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Power of Attorney A Power of Attorney form allows you, the Principal, to designate someone, an Agent, to act on your behalf when you are alive and cannot perform certain tasks for yourself.  You have the ability to outline which powers your Agent will have.  Some of these powers include buying and selling of goods,…

What is Probate? In New York State, an Executor nominated under a will needs to petition the court in order to receive Letters Testamentary so that they can act.  The Executor will use the Letters to obtain and gather the assets of the estate.  An Executor is mainly responsible for paying the debts of the…

BEING MARRIED MAY NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR ESTATE People frequently assume that having a spouse means that your assets will all go to him/her if you die intestate (without a will), and conversely, if you do have a will, you can leave your assets to anyone that you want….

IS YOUR ONLINE WILL VALID? With promises of producing the exact forms that you need, for an unbelievable price, and in a matter of minutes, it’s no wonder that many people are opting for online services for their estate planning needs instead of seeking advice from a qualified attorney.  A Last Will and Testament can…

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…

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…

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…

Health Care Decision-Making Quite often I am asked about the differences between a Health Care Proxy and a Living Will. A Health Care Proxy allows a “principal” to appoint someone else to act as his or her health care agent for purposes of making health care decisions. When executing a Health Care Proxy, a person…

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