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Special Needs Trusts We understand the concerns you may have when it comes to securing the financial future of your loved one with special needs. This blog provides an overview of Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) and their implications in New York State. What is a Special Needs Trust (SNT)? A Special Needs Trust is a…

Estate Planning 101 The most common misconception about estate planning is that it requires a substantial “estate.” For many, the word “estate” conjures an image of vast wealth, like that of John D. Rockefeller or Howard Hughes. However, in reality, nearly everyone leaves an estate behind when they die. It could be millions or it could be…

When it Comes to Estate Planning, Put your Wishes on Paper and Leave Nothing to Chance   Often, clients tell me, “I’m going to leave everything I have to my son John, and he knows to take care of the other kids.” People assure me that their families are extremely close, and there’s no question…

Estate Plan Exclusions The majority of estate plans that we prepare at our law firm leave assets to clients’ children in equal shares. Some clients make wills, and others create trusts. Some seek to keep assets protected from long-term care and nursing home costs or to minimize estate taxes. But generally the objective is to…

MEDICARE VERSUS MEDICAID IN THE NURSING HOME SETTING When we talk about Medicaid asset protection, I often hear from clients “but I already have Medicare,” or “I have money, so I’ll never qualify for Medicaid.” But in the context of chronic care, there’s a lot of nuance to these issues. Here are the key differences:…

WHAT NOT TO DO IN YOUR ESTATE PLAN   We frequently discuss good estate planning practices in this column, but here are some things that you absolutely should not do when drafting your will or trust: Settle Scores With a limited exception for spouses, no one has the legal right to inherit from you. You…

PROS AND CONS OF ESTATE PLANNING OPTIONS Which estate plan is right for you?  Here is an infographic created to highlight some of the pros and cons of estate planning options available. If you have questions about your options, please contact Michael Wagner, Esq. to review these and other options with you.  He offers free,…

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT PAYING FOR NURSING HOME CARE The time period in which an elderly loved one goes to a skilled nursing facility can be one of the most emotionally wrought and challenging experiences for a family. Unfortunately, one of the most stressful aspects of the ordeal is how the nursing home bills are…

What is a Will and Why Does Everyone Need One A Last Will and Testament is a document that states your final wishes. Every Will must be submitted to the Surrogate’s Court after death so the Court can determine if it is valid and enforceable. This is the procedure known as “probate.” Your closest family…

10 STEPS TO SETTLING AN ESTATE Losing a friend or family member is always challenging. Serving as the executor or trustee of their estate plan is a wonderful way to honor them and carry out their wishes. But it can be a long and taxing process. Here’s how to do it right: (1) Talk to…

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