Trusting Trusts: Why You Should Not Transfer Your Assets Outright To Your Children If You Can Avoid It

Many of our clients are legitimately concerned about what will happen to their homes and their assets if they need to go into a nursing home. They have heard of the five-year lookback related to Medicaid. Often, they show up at our office believing they will be advised to transfer their homes and/or their assets… Read More »

No, Your Living Will is NOT a DNR

Many individuals who seek counsel in our office come in ready to talk about a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). They believe it to be a document that allows them to forgo life support in the event of a catastrophic event. However, the document which lets an individual express their wishes to refuse treatment in the… Read More »

“Per Stirpes”, “By Representation”, “Per Capita”-What Do They Mean?

If you die without a Last Will and Testament or a Trust, the New York State laws of intestacy will govern the disposition of your property to your “distributees”, your closest living blood relatives (in priority order). However, if you execute a Last Will and Testament or a Trust, you can control the disposition of… Read More »

What if I Have a Contract to Reduce My Property Taxes, But I Want to Sell My Home?

A constant concern here on Long Island is the continued increase in Property Taxes and the ever-increasing cost of living.  The application for state program real estate tax exemptions (such as Basic STAR, Enhanced STAR or Veterans exemptions) may help to ease the burden, but there are instances where homeowners may not be eligible for… Read More »

Who can help with the sale of my house from my Trust?

When advising clients regarding Medicaid asset protection planning, it is common to recommend the transfer of their residence (and other properties they may own) to a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust (“MAPT”). After five years, the trust assets would not be considered an available resource for purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility. One of the most frequently… Read More »

The Right of Election of a Surviving Spouse

The Right of Election of a surviving spouse of a New York decedent has been in existence since September 1, 1930. Prior to the enactment of New York’s Right of Election law, a surviving spouse possessed dower and curtesy rights. Today, if a surviving spouse inherits less than one-third of the net estate, the surviving… Read More »

Your Guide to Fiduciary Income Tax Returns (Form 1041)

The IRS recently issued Revenue Procedure 2018-57 providing a glimpse at the tax brackets and rates to be used for 2019 tax returns (which would generally be filed in April 2020), including the tax rate tables for trusts and estates. The 2018 and 2019 tax brackets for are compared below: Trusts and Estates Percent Tax… Read More »

Happy New Year!

It is that time of year again.  Many of us will use the next couple of days to reflect on the past year and look forward to making a positive change in the new year. Often those promises that we make to ourselves are to go to the gym, quit smoking, quit drinking, save more… Read More »

Should You Disinherit a Family Member Because They are Receiving Some Kind of Government Benefits?

One of the most frustrating things as a Special Needs planning attorney is to have someone in my office doing planning and they tell me that they need to disinherit a family member because they are receiving some kind of government benefits.  Their mindset is that they are looking out for that loved one, but… Read More »