Long Term Care Planning

Long-Term Care and Asset Protection

Long-Term Care and Asset Protection

Read Part I here in the article series by Joanne Seminara, Esq. 

Seniors and persons with disabilities are justifiably concerned about the cost of long-term care, that is, long-term home care and nursing home care not covered by traditional health insurance, such as Medicare or other insurance. If you have been diagnosed with a long-term illness for which you will need care, the prospect of spending most or all of your hard-earned savings paying for this care, or worse, going without needed care, can be terrifying.

The cost of home care is catastrophic, especially for those who need full-day or 24-hour care.  Even more worrisome is the high cost of nursing home care, which can easily cost $15,000 to $18,000 per month and quickly wipe out a lifetime of careful savings. Then, there is the unsettling possibility of a lien being placed on your estate or your home for Medicaid services provided during your lifetime.

Enter the Medicaid Asset Protection Trust:
Medicaid is a government-funded program through which you can receive care at home or in a nursing home.  Applying for Medicaid is a complex process requiring extensive documentation of assets and income that can be very difficult to navigate. An experienced Elder Law attorney can protect your assets using a Medicaid Asset Protective Trust, or can suggest other ways to protect your assets.

A properly drafted and funded Trust can provide many benefits while helping you obtain the long-term care you may need.

For many people the home that they own and live in is their most valuable asset.  In transferring your home to a Medicaid Asset Protective Trust you can preserve your and your spouse’s exclusive lifetime residential rights and protect the home from a lien for Medicaid services.  If you place this asset (or any other assets) in this kind of Trust, the transfer of assets starts the Medicaid 5 -year “look- back” period which affects the timing of your eligibility for nursing home care.

This Medicaid Asset Protection Trust can also manage bequests to your loved ones for example, by providing specially tailored protections for a beneficiary who is disabled; a beneficiary who is irresponsible with money; and a beneficiary who is a minor.   If you have a beneficiary who is being sued, is in debt, or in the middle of a divorce, this Trust can provide these further protections.  Moreover, if properly drafted by an experienced attorney, a Medicaid Asset Protective Trust can:

  1. Provide significant capital gains tax savings compared to transferring the title to your home directly to family members during your lifetime;
  2. Name Trustees to manage your Trust assets for you;
  3. Provide that such assets not be distributed until after your death; and
  4. Act as a Will substitute and allow your estate to avoid probate

Caution:There is a 5-year period, starting from the date you transfer assets to the Medicaid Asset Protective Trust, which governs whether a penalty period will affect your eligibility for Medicaid-covered nursing home care. Thus, it is best to create and fund this kind of Trust more than 5 years before you are likely to need nursing home care.  In contrast, there is only a one-month penalty period for transfers of assets in connection with applications for Medicaid home care.

Because the law has many nuances and pitfalls, you are well advised to seek the advice of an Elder Law Attorney before creating a Medicaid Asset Protective Trust or any other kind of Trust, transferring assets or making a Medicaid application. An Elder Law attorney can accurately answer all your questions and assist you with a strategy to meet your individual needs.

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

80 Maiden Lane, Suite 304
New York, NY 10038
917-261-4514

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 named Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation

Judith D. Grimaldi named Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation

The Law firm of Grimaldi & Yeung LLP announces that Judith D. Grimaldi, Partner, has been named a Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation

Fellows are nominated by peers and recognized for distinguished achievement, dedication to the legal profession, and commitment to the organized bar and service to the public. “Being a Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation is an honor,” states Chair of the Fellows, Emily F. Franchina. “Fellows represent one percent of the New York State Bar Association membership. Being nominated and elected is a notable achievement.”

Grimaldi & Yeung is very proud of Ms. Grimaldi’s outstanding honors and achievements.

Ms. Grimaldi is also actively involved in the legal profession through:

  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, as a Board member
  • New York State Bar Association – Vice Chair of Elder Law & Special Needs Section
  • New York City Bar Association – Past Chair of Legal Problems of the Aging Committee
  • Academy of Special Needs Planners – Charter member

As Foundation Ambassadors, Fellows exemplify the spirit of caring by demonstrating their belief that the practice of law is a helping profession. For more information regarding the Fellows or The New York Bar Foundation visit www.tnybf.org or visit our firm’s website at: www.gylawny.com.

Judith Grimaldi to be honored by the National Organization of Italian American Women

Judith Grimaldi to be honored by the National Organization of Italian American Women

Congratulations to firm partner Judith Grimaldi, who has been selected as one of New York’s Wise Women by The National Organization of Italian American Women. She will be honored at the Organization’s annual Epiphany Celebration. The event will be held on Tuesday January 17 at 6:30 pm at the Columbus Citizen’s Club, a historic and beautiful brownstone on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The proceeds from the ticket sales will support fundraising efforts for undergraduate and graduate school scholarships.

To purchase tickets or learn more about The National Organization of Italian American Women, click here.

We wish you a Happy New Year and hope you will join us on January 17!

New York Long-Term Care Insurance – Do’s and Don’ts

New York Long-Term Care Insurance – Do’s and Don’ts

In recent times, pharmaceutical advancements have seen a spike in life expectancies in New York and across the world. Therefore, it only makes sense to put in a lot of thought into what kind of long-term-care insurance suits your needs best. This being said, there are several pitfalls as far as long-term-care policies are concerned.

The general perception is that Medicare takes care of the long-term-care needs of those not as well off. The affluent tend to opt for out-of-pocket care. Although some do pick a policy so that they can leave their heirs some money. The majority of people, however, do not fall into these two buckets. The decision isn’t simple for them as a result, considering the ever-soaring prices of long-term-care insurance.

There is often a propensity for procrastination when it comes to buying long-term-care insurance. People wait until they are well into their 60s to act.Needless to say, those who wait will have to pay higher premiums. Also, their health might have deteriorated by the time they purchase a policy which makes them ineligible. This is why it’s better to start planning before turning 60.

Here are a few things to be mindful of while making this critical decision:

1.The advantages of shared benefits in policies shouldn’t go unnoticed. This way, if a couple purchases a policy, the benefits available to one spouse are effectively doubled.

2. Factoring in inflation is crucial. You don’t want to be losing a large chunk of your insurance to inflation and rising costs by not timing your purchase right. Options like guaranteed purchase should be explored, which afford you the opportunity to buy coverage in installments.

3. It is more than just qualifying for benefits. Always remember that qualifying for long-term-care benefits isn’t a guarantee of your insurer paying your claims immediately. There is definitely merit in getting an expert in this field to look into the fine print of your policy.

Additional resources provided by the author

For more information, please contact estate planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
Phone:  917-261-4514
Email: rkiperman@gylawny.com
Or visit her at her new location:
Grimaldi & Yeung LLP
80 Maiden Lane
Suite 304
New York, NY 10038

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.

Estate planning and long-term care considerations

While many people readily associate estate planning with legal documents like wills and trusts, which typically only come into play after an individual’s death, the process also relates to many important long-term care and end-of-life matters. While individuals tend to plan for their retirement in terms of funding an IRA and 401(k), it’s also important to consider and plan for your future living arrangements and health care needs.

For example, if physically and/or cognitively impaired, do you plan to move in with a relative or find a skilled nursing home facility? If the later is more likely; how do you plan to afford the nearly $7,000 per month that the average nursing home charges for a private room? An attorney who specializes in estate planning and helping individuals plan for long-term care will help you review your options and formulate a plan for achieving your set goals.

In addition to planning for later-life living arrangements, an estate planning attorney can also assist in helping you draft a living will. This document is important to have at any age, but especially as you age and may experience health problems. Included in a living will are explicit directives that serve to inform and instruct medical professionals on what types of interventions should and should not be taken in the event that you are incapacitated and unable to communicate your wishes.

For New York City residents, the attorneys at Grimaldi & Yeung, LLP can assist with a variety of estate planning matters. In addition to helping you craft an estate plan that provides for your loved ones, we also want to make sure that you plan for your own future needs.

Additional resources provided by the author

For more information, please contact estate planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
Phone:  917-261-4514
Email: rkiperman@gylawny.com
Or visit her at her new location:
Grimaldi & Yeung LLP
80 Maiden Lane
Suite 304
New York, NY 10038

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.

Not everyone is cut out to be an executor

As we’ve noted in previous blogs, decisions related to estate planning are highly personal and should only be made after taking numerous factors into consideration. When considering your estate plan, making the decision of who to appoint as the executor of your estate is one of the most important decisions you need to make.

In a nutshell, an executor is responsible for ensuring that, per an individual’s last will and testament, his or her “last wishes are granted with regard to the disposition of… property and possessions.” In addition to ensuring that the directives outlined in a person’s will are followed and assets and possessions distributed accordingly, an executor must also settle matters related to any outstanding taxes and debts.

Legally, an executor must fulfill his or her role “with the utmost honest and diligence” or by acting in a fiduciary duty. While many consider being named an executor a great honor, the responsibilities that come with the job can be challenging, tedious and time consuming. For these reasons, it’s important that the testator or testatrix is certain of his or her choice when naming an executor and that the named executor understands the responsibilities that are inherent to the role.

The following are included among an executor’s duties:

  • Discovering, managing and dispersing assets
  • Paying outstanding debts and taxes
  • Distributing property as per a will’s directives
  • Wrapping up all financial matters related to the decedent and estate
  • Sorting out life insurance matters
  • Collecting and distributing personal effects as per a will
  • File income and estate taxes for decedent

Due to the nature of the executor’s role, an individual who is trying to decide who to name as the executor of an estate should seek out someone with the following qualities and personal attributes.

  • Organized
  • Honest
  • Meticulous
  • Able to follow through
  • Good with finances
  • Knowledge of and experience with estate planning

Source: FindLaw.com, “Checklist: The Executor’s Role,” Jan. 21, 2016

FindLaw.com, “What Does an Executor Do?,” Jan. 21, 2016

Additional resources provided by the author

For more information, please contact estate planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
Phone:  917-261-4514
Email: rkiperman@gylawny.com
Or visit her at her new location:
Grimaldi & Yeung LLP
80 Maiden Lane
Suite 304
New York, NY 10038

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.