Elder Law

You’re Invited: City Council Candidates Senior Issues Forum

You’re Invited: City Council Candidates Senior Issues Forum

AGE FRIENDLY PRESENTS:
CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES SENIOR ISSUES FORUM
Justin Brannan, Bob Capano, John Quaglione

 

WHEN
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
6:00 – 8:00 PM

WHERE
Bay Ridge Center
6935 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Peter Killen – Forum Chair
Judith D. Grimaldi, Esq., MSW – Moderator
Light refreshments will be served.

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Please visit our website for information on Elder Law and Estate Planning: www.gylawny.com 

GRIMALDI & YEUNG LLP
Phone: 718-238-6960
Brooklyn and Manhattan Offices:

9201 4th Ave, 6th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209

546 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10036

This post is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the lawyer. The post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

 

 

Judith D. Grimaldi speaks at the NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs Summer Meeting

Judith D. Grimaldi speaks at the NYSBA Elder Law and Special Needs Summer Meeting

This month, the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law and Special Needs Section Summer Meeting invited Judith D Grimaldi to speak on:

New Developments in Elder Law: New Medicaid Eligibility Rules, Federal & State Legislative Changes, Recent Cases and Decisions of Interest, Administrative Pronouncements

               

View program

GRIMALDI & YEUNG LLP:
Phone: 718-238-6960
Brooklyn and Manhattan Offices:

9201 4th Ave, 6th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209

546 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10036

This post is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the lawyer. The post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

It’s a Judith D. Grimaldi Double Feature!

It’s a Judith D. Grimaldi Double Feature!

We are excited to have our partner, Judith D. Grimaldi, participate in the upcoming Aging Mastery Program offered by The National Council on Aging and Kingsborough Community College. Ms. Grimaldi will be speaking on various elder law topics on the following dates:

APRIL 25TH
10:30 AM at Kingsborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Blvd., Brooklyn, NY
&
APRIL 25TH & JUNE 27TH
6:30 PM at Bay Ridge Senior Center, 6935 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Seats are limited, so please be sure to register! (718) 368-5050.

See flyer for full details and dates.

GRIMALDI & YEUNG LLP:
Phone: 718-238-6960
Brooklyn and Manhattan Offices:

9201 4th Ave, 6th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209

546 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10036

This post is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the lawyer. The post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

When a Trust is a “Must” – Part 1

When a Trust is a “Must” – Part 1

Part 1 in a series of articles written by Joanne Seminara, Esq.

When a famous person dies, the public often learns little about what was left in their estate.  Sometimes, however, all the messy details wind up in the press. As a practical matter, whether or not an estate story becomes public knowledge may depend on whether the celebrity settled his or her estate with a Will or with a Trust.  Trusts are almost always private documents. Wills often require more notification to others and must be filed in Court.

Does that mean only celebrities need Trusts to protect their privacy?  Even if the newspapers do not care about what’s in your estate and what you left to whom, your family members likely will care, especially if they were left out.  How will they find out?  Well, if your estate will be distributed through a Will, the law says that anyone who might be in line to inherit has to be notified so that they have an opportunity to object to the Will.  Thus, anyone who values their privacy in this regard can benefit from a Trust.

There are many other good reasons that a Trust may be the best way to distribute your estate.  In fact, depending on your relationship with the persons or organizations to whom you wish to leave assets after your death, your long-term care needs and the nature of your assets, a Trust may be a “must.”

To understand why a Trust may be a “must” you need to understand the possible pitfalls of using a Will to settle an estate in certain situations.

A Will must go through the process of “probate” in order to transfer your assets to those designated in your Will.  In probate, a Will is validated and the Executor named in your Will is appointed by Surrogate’s Court order.

Once appointed, the Executor can represent the Estate: collect and liquidate estate assets, pay debts and taxes, and eventually pay out the estate among the beneficiaries named in the Will.  But many of our clients are very surprised to learn that even the consent of, or notice to, persons who will inherit nothing under their Will must be obtained before the Court will issue an order of probate.

Before an order of probate is issued by the Court, an estate attorney must obtain the written, notarized consent to the probate of all those persons who were your natural heirs.  Natural heirs or “heirs-at-law” (or next-of-kin) are those persons that state law dictates would get your property if you had no will or died “intestate.”  That is, your natural heirs must agree with (or at least not challenge) your Will and your choice of Executor.

If you are leaving your estate to your natural heirs, say, to your spouse and children, getting this written consent will not be a problem because you are leaving your estate to the same people who would get your property if you had no Will. However, if you are not leaving property to all your next-of-kin, or in amounts less than they would get under the “intestate” law (or leaving them less than they expected) these persons may have no incentive to consent in writing to the probate.  Moreover, if they are upset to learn that you have left them nothing, things could get worse.  They could file an objection to the probate of the Will. And this is where the story gets much more complicated, lengthy and expensive.

Even if such persons have no reasonable prospect of overturning your Will they can tie up a court proceeding  for months, or even years, with one or more baseless claims about the validity of the Will.)  For example, if you are single and childless and your next of kin are your siblings or the children of your predeceased siblings and your Will does not give your assets to all these persons, (called “intestate distributees”) your Executor or her attorney must notify them of the probate of your Will, provide them with a copy, and attempt to get their consent to probate. So, first they must be located! If they cannot be found and their consent obtained then a “Citation” will have to be delivered to them to give them the opportunity to appear in Court to object to the probate.  Assuming you left your Executor the current addresses for all of these distributees, just the process of serving each distributee with a Citation and proving to the Court that this has been done can take months. (And that’s assuming you don’t have relatives who live abroad!) Then, if an objection to probate is filed by one of them it must be formally answered in Court, which could be just the beginning of years of delay, the worst case scenario being a full-blown Will contest trial.

Ever see a dilapidated empty house with overgrown weeds and boarded up windows that languish for years?  Chances are the reason it’s empty and hasn’t been sold is that it is tied up in court proceedings.

On the other hand, if you create a Trust to transfer your wealth upon death and it is carefully drafted and funded with all your assets, your estate can avoid probate.  There is no requirement to notify any persons who will not inherit your assets under your Trust.  Perhaps most importantly, a Trust, because it need not be filed in Court to take effect, is a private document shown after your death only to those persons who will receive a share of your assets. The opportunity of a challenge to your wishes is greatly reduced and the cost of settlement of your estate will likely be less. Most importantly, your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries months or years earlier than if you passed them through the Will probate process.

This is only one reason why a Trust may be a “Must.” More reasons Trust planning is recommended in certain circumstances will be covered in future articles.

Additional resources provided by the author

Joanne Seminara
March 30, 2017

GRIMALDI & YEUNG LLP:
Phone: 718-238-6960
Brooklyn and Manhattan Offices:

9201 4th Ave, 6th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209

546 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10036

This post is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the lawyer. The post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

Partner Judith Grimaldi recounts her trip to Amsterdam and Netherland’s Progressive Approach to Aging and Dying

Partner Judith Grimaldi recounts her trip to Amsterdam and Netherland’s Progressive Approach to Aging and Dying

By Judith Grimaldi, CELA, CAP

Published March 2017 at Naela.org

The NAELA Delegation to the Netherlands visits the government-run Dementia Village, learns about attitudes toward assisted suicide, and appreciates the culture of the Netherlands.

The NAELA Delegation to the Netherlands at the Village of Hogeweyk (“Dementia Village”).

On November 12, 2016, the NAELA delegation of 23 NAELA members gathered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to survey aging services in one of Europe’s most progressive countries. Amid the picturesque environment — which included a city of active working canals and waterways, bicycles in abundance, delicious cheese, and a free-spirited citizenry — we came to learn how they address their growing aging population. It seems they address it as they do everything in their lives, with industriousness, grace, and a buoyant activism. The country’s natural environment of being below sea level has developed a keen sense of inventiveness, vigilance, and order in the population as they strive to keep the always-present sea at bay. They bring this practicality and sensibility to their aging policies.

Dementia and Art Appreciation


Amsterdam’s Modern Art Museum gives docent-guided tours for individuals with dementia and their caregivers. Author Judith Grimalidi remarks that the group “learned to see how art appreciation transcends memory loss or cognitive impairment as colors, textures, and image remain constant.”

Our first visit was to the Amsterdam’s Modern Art Museum where we participated in a docent-guided tour geared for individuals with dementia and their caregivers that strived to engage all of our senses and our imagination in viewing the art. We learned to see how art appreciation transcends memory loss or cognitive impairment as colors, textures, and images remain constant. The person with dementia brings whatever he or she can to the experience as there is no right or wrong way to interpret art. People with cognitive impairment can enjoy art even if the ability to articulate what it means is limited. The Museum staff demonstrated how to use art to stimulate conversations with the dementia participant.

Their “Meet Me at MOMA” program has been operating for several years and is modeled after a similar program that operates in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art where guided sessions are offered weekly for persons with dementia, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers to give them full access to the museum. The museum considers this an important community outreach program and will provide “how-to” materials so it can be replicated in other community museums. The New York City and the Amsterdam MOMA programs serve as hubs for conversations on aging and creativity and each is a vital link for those who are interested in making art accessible to people with dementia. For more information on these continued efforts contact: accessprograms@moma.org.

Death and Dying


The Delegation meets with two NVVE staff members who are part of the assisted suicide group. In the Netherlands, assisted suicide is legal – and not just for those with terminal illnesses. From left, two NVVE staff members with Gayle Reeves, Jennifer Lile, and Judith Grimaldi.

Our group visited the ground-breaking NVVE Organization (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Vrijwillige Euthanasie — Netherlands association for voluntary euthanasia) where we learned about Holland’s efforts in the field of death and dying. The meeting was held in a 17th century townhouse previously owned by the founders of the East Indian Trading Company. The home fronted one of Amsterdam’s canals and was built on a gracious double lot with a full garden and a coach house.

In the Netherlands, assisted suicide is legal – and not just for those with terminal illnesses. In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for patients who were suffering unbearable pain and had no prospects of a cure. At one clinic in The Hague, anyone with “unbearable suffering” can be given the relief they seek.

NVVE provides information, consultation, and education about euthanasia and assisted suicide in the Netherlands. NVVE lobbies and supports research and other initiatives related to self-chosen death. The organization’s motto is: “A dignified life deserves a dignified death.” NVVE is a society with a membership of 165,000 members and growing annually. In the Netherlands it is not an offense for physicians to perform euthanasia, provided they comply with the due care criteria specified in the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Act and report each case after it has been carried out. In accordance with the due care criteria, the physician must, among other things, be satisfied that the patient’s request for euthanasia is voluntary and well-considered and that his suffering is unbearable with no prospect of improvement.

Euthanasia can be performed only at the patient’s own request, not at the request of relatives or friends. Physicians are not obliged to grant a request for euthanasia. A physician who does not want to perform the procedure should discuss this with the patient and may decide to refer the patient to another physician. The Act is only applicable to people who have a medical relationship with a physician who is subject to Dutch law. This means that people who do not reside in the Netherlands cannot apply for euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide under the Act. Their continuing organizational goal is the advancement of social acceptance and continued legal regulation of free choice for the ending a life.


Amsterdam street scene.

Recognition of free choice for the ending of life (and assistance thereby) as a human right has led to a new debate over a law proposed in October 2016. The proposed law would allow people who are not suffering from a medical condition to seek assisted suicide if they feel they have “completed life.” Proponents of the law counter that limiting assisted death to patients with terminal illnesses is no longer enough and that older people have the right to end their lives with dignity and at a time of their choosing. The speakers at the NVVE introduced this debate at our visit. The discussions were lively on the bus ride home as we reviewed how our states are gingerly beginning to accept the first level of physician-assisted suicide, but have a long way to go before we reach the level of consensus on the topic found in the Netherlands. NVVE welcomes inquires and can be contacted at www.nvve.nl or to our guest speaker at jaeverslag-eunthansia@nvve.nl.

Dementia Village


Judith Grimaldi stands at the sign for Dementia Village. The new Hogeweyk facility opened in December 2009, on four acres of land and consists of low, two-story brick buildings that house a supermarket, a theatre, workshops, a café, a bakery, a park, and an open plaza with a town square.

Our most memorable event of the trip was our visit to the Village of Hogeweyk, the pioneering facility for the elderly that specializes in the care of 152 residents with dementia. It is also known as the Dementia Village. Our private tour was led by the Director Eloy Van Hal, who explained the operation and financing of the Village, which is operated and owned by Vivium, a government owned not-for-profit group that manages nursing home facilities in Holland. The Village opened in 1992, when Yvonne van Amerongen and another member of staff at a traditional nursing home both had one of their own parents die. They were grateful that their elderly parents had not had to endure institutional care. After researching options, they decided that people generally prefer to be with other like-minded people of similar backgrounds and experiences. They used this approach at Hogeweyk, which groups residents with similar backgrounds to live together.

The new Hogeweyk facility opened in December 2009, on four acres of land and consists of low, two-story brick buildings that house a supermarket, a theatre, workshops, a café, a bakery, a park, and an open plaza with a town square. The construction of the facilities cost $25 million and was funded primarily by the Dutch government. The cost per resident is similar to more traditional nursing homes at around $8,000 per month, which is paid by the government. An individual living in the Netherlands can select this residence as a government-subsidized nursing home equivalent as it is funded on par with other more traditionally state-funded facilities. The out-of-pocket cost to the Dutch individual after the government subsidy will never exceed $3,600 per month.

The goal of life in Hogeweyk is to allow the dementia resident to live life as normally as possible in an everyday setting even though they are qualified for nursing home status. Housing is arranged in group homes for 6 to 8 persons who still perform household chores as they are able. The group plans their daily routine with the help of two on-site care givers who supervise and fill in the skill gaps. Washing, cooking and so on is done every day in all of the houses. Daily groceries are done in the Hogeweyk supermarket.

There are 23 free-standing households representing seven different “life-style” choices. People are grouped by their “like mindedness.” For example: Goois (upper class), homey, Christian, artisan, Indonesian, and cultural.

The homes are furnished around the time period when residents’ short-term memories stopped properly functioning because it helps residents feel as if they’re home. There are homes resembling the 1950s, 1970s, and 2000s, accurate down to the tablecloths.

Residents are cared for by 250 full- and part-time geriatric nurses and specialists, who wander the town and hold a myriad of occupations in the village, like cashiers, grocery store attendees, and post office clerks. Finances are often one of the trickier life skills for dementia or Alzheimer’s patients to retain, which is why Hogeweyk takes money out of the equation; everything is included with the family’s payment plan, and there is no currency exchanged within the confines of the village.


The group enjoyed lunch at the cafe in Dementia Village. The goal of life in Dementia Village is to allow dementia residents to live life as normally as possible in an everyday setting even though they are qualified for nursing home status. Residents of the surrounding neighborhoods are welcomed to use the shops and theatre in Dementia Village.

The village has streets, squares, gardens, and a park where the residents can safely roam free. Just like any other village, Hogeweyk offers a selection of facilities, such as a restaurant, a bar, and a theatre. These facilities can be used by Hogeweyk residents as well as by the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. Everyone is welcome and while our group was there, we enjoyed a delicious lunch with our tour. We left inspired that there is a workable alternative to meeting the housing and care needs of the dementia patient that goes beyond the traditional and mostly unsatisfying nursing home option most of our clients face. The Vivium management offers to introduce this model to other countries to replicate what they have done in the Netherlands. There are currently similar villages in England, Switzerland, Canada, and Italy. For more information, contact: hogewey@vivium.nl.

Future Delegations — Let Us Hear From You

The Delegation trip also included a session at The Hague, a visits to traditional villages, and a boat trip across Holland’s largest lake, all ably coordinated by NAELA’s President Catherine Anne Seal and the planning committee, which is open to suggestions for future delegations to locations which can provide new and innovations in the aging policies. Contact naela@naela.org with your suggestion for future locations.

 

About the Author
Judith Grimaldi, CELA, CAP, practices elder law in Brooklyn, New York. She is a member of the NAELA Board of Directors.

 

GRIMALDI & YEUNG LLP:
Phone: 718-238-6960
Brooklyn and Manhattan Offices:

9201 4th Ave, 6th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209

546 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10036

This post is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the lawyer. The post should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING.

February 14th Sweetheart Engagement: Partner Joanne Seminara to speak at AARP Bay Ridge Chapter 3630

February 14th Sweetheart Engagement: Partner Joanne Seminara to speak at AARP Bay Ridge Chapter 3630

This Valentine’s Day, Grimaldi & Yeung LLP Partner Joanne Seminara, Esq. will speak at the Bay Ridge AARP Chapter on the topic of Elder Law and Estate Planning.

When
Tuesday, February 14, 2:30pm

Where
Shore Hill Community Center
9000 Shore Rd, Brooklyn, NY 11209
(91st Street between Shore Road & Colonial Road)

Topic
Elder Law, Estate Planning

Joanne Seminara, Esq.
Partner
GRIMALDI & YEUNG LLP
9201 Fourth Avenue, 6th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Tel:   718-238-6960
Fax:  718-238-3091
jseminara@gylawny.com