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New York Elder Law Attorney Blog

Estate planning could involve excluding family members

Many New York residents want to make it clear who they want to receive their assets after death. This desire is relatively easy to carry out as individuals have many estate planning options. Of course, some parties may wonder whether they can also use their plans to make sure a specific person does not receive any property.

When parties create their wills, they can expressly exclude anyone from benefiting from the estate. Some individuals may do this by naming the person and giving reason for the exclusion or without giving specific reason if they choose not to. In some cases, it may be wise to forgo an explanation as the excluded individual may feel the need to challenge that reason in court.

As a new parent, estate planning serves an important purpose

The birth of your child means that your world has completely changed. Now, instead of you and your spouse forging ahead on your own with only the needs of you two to consider, you now must think about the life of your baby. This idea may bring great joy as you think of the ways your child will grow, but you may also have to face the possibility that you may not be there to witness that growth.

It is an unfortunate reality that accidents happen that leave children without parents. While this may seem like a dismal thought to have so soon after the happy occasion of your child's birth, accidents can happen at any time. As a result, you may want to begin estate planning as soon as possible.

A living will does not have any right or wrong answers

It can be unsettling for many people to think about the possibility of suffering from a serious medical condition. However, it is a scenario that many people in New York and across the country face. Rather than avoiding the possibility and letting a situation become chaotic, it may be wise for individuals to consider creating a living will.

A living will allows parties to detail how they would like their care handled in the event of an incapacitating condition. It can be difficult to decide how to leave instructions for such care, but it may help individuals to remember that there are no right or wrong answers in this type of situation. By assessing personal desires, any religious or spiritual beliefs, and other considerations, people may have a better time determining what could be best for their particular situations.

Staying on top of finances may help with long-term care needs

Most people hope to live a long and healthy life. Today, more people are living longer than ever, but those lives are not always free from medical issues. In fact, many New York residents may need long-term care at some point in their elder years, and it may be wise to plan ahead for that possibility.

The main issue revolving around long-term care is the ability to pay for care. Many facilities and services are expensive, so planning ahead is often necessary to prevent unnecessary hardships later. Costs can range from $45,000 per year for one bedroom at an assisted living facility to over $97,000 per year for a private room at a nursing home.

Parents facing long-term care often have kids considering plans

When a parent has to enter a nursing facility or needs other care, it can often trigger adult children into considering their own future needs. Most people will need some sort of long-term care in their lives, and while options are available, most of them are costly. As a result, it may prove wise for New York residents to consider their planning options

When it comes to paying for care, it is prudent to consider insurance options. There are traditional long-term care insurance policies that can help individuals protect themselves from certain costs in the future. Additionally, if parties purchase policies at younger ages, they may have the ability to take advantage of lower premiums. Of course, it is important to review the terms of any policy and determine whether it covers in-home care, facility care or, ideally, both.

What can an irrevocable trust do for me?

Estate planning is not for the faint of heart. It is a real challenge, figuring out how to protect assets from going into the wrong hands and protecting loved ones from dealing with various issues that may arise regarding your estate after your death. Trusts are a wonderful way to accomplish estate planning goals, but what kind do you need? If you want to place assets in a trust while you are still alive in order to achieve some tax benefits, an irrevocable trust may be what you need.

What are the benefits of an irrevocable trust? Are there any disadvantages to using this type of trust? Will an irrevocable trust help avoid probate in New York?

Estate plans: Should special needs loved ones be disinherited?

Many people in New York and elsewhere with special needs require care throughout their lives. Because care and other necessities can prove costly, many of these individuals tend to obtain government benefits in hopes of making ends meet and maintaining the ability to live their lives as best as possible. Of course, when individuals are considering their estate plans, they may want to leave money behind for their special needs loved ones, but should they?

Because government benefits are often income-based, if a special needs person inherits a considerable sum, that amount could end up disqualifying the individual for much needed financial benefits. Some people may consider disinheriting their special needs loved ones or even be told that they should. However, that does not have to be the course of action followed.

Letters of intent, updates are useful parts of estate planning

Assets play a major part in many New York residents' lives. Because property can often become valuable for either monetary or sentimental reasons, it is common for people to have the desire to protect their assets and pass them on to loved ones in the event of their deaths. Estate planning can help make sure that the proper steps are taken to ensure that a deceased individual's wishes are carried out.

If individuals want to use their plans to reduce the amount of potential conflict that could arise during probate, they may want to consider utilizing a letter of intent. This document goes beyond detailing who should receive which assets -- that job goes to the will. A letter of intent allows a person to explain why he or she made certain choices, which can sometimes help surviving loved ones feel more at ease with the results of probate and other proceedings.

Estate planning documents relating to health care often vital

Medical attention is often necessary in various situations when a person's health is in question. As individuals age, they may become more aware of the fact that they could one day need extended care due to incapacitation or in the event of a possibly terminal condition. When these situations arises, New York residents will undoubtedly want to have the right estate planning documents in place.

There are two different documents that could come into play in this type of situation. First, a living will can detail a person's care wishes to doctors in the event that he or she cannot explain those wishes him or herself. Often, this document can indicate whether a person wants to be left on life support or other similar devices when the body cannot function on its own. Of course, it can also include other important care information.

Transferring assets may help with Medicaid planning

The financial aspects of life can be some of the most difficult for many New York residents to address. Whether individuals need to make a considerable purchase or buy everyday necessities, they can sometimes struggle to find the best ways to handle their funds. As parties get older, they may consider the potential for needing long-term care and how they may pay for that care. Because it can be immensely expensive, it may be wise to explore Medicaid information.

Because qualifying for Medicaid involves meeting many financial stipulations, it can be difficult for some parties to receive this assistance. Fortunately, interested individuals could plan ahead in hopes of arranging their finances in a manner that would allow them to potentially qualify for benefits. There are various ways in which a person could go about doing this.

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