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NYC Trust, Estate Planning, Elder Law & Medicaid Planning News

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MARRIAGE EQUALITY ACT RELATED TO THE NY STATE ESTATE TAX

On June 24,2011, Governor Cuomo signed into law the Marriage Equality Act. One purpose of the Act is to provide that all marriages, whether of same-sex couples or different-sex couples, will be treated equally under all laws of the state. Accordingly, the Act applies to all taxes administered by the Tax Department as of the effective date of July 24, 2011. READ MORE…

Medicaid madness:”Look-back” period creates financial hardship for many Americans

It’s enormously complicated, says Cormac McEnery, a New York City-based attorney specializing in eldercare law, one of a trio of lawyers WalletPop interviewed.

The lawyers’ we spoke with were unanimous with their first piece of advice: Find an attorney who specializes in elder and estate planning who’s based in the state in which the nursing home you’re considering for your parent is located.

Read more…

Cormac Quoted in New York Times: “Protecting Your Home for Medicaid Purposes”

. . .Cormac McEnery, an estate-planning lawyer in City Island in the Bronx, said that once a home is deeded outright — or “in fee simple” — to a child or children, the parent loses legal control over it. So if a child has a falling out with the parent, there is nothing the parent can do to redistribute ownership among the remaining ”loyal” children.

A standard “fee simple” conveyance of the property as a gift can also have negative tax implications for the children. Mr. McEnery explained that if a parent conveys a home to a child as a gift, the child assumes the parent’s tax basis, which is used to determine the taxable capital gain when the home is sold.

Read the entire article…

When you leave someone a bequest in your Last Will and Testament, it is your intent that the bequest should benefit that person, not cause them financial detriment.  Unfortunately, sometimes receiving a bequest under a Will can cause the beneficiary to be disqualified from government benefits which they are currently receiving, or would have otherwise been eligible to receive.  While none of your beneficiaries may currently be receiving benefits such as Medicaid, Veterans or SSI benefits, at the time you draft your Will, the same may not be true at the time the distributions under your Will are made. Read More…
Financial institutions now have more stringent identification requirements as a result of the Patriot Act.  You may have difficulties processing your own financial transactions at banks, brokerage firms and other financial institutions if you do not have a valid picture government identification, such as a state driver licence or US passport.  This could be even more problematic should you become disabled.  Your attorney-in-fact, the person you have appointed in your power of attorney to act on your behalf, may have difficulty or be unable to process some financial transactions on your behalf if you do not have a valid government picture identification, at a time when you may not be physically able to apply in person for a government picture identification.  Most first time, and certain expired, government identification applications such as New York State driver licenses, New York State non-driver identifications, and US passports require that you to apply in person. READ MORE…

BE AWARE OF THE DANGERS OF JOINT ACCOUNTS

Many people believe that joint accounts are a good way to avoid probate and transfer money to loved ones, and such accounts are sometimes referred to as “the common person’s estate plan.” But while joint accounts can be useful in certain circumstances, they can have dire consequences if not used properly. Adding a loved one to a bank account can affect medicaid planning as well as expose your account to the loved one’s creditors. READ MORE…

NURSING HOMES PRESSURING FOR SALE OF RESIDENTS’ HOMES

The reason nursing homes are pressuring for the sale of residents’ homes, is that if a resident’s home is sold, prior to the resident’s qualification for Medicaid, the nursing home is paid at the nursing home’s private pay rate which is approximately one-third higher than the Medicaid reimbursement rate, until the proceeds from the sale are spent down for Medicaid qualification purposes, which is $2,000 in liquid assets.  If the resident does not sell his or her home, after the death of the resident, the amount due Medicaid in estate recovery and Medicaid reimbursement would be significantly less than the amount paid to the nursing home out of the proceeds from the sale of the real estate prior to qualifying for Medicaid.  READ MORE…

LONG TERM CARE PLANNING AND MORE

Each morning I go online to read the several daily elder law updates I receive from various sources. This morning I read that Legal Zoom “one of the most prominent sellers of do-ityourself wills and other estate planning documents, in the target of a class action lawsuit in California charging that the company engages in deceptive business practices and is practicing law without a license”. READ MORE…

HOMEOWNERS DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY

If you own real property or a condominium you probably have received a letter in the mail telling you that it is important that you have a certified copy of your deed.  Well you don’t.  The company sending you the letter is only trying to get you to pay them for something you don’t need. READ MORE…

We serve clients from New York City (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens), Westchester, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  To set up a free consultation with an attorney, contact CORMAC MCENERY at 1-888-368-4329.