As an Elder Law Attorney, I can help you put together an estate plan that anticipates your needs so that you can live more independently as you enter the third age.
Where You Want To Be
I am a believer in avoiding a nursing home as long as possible. I am not alone. My clients desire to live out their days at home or in an assisted living facility.
Let's discuss how putting a plan in place furthers that goal.
Elder Law Attorney
Elder Law encompasses a broad range of legal issues affecting seniors as they age. As an elder law attorney, I help seniors not only focus on distributing assets at their deaths, but also plan for living independently and joyfully in the decades after retirement.
Aging in Place Team
Growing older can be especially scary for seniors who do not have close family members to help them. We can help put together a “team” of friends and professionals to make sure seniors have the emotional, financial and physical support to age in place.
Elder Law Matters I Handle:
Article 81 Guardianship
Guardianship proceedings where a loved one or friend is incapacitated and unable to take of care of their personal needs or finances. In order to be appointed as someone’s guardian, a court proceeding must be initiated in Supreme Court. Usually a hearing is held within twenty eight days and the focus is on whether the alleged incapacitated person needs someone to help them with their daily needs and financial management and who would be most suitable.
The cost of Nursing Homes in New York City can exceed $18k per month. The cost of home health aides can be upwards of $300 per day. With such high costs, Medicaid planning is an essential estate planning tool for most families. If one spouse needs long term care, it is vital that the well spouse not become impoverished trying to keep pace with astronomical costs. Even a single person needing long term care has viable options.
How We Help
We help people become qualified for Medicaid from start to finish, including preservation of assets when a loved one enters a nursing home or requires home health care. We can aid in long term care placement in nursing homes (Chronic Medicaid) and aging in place solutions utilizing home health aides (Community Medicaid).
Medicaid Asset Protection Trust
A Medicaid Asset Protection Trust is an irrevocable trust that allows the grantor to move assets outside of their name for purposes of Medicaid eligibility. Assets placed in a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust are completely protected after the "look back" period. In New York the look back period is 5 years for nursing home care and currently no look back period for home care Medicaid.
At first blush this may seem like some sort of racket attorneys came up with that skirts the law – attorneys did come up with it, but it is perfectly legal and ethically sound as well.
In order to explain how this trust works, you need to understand how qualifying for Medicaid works.
To qualify for Medicaid long term care in 2022, the applicant can only have $16,800 in countable resources (retirements accounts are largely exempt). But Medicaid will ask, "where did your money go?" If you need nursing home Medicaid, then Medicaid will require bank statements going back 5 years. That 5 year period is the "look back" period. For home care assets can be moved one month and the applicant can be eligible the following month - but is slated to change to 2.5 years on July 1, 2022.
Assets in the trust pass to the grantor's beneficiaries at the grantors death or at the death of the grantor's spouse.
So what's the catch?
The creator of the trust, the grantor, can retain a lifetime right to the income generated from the trust. However, the grantor is never allowed principle from the trust - thats what protects it. So if a brokerage account is in the trust, the grantor (and spouse) can only receive the income generated from the investment.
The grantor also retains the right to live in any residence placed in the trust. This life estate guarantees that not only will have peace of mind, but also the grantor continues to receive property tax exemptions and the property gets a step up in basis to fair market value at death.
Neither the grantor of a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust nor a spouse can be the Trustee of the trust. However, the grantor retains the right to change the Trustee and beneficiaries at any time. That's a powerful right.
A Medicaid Asset Protection Trust is a powerful tool for families that want to preserve wealth for their spouse and the next generation.
We Make the Process Simple
Book a complimentary online or in-person consultation where we discuss your finances, goals and any existing long term care insurance you have.
We discuss why Advance Directives are necessary before you get sick so that you always have a voice in caseyou become incapacitated.
Our estate planning is flat fee, meaning you don’t have to worry the clock is ticking when you have questions.
More importantly, we can concentrate on custom tailoring a plan that is perfect for you.
Free 1 Hour Consultation - online or in person
Client Portals for Easy Communication
Draft Review Meetings
Signing Date that fits your Schedule
Our consultations are always thorough
and always free
Book online, schedule through email
or call our office at (212) 739-1736
Medicaid Long-Term Care
Medicaid Applications can be complicated and require interface between clients, social workers, doctors, nurses, personal care aides, and the Department of Social Services.
That’s why we you get an Attorney and a Medicaid Coordinator.
Meet Susan Marchesini
Our Medicaid specialist, Susan Marchesini, is an integral part of the team. As an experienced Medicaid Coordinator in the legal field for over 15 years and a native New Yorker, she helps clients navigate through the the complexities of both nursing home care and community Medicaid in all five boroughs and Long Island.
Susan graduated from New York University School of Continuing & Professional Studies, cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She attended classes in the Masters Program at the School of social work at both New York University and Hunter College. She is a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda.
Elder Law & Medicaid Frequently Asked Questions
*Please note that our office does not provide notary service to the public. If you drop in for notary, the attorney will accommodate you if possible. However, we do not under any circumstances take appointments or calls regarding notary services. Thank you for understanding.
221 Columbia Street
Brooklyn, New York 11231
Ph. (212) 739-1736 Fax (212) 202-5263
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