contributed funds can be used for his/her sole benefit. Upon the beneficiary’s death, any funds remaining in the trust is paid to the not-for-profit agency to help foster its objectives.

Community Medicaid

Community Medicaid has income limitations. For the year 2019, an applicant is permitted to retain $879.00 per month of his/her own income. Due to rising living expenses, the imposition of this limitation can make it impossible to remain in your own home. Without the Pooled Income Trust, any overage of income must be paid to the care agency rendering services as a contribution toward the cost of care. However, by simply participating in a Pooled Income Trust, the applicant may send any excess income to the pooled trust company along with qualifying expenses to preserve that income. Some examples of qualifying expenses are rent, mortgage payments, real estate taxes, utilities, clothing, and private pay care services.

An Example

For example – Mrs. Smith is 80 years old and was diagnosed with dementia. Her income is comprised of social security retirement benefits and a pension in the aggregate sum of $2,400 per month. She wishes to remain at home but has increased medical needs. She relies on the entirety of her income to pay her household bills and daily expenses. By applying for Community Medicaid, she will receive in-home health care services, but she is only permitted to keep $879.00 of her monthly income. She can “join” a Pooled Income Trust and by contributing her overage of $1,521.00 each month ($2,400 – $879 = $1,521) along with invoices for her personal needs and household expenses up to the total amount (less a typically nominal fee paid monthly to the trustee). Now Mrs. Smith can receive the care she needs at home without compromising the balance of her income.

Although the Trust companies charge administrative fees associated with enrollment, generally, the benefits far exceed the costs.

NYS Approved Pooled Income Trust Companies

For a full list of NYS approved Pooled Income Trust Companies, please visit http://www.wnylc.com/health/entry/4/.

CP NASSAU 5K RUN/WALK TO BENEFIT THERESA’S FUN PLACE

Theresa's Fun Place playground sign

ONLY A FEW MORE DAYS TO REACH OUR GOAL – WILL YOU HELP?

COLLECTED
$3,232
TODAY, WE’RE
43%
OF THE WAY THERE
OUR GOAL
$7,500

 

DONATE »


Theresa’s Fun Place is a playground and park at the Children’s Learning Center on the campus of CP Nassau in Roosevelt, NY.

In 2004, the Theresa Foundation provided major funding for the renovation and revitalization of the playground which was then named Theresa’s Fun Place in memory of my daughter, Theresa.

Over 250 students at the Children’s Learning Center, enjoy this fully adapted playground summer, fall and spring. Since its last renovation over 10 years ago, it was time again for a revitalization.

In the Fall of 2017, major fundraising went into effect to collect over $500,000. Over the past 2 years, the Theresa Foundation has given over $150,000 toward this project. The Theresa Foundation is committed to the maintenance and upkeep of this playground.

On Nov. 3rd, CP Nassau is holding a 5K Run/Walk/Roll/Stroll.

TEAM THERESA RUSSO, has committed to raising funds for this event.

Please consider a donation to this wonderful cause. No donation is too small (or big!) Every little bit helps.

Below is the link to our team page, please scroll down and sponsor one of the team members.

DONATE TODAY! »

The funds raised by Team Theresa Russo will be earmarked for Theresa’s Fun Place.

CP NASSAU 5K RUN/WALK

TO BENEFIT THERESA’S FUN PLACE!

Theresa’s Fun Place is a playground and park at the Children’s Learning Center on the campus of CP Nassau in Roosevelt, NY.

In 2004, the Theresa Foundation provided major funding for the renovation and revitalization of the playground which was then named Theresa’s Fun Place in memory of my daughter, Theresa.

Over 250 students at the Children’s Learning Center, enjoy this fully adapted playground summer, fall and spring.  Since its last renovation over 10 years ago, it was time again for a revitalization.

In the Fall of 2017, major fundraising went into effect to collect over $500,000. Over the past 2 years, the Theresa Foundation has given over $150,000 toward this project. The Theresa Foundation is committed to the maintenance and upkeep of this playground.

 

On November 3rd, 2019, CP Nassau is holding a 5K Run/Walk/Roll/Stroll.  

TEAM THERESA RUSSO, has committed to raising funds for this event. 

 

So far, the walk has raised over $7,500 against the goal of $80,000!

Help Team Theresa Russo reach its goal!!!

 

Please consider a donation to this wonderful cause. No donation is too small (or big!) Every little bit helps.

 

Below is the link to our team page, please scroll down and sponsor one of the team members.

TEAM THERESA RUSSO

 

All funds raised from this 5K will go to CP Nassau’s playground project first until the project is covered. Any balance will benefit the MOVE (Mobility Opportunities Via Education) program.

Donate Now

A POLST is a Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. In the state of New York, it is more commonly referred to as a MOLST (a Medical Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment). The document is a bright pink form that specifically details a person’s wishes regarding end of life care. It is signed by both the patient and his or her treating physician or a nurse practitioner. The patient specifically states preferences of care which is converted into an actionable plan. The plan is then integrated into his/her medical record.

About the MOLST Program

The MOLST program began in the year 2001. It was started as a community-driven initiative in Rochester County to improve end‑of-life care. The program collaborated with the New York State Department of Health (“NYSDOH”) in 2004. The NYSDOH then approved the use of MOLST in all health care facilities and for use in all counties in 2005.

About the Document

This document is generally presented by a health care professional upon a diagnosis of terminal illness to residents residing in a long-term care facility or to seriously ill or frail individuals. It is a legally binding instrument. A health care agent, surrogate or guardian may also sign the form on behalf of the patient or disabled person, or a parent may sign for a minor child.

The form has sections to specifically address the following:

  1. Resuscitation, when there is no pulse or the patient is not breathing;
  2. Intubation and mechanical ventilation;
  3. Treatment guidelines for oxygen and airway obstruction;
  4. Future hospitalization and transfer;
  5. Antibiotics and medication;
  6. Fluid administration (including a trial period); and
  7. Other instructions for starting and stopping treatment such as dialysis or transfusions.

Confusion often exists as to whether a MOLST replaces the need for advance directives such as a Health Care Proxy or Living Will. To clarify, a MOLST is not an advance directive for future care. Instead, it is a treatment plan based on your current health and prognosis. This document works together to supplement your advance directives but it is not at all a substitute. Advance directives are safeguards that all adults (regardless of health condition) should have. A Health Care Proxy allows your designated agent to sign a MOLST on your behalf if you are unable to do so at that time.

It should be noted that Emergency Medical Service (EMS) can only withhold the resuscitation of a patient in his or her home based on a MOLST order. Any directives regarding the withholding of life-sustaining treatment in a Living Will is only valid in a health care facility such as a hospital or nursing home.

Common MOLST Uses

Although there is no “terminally ill” requirement for the execution of a MOLST, it is most commonly used in end-of-life situations and signed in a medical facility. You can request the form from your health care provider or order it directly from the following link: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/4208/pdf/4208_order_form.pdf.

GARDEN CITY, NY—Six attorneys from Russo Law Group, P.C. have been honored by Super Lawyers Magazine: three attorneys were named Super Lawyers and three attorneys were named Rising Stars.

Super Lawyers is an attorney rating service that recognizes outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are based upon a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, peer reviews, and other indicators of professional achievement.

Russo Law Group, P.C. honorees include:

Vincent Russo

Vincent J. Russo, Managing Partner, has been named a Super Lawyer for Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate, Tax, and Real Estate. It is the 10th time Russo has earned Super Lawyer status.


Frank Buquicchio

Frank L. Buquicchio, Partner has been a Super Lawyer from 2014 – 2019 in the areas of Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate.


Marie Elena Puma

Marie Elena R. Puma, Partner, has been a Super Lawyer from 2016 – 2019 in the areas of Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate, Estate & Trust Litigation.


Eric J. Einhart

Eric J. Einhart, Partner, has been a Rising Star from 2016 – 2019 in the areas of Estate Planning & Probate, Elder Law, Tax, Estate & Trust Litigation.


Kim Christian

Kim N. Christian, Partner, was named a Rising Star in 2014 in the areas of Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate.


Joshua R. Berzak

Joshua R. Berzak, Associate Attorney, has been named a Rising Star for 2019 in the areas of Estate Planning & Probate, Real Estate, Estate & Trust Litigation.

Russo Law Group, P.C. focuses on the areas of Elder Law, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning, Veterans Benefits, Guardianships, Probate and Trust Administration, and Real Estate. The firm has offices in Garden City, Islandia, Lido Beach, Manhattan, and Bay Shore.

Special Needs Planning

Deanna M, Eble joined Hilary Topper on her talk show, Hilary Topper on Air.  During this podcast, Deanna discusses some of the hurdles of raising a child with special needs. Many parents are inundated with information from all different sources encouraging a guardianship for their child. Guardianship is not the only option when it comes to your child reaches age 18. She addresses common special needs planning questions and provides answers to:

  • What happens when your child turns 18?
  • Are there government benefits that exist?
  • Available socialization services?
  • Employment opportunities are available?
  • What living arrangements exist?
  • How do you plan in advance?

Deanna is a wealth of information and was able to direct listeners on how to best inform themselves.  If you missed this podcast on special needs planning, it can be replayed here.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The month of September is observed as National Prostate Health Month, which is also known as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Designating a month for this issue serves the purpose of:

  • Increasing public awareness of the importance of prostate health and prostate cancer awareness
  • Providing easily accessible prostate health screenings and prostate cancer screenings
  • Educating about risk factors and symptoms of prostate health and prostate cancer
  • Advocating for further research on prostate health issues and prostate cancer

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is jam-packed with online chats, prostate cancer screenings, and awareness events across the country.

Did you know that Russo Law Group’s managing partner spoke on this topic during a two-part episode on Cancers titled: Beyond the Shock for his TV show Family Comes First™?    

In the second part of Beyond the Shock, Vincent Russo and his co-host, Victoria Roberts Drogin, addressed one of the leading causes of death in men, Prostate Cancer. This episode was a very personal topic for Vincent since he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018.

About one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. As Vincent has talked with his friends and clients about prostate cancer, inevitably they know of a family member or a close friend who’s been diagnosed.

Vincent stressed that for men who are reaching their 50s or in their early 60s or have a family history should be talking with their physician, listening to the physician’s recommendations regarding testing and then follow up with the monitoring of one’s PSA level.  It is a simple blood test to obtain PSA levels.  It is important to have a base number for monitoring purposes.

Vincent discussed the three options that were given at the time of diagnoses: active surveillance, radiation or surgery.  He shared how confusing it can get and the importance of understanding the options. He shared that it can be difficult to decide on treatment and there is no right answer:  You must do what is right for you. Make sure that you ask questions and gather as much information as you can on the topic.

Click to view the full episode online of Beyond the Shock: Part Two. All past episodes of Family Comes First™ can be watched online.

Family Comes First™ airs exclusively on Catholic Faith Network (formally, Telecare TV) – Cablevision Channels 29 and 137, Time Warner channels 106 (Manhattan), 471 (Queens) or Verizon FiOS TV Channel 296.

Family Comes First is dedicated to highlighting the challenges that families face in their daily lives and provide them, and you, with hope and suggested resources to help you through difficult times.  Each season, inspirational and informative shows feature real families, facing real issues with grace, hope, and determination! For more information and resources on Family Comes First™, please follow us on Facebook or visit our Family Comes First™ website at www.vjrussolaw.com/familycomesfirst.

 

RLG Attorney Kim Christian Will Be Featured On The Boomer Buzz Radio Show!

Learn How Elder Law and Estate Planning

can Protect You and Your Family.

What legal documents do all seniors need? What can happen if you don’t have an estate plan? Should you give all of your assets away before you pass away? How do you prevent family squabbles over estate assets? Should you use online document mills like Legal Zoom? What does it cost to meet with an attorney?
Elder law and estate planning attorney Kim Christian will discuss all of these topics and many more on the Boomer Buzz Radio Show.
The Boomer Buzz Radio Show focuses on health, financial, and lifestyle issues of interest to the 60-plus crowd and their families. The show airs here on Long Island and around the country. It is hosted by Dr. Lamarr Stanford and Corporate Wellness Consultant Patricia Stanford.

The episode featuring attorney Kim Christian will air

this Friday at 3:30pm

0n WHPC 90.3 FM

If that’s inconvenient, you can hear her later by visiting https://www.spreaker.com/show/boomer-buzz at any time.

You don’t want to miss this informative discussion!

About Kim N. Christian
Kim Christian is a Partner at Russo Law Group, P.C. Her areas of practice include Elder Law, Estate and Trust Planning, Real Estate, and Special Needs planning. Kim has presented seminars on Elder Law and Estate Planning, as well as Special Needs planning, throughout Nassau County and Queens County. She is a sought-after speaker on these topics.
Kim earned her law degree at St. John’s University School of Law and served as Research Editor of the New York Litigator. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association as well as the Nassau County Bar Association. Kim is licensed to practice in both New York and New Jersey, and has been admitted to the United States Supreme Court. She is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and the Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP). She was named a Super Lawyer Rising Star for the state of New York in 2014.

If your child has special needs, there are so many things to think about. Between getting the child help right now and thinking about what happens when they turn 18 and you no longer have the legal authority to make medical and financial decisions; here are two options:

  • Advance Directives – Advance directives, if the young adult has capacity, can be tailored to meet the individual’s specific circumstances and be an excellent way to keep trusted relatives involved while ensuring that young adults direct their futures. Unlike guardianship, advance directives do not involve the surrendering of any rights, and they can be changed over time. 
  • Guardianship – Guardianship is a legal proceeding where someone, usually a family member, asks the court to find that a person is unable to manage his or her affairs effectively because of a disability. A guardian is then appointed to make the decisions for the person with special needs.

In addition, it is also advised that you write a memorandum of intent. A memorandum of intent is used to memorialize your knowledge of your child’s needs so that you may guide future caregivers, guardians, and trustees in providing the best possible care to your child. Simply put, a thoughtful letter of intent ensures that those who come after you need not waste precious time figuring out the best way to manage and care for your child.

After that, the next step is planning for their financial future.

Planning for their future:

This includes deciphering what government benefits your child qualifies for and how to protect their assets. There are numerous trusts available to help plan for your child with special needs financial future including special needs trusts and pooled trusts.

Let’s take a look at one of our recent clients.

This family consisted of a single mother, two daughters (one of which is special needs) and a son. The mother was in relatively good health with no specific medical conditions with assets totaling $525,000. The estate is currently being split with 2/3 going to the well daughter and 1/3 going to the son. The well daughter is getting her sister’s share in an effort to protect and manage the share for her sister.

The client’s objective is to make sure that all of her children, including the child with special needs, inherit equally upon her demise. In doing so, she has a few options.

  1. Create a third-party Supplemental Needs Trust. By creating a Third-Party Supplemental Needs trust for the benefit of her special needs child, the client is going to allow for others to also contribute to the trust and will make sure that the child will maintain any government benefits that they are receiving. This trust will also guarantee that assets are set aside for the child and they will not become subject to any marital financial issues of the sister who was originally holding the funds.
  2. Create an Irrevocable or Revocable Trust for herself. Which one will depend on the mother’s planning objectives. In that trust, there should be language that creates a supplemental needs trust for the special needs child within the mom’s trust. When the mother passes, the assets will pass to the trust within her trust for that child.
  3. Update her will to include a supplemental needs trust within the will for the benefit of the child. Upon the mother’s passing the assets will pass to the trust within the mom’s will for that child.

As you can see, this mother has a few options she can make based on her preference to ensure her child with special needs is well taken care of after she is gone. By working with a professional and looking at the options, you have the power to set up your child with special needs for financial preparedness in the future.