About Kramer Law Firm
With over years of experience, Firm has been practicing elder law estate planning exclusively since. Our practice consists of Living Trusts, Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts, Medicaid Applications, Wills, Probate, Estate Administration and Special Needs Trusts in our offices located in New York.
We serve elder law estate planning clients in the following counties of New York:
Elder Law and Disability Planning
Elder law addresses disability planning. As people's life expectancies have increased due to advances in medical science as well as health and nutrition people are living much longer than just a century ago. One result is that many more people now become disabled before they die – some say that as many as half of us will have a period later in life where we are unable to manage our affairs.
Elder law protect the needs of frail seniors by providing substitute decision-making through the use of Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxies and Living Wills, Revocable and Irrevocable Living Trusts, Medicaid Planning and Medicaid Applications. Proper elder law planning allows you to avoid guardianship proceedings upon disability and keep control with your loves ones. Please contact us by telephone or email.
Estate Planning With Revocable Living Trusts
Estate Planning has been defined as “Getting your assets, upon death, to whom you want, when you want, in the way you want, with the least amount of taxes and legal fees possible.” Estate planning most often results in the use of revocable living trusts to avoid probate at death. Probate is a court proceeding required to prove the will valid before the executor may proceed to distribute assets to the named heirs. Probate can often be expensive and time-consuming, resulting in frustrating delays.
Revocable living trusts do not require court proceedings at death and thus have become the most popular alternative to wills for seniors.
Other advantages of living trusts are they are significantly less expensive to settle upon death than wills, they can keep your assets in the bloodline with Inheritance Trusts, and they afford privacy of the deceased person's affairs since there is no probate record of how much you had, who you left it to, or who you may have left out. Again, with a living trust you keep control with your loved one instead of handing it over to courts and judges as you do with a will.
Living trusts also provide for who takes over if you should become disabled, avoiding potentially expensive and time-consuming guardianship proceedings and keeping control in the family. Our Law Firm has prepared thousands of revocable living trusts. For a free revocable living trust consultation at any one of our sixteen New York offices, please contact us by telephone or email.
Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts
Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts (MAPT's) have been protecting clients' assets for over thirty years. Also known as an irrevocable Medicaid trust, these trusts avoid guardianship proceedings on disability, avoid probate proceedings at death, keep assets in the bloodline with Inheritance Trusts, and have the added feature of protecting your assets from nursing home care costs. There is a five year “look back” period upon transfer of assets to the Medicaid trust. This means that assets are not fully protected until five years after the date of transfer. However, the time pro rates, so let's say you don't make it five years – you need nursing home care three years after you put your assets into the Medicaid trust -- in that case you only have to pay for the two years that are left.
There are many misconceptions and myths about Medicaid trusts. Well-meaning but ill-informed professionals such as accountants, financial advisors and even general practice lawyers often give incorrect advice in this area. For example, very few know that in New York we can actually revoke the irrevocable trust – we just have to get all family members to sign. Our Law Firm has prepared thousands of Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts. To get the correct advice about Medicaid trusts at one of our New York offices, please contact us by telephone or email.
Whether a loved one needs Medicaid for home care (Community Medicaid) or Medicaid for nursing home care (Institutional or Chronic Care Medicaid) an application for Medicaid benefits is required. Due to complex asset and transfer rules, various “look back” periods and different Medicaid practices in the various counties of New York State, the application should be made with the assistance of an experienced elder law attorney.
Certain assets are exempt from Medicaid where there is a spouse at home (the “community spouse”). Apart from the exempt assets, there are a number of ways to protect assets from Medicaid such as where there has been an adult caregiver living in the home for two or more years before applying for Medicaid, spousal refusal and transferring the assets to a Supplemental or Special Needs Trust to a disabled child under the age of sixty.
To learn more about your eligibility for home care Medicaid benefits or nursing home Medicaid benefits, please contact us by telephone or email to schedule a free consultation in one of our New York offices.