Many aging residents of New York may already be familiar with (or even dreading) the complex preparations often required to receive Medicaid benefits for nursing homes. Unfortunately, one aspect some may not be aware of is that some preparation for eligibility only effectively protects assets during their lifetime. They are allowed to receive Medicaid benefits, but after their death, without careful Medicaid planning with a knowledgeable attorney, certain previously-excluded assets are claimed by the state.
Unsurprisingly, over 30 percent of Americans polled would prefer to do almost anything else if doing so means avoiding a conversation about their wills or estate plans. While some older residents of New York may already have the legal documentation in order, others may have been putting off this important preparation for any variety of reasons. Regardless of which category elderly parents fall into, the estate planning conversation is an important one for their children or loved ones to have with them.
Far too often, aging New York residents reach what are supposed to be the golden years only to find themselves instead facing the need for long-term care that is prohibitively expensive. Since few have the necessary cash readily available to pay the high cost of this care, they are then expected to sell off the assets for which they have worked their entire lives to earn. While there are various methods of asset protection, they all require planning years in advance, so it may be wise to begin exploring these options with an attorney now, rather than waiting until it's too late.
For many aging New York residents, the biggest part of estate planning may not be creating it but rather in keeping it up-to-date. Often, if the documents have not been reviewed in a while, the information within ends up being outdated, but this fact is only discovered after it is too late. Frequent review of an estate plan is crucial to ensuring that an individual's most recent intentions are executed.
Many older residents of New York have a will. This most basic part of estate planning is important, but simply preparing a will is by no means the end of planning for the future, merely one of the first steps. From considering where to keep this important document to knowing how to go about making changes, there are many aspects to consider.
Contrary to popular belief, preparing all the documentation for an estate plan is, unfortunately, not a "fix-it-and-forget-it" scenario. Not only do desires and goals change and evolve over time, but so do personal financial circumstances. New York and federal laws surrounding estate planning often change. For this reason and others, experts recommend that individuals review all relevant documentation -- including powers of attorney, wills and advance medical directives -- around every three years.
Many individuals have worked hard their entire lives to save money for retirement, hoping to have an inheritance to pass along to their children. They plan to leave their home and other assets to their loved ones, and have created a will or trust to that effect. Unfortunately, an unplanned stay in a New York nursing home may also be in the cards, and if that is the case, careful and complex estate planning with a knowledgeable attorney may be necessary if the individual hopes to avoid the loss of all of his or her assets.
Through hard work and careful planning, you have built a life of which you can be proud. One of the great things about a bountiful estate is being able to create a legacy for your children and grandchildren. However, like many, you probably have certain family members who might appreciate an inheritance more if it helped them achieve what they otherwise may have put off.
People are living longer. While this is a blessing, it also means that, as an elderly parent or loved one ages in New York, there are a lot of arrangements to make, both legal and personal. From estate planning to Medicaid planning to power of attorney documentation, caregivers have many legal options contemplate and plan.
Growing older is an unavoidable part of life, and along with that often comes a decline in the ability to manage the financial aspects of life. In fact, experts say that by age 60, an individual's capability for processing new information begins to slow, and this is not even taking into account situations that involve medical conditions like dementia or Alzheimer's. While some people may remain capable of making their own financial decisions far into their senior years, others might start needing help early on; this is where a New York estate planning lawyer may be able to offer guidance.