Why hire us as your Estate Attorney?
We know that anytime someone dies it can be a very tough time for everyone involved. As Estate Attorneys, we are there for you in your time of need and will take the burden off of you as an Executor.
We are a premier New York Estate Law firm. We have handled estate matters in the Western New York area for over 30 years. We consider taking cases on a contingency fee arrangement, and we urge you to contact us to discuss your individual situation so you can get your questions answered. We have garnered a reputation in the legal community for our achievements in estate work.
Many of our clients come to us through word of mouth, due to our personal dedication to each case, and the impressive case results we have achieved. No matter how complex the situation is, it is very possible that we can help you get it resolved.
Do I Need A Will?
Yes – and so does just about everybody else. A will outlines YOUR wishes regarding the distribution of your property and exactly how YOU want your assets distributed when you die.
If you own a home or a car or have a checking or savings account, you have an estate. Often a person with a small or modest estate is most in need of a plan to provide for the proper transfer of that property at death.
There are several reasons to have a will or a trust. Most importantly, having a will or a trust allows you to decide who will receive your property rather than leaving that choice to state law. Having a will allows you to choose your personal representative. Without a will, the court could appoint someone as personal representation other than a person you would choose. Having a trust allows you to avoid the probate court system altogether if your trust is created and funded properly.
Dying without a will – known as dying “intestate” – means you have NO SAY over who receives your assets, and can leave your family, friends and the court system the complex and costly job of determining who should get what.
When should I get a Will?
Not many people plan to die in the near future, but if you die suddenly without a will, you will unintentionally subject your family and loved ones to unnecessary confusion and anxiety at what is already a difficult time.
A will is also the best place to choose your children’s legal guardian should you pass before your children are of legal adult age.
Medicaid Asset Protection
Private health insurance policies and Medicare generally do not cover long term care, and very few people purchase private long-term care insurance policies. For New Yorkers needing long-term care, Medicaid is the most common source of funding.
The average monthly cost of a nursing facility is $12,000. That equates to $144,000 PER YEAR. If you or your spouse do not have a Medicaid asset protection plan that $144,000 is YOUR responsibility before Medicaid will cover the cost.
The government requires seniors to spend down almost all of their assets before they can be eligible for Medicaid to cover the cost of a nursing home. You worked your entire life to earn what you have, and now it is going to be taken away and leaves nothing for your family.
If you or your spouse needs to go into a nursing facility we can help protect your assets – BUT this must be done at least five years PRIOR to entering a nursing facility.
Medicaid has a “five year look-back” meaning if gifts were made outside the look-back period, then there is no “disqualification period.” If there have been any gifts in the look-back period, then Medicaid will not pay for nursing home care during the disqualification period. The disqualification period does not begin until the individual moves to the nursing home and the person would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid. If the assets are returned or partially returned, the disqualification period can be shortened or eliminated accordingly.
Contact us today at (716) 853-1717 We’d be happy to help.