New York Elder Law And Estate Planning Blog

How is Medicaid eligibility determined?

Medicaid is a healthcare coverage program that is administered jointly by the federal government and the Government of New York State. It provides coverage to adults, children, elderlies and those with disabilities. According to federal laws, states are required to cover certain groups of individuals under this health program, based on certain parameters, in addition to mandatory inclusions such as low income families, pregnant women, children and recipients of Supplemental Security Income.

In addition to the categories mentioned already, states can choose to cover other groups such as those receiving home-and community-based healthcare services. However, those inclusions are based on certain eligibility criteria that were put in place by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 2010. Those eligibility criteria can be divided into two categories: financial eligibility and non-financial eligibility.

Trusts as part of asset protection in New York

Sometimes, people in New York and other states see that assets that were acquired and maintained through years of hard work end up in state coffers after the death of the owner of those assets. Oftentimes, that happens due to inadequate estate planning. As many people may already know, trusts can be a means of making sure that assets are protected.

In New York, an individual can create a trust for any lawful purpose. The creator of a trust can revise or rescind a part or whole of the trust at any point, provided that creator has written consent from all the persons who are beneficially associated with the property that is held in that trust. It is possible to create three types of trusts in New York: lifetime trusts, honorary trusts for pets and charitable trusts.

How to choose your health care proxy

A health care proxy is someone that you authorize to make medical decisions on your behalf. Appointing a proxy can help ensure that you get the health care or medical attention you want or need, in the event that you are unable to communicate.

A proxy will speak on your behalf in any situation that you are unable to speak for yourself. Some situations in which you may need a proxy are listed below.

What is New York's NHTD Medicaid Waiver program?

Like everyone else, elders in our society have the right to be in control of their lives, the right to take risks and overcome them and the right to learn from that experience. Sadly, advanced age often comes in the way and it becomes difficult for the elderly to perform even some of the most basic day-to-day tasks. In order to address this issue, the New York State Department of Health administers the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Medicaid Waiver, which is a Home and Community Based Services program.

The NHTD program uses money received from Medicaid to provide certain services to the elderly. These services are meant to assist the elderly in living their day to day lives while being an integral part of the community and the society. An individual can opt for the NHTD Medicaid Waiver services when informal support and services, or local, state and federal services, or Medicaid State Plan services are not sufficient to assure the health and wellbeing of the individual. The NHTD Medicaid Waiver services can also be availed if it is found that obtaining such services are the most optimum utilization of Medicaid benefits.

Changes in your family life? Then change your estate plan too

An estate plan is not something that people should look at once and then tuck away for safe-keeping, only to be used after they pass away. An individual's estate plan should change just as their family does. It reflects their wishes and instructions for their family, after all.

However, it can be difficult to know when it is necessary to update an estate plan. Here are a few of the most common family events that might require someone to change their estate plan.

Trust basics and why some trusts should be irrevocable

Maybe you first heard of a trust from watching public broadcasting funded by the trust of what sounds like a very rich family.

But trusts aren't just for the very wealthy. Almost everybody planning the future of their assets at least considers using a trust as tool to achieve their goals.

Seeking guidance for probate and estate administration

A death in the family can be a terrible experience and it oftentimes takes a long time for the family to cope with the loss of the loved one. In addition to being a major emotional challenge, the death can also mean taking charge and making important decisions regarding the finances of the deceased. While it is true that probate and estate administration can be overwhelming for many people, a person cannot ignore the fact that tending to the financial matters are an important task that a family should not procrastinate about for long.

Probate and estate administration attorneys in New York State help surviving family members make an inventory of the assets that the deceased owned. It is important to determine whether those assets were owned by the deceased individually or jointly. As many people may have already experienced, mere identification of assets can sometimes be a difficult exercise.

Aaron Futterman Presents At Gurwin Jewish-Fay J. Linder Residences in Commack

Last night (May 29th) Aaron Futterman presented to 50 mental health professionals at Gurwin Jewish-Fay J. Linder Residences in Commack. He discussed updates in elder law and estate planning along with Jordan Trager, Esq. from Wisselman, Harounian & Associates who presented family and marital dynamics from a legal perspective and Fran Greene, LCSW, Relationship Coach and author of The Secret Rules of Flirting & her second book Dating Again with Courage & Confidence who shared strategies and tips so the social workers and other mental health professionals could better help people to socialize more successfully as they age. The attendees received four Continuing Education Credits for this educational event.

What is the New York State Partnership for Long-Term Care?

In the advanced stages of life, home care, nursing home care and living assistance are some of the various realities that many individuals and families need to deal with. These services are often expensive, which means that many people usually rely on federal and state government assistance to make sure that the final years of life are spent comfortably and respectfully. One such assistance program that people in New York should know about is the New York State Partnership for Long-Term Care.

As some of our readers may know, the NYSPLTC is a program run by the state's Department of Health and combines the benefits of both long-term care insurance and Medicaid Extended Coverage. In addition to assisting in financially preparing for the possibility of requiring home care, nursing home care and living assistance, the NYSPLTC is an effective means of protecting a person's assets in the event that the long-term care needs exceed the period that is covered by Partnership LTC insurance policy.

What is Medicaid planning?

Long-term care costs often blindside those in retirement. Because of this, many turn to Medicaid to alleviate some of the financial burden of long-term care. Medicaid is a government health care program that can help with paying costly care expenses. However, Medicaid is a needs-based program that only applies to people with a limited amount of assets.

Because the qualification requirements for Medicaid are complicated, many individuals and couples begin to make financial plans to qualify for Medicaid years before they need it. This process is sometimes referred to as "Medicaid planning".

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