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By:  Bernard A. Krooks, Certified Elder Law Attorney Generally speaking, there are two kinds of special needs trusts. Those set up to handle money owned by the beneficiary (like a personal injury or medical malpractice settlement, for instance) are usually called first party special needs trusts.  Those set up by someone other than the beneficiary, to handle money not belonging to the beneficiary, are usually called third party special needs …

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By: Alexis Gruttadauria, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP You have your advance directives in place; you’ve designated in your Health Care Proxy and Living Will who you want making your medical decisions once you are no longer able to make them for yourself, and you’ve instructed your agent on what those decisions should be. Now what? How do you make sure that your agent is allowed to do his or her …

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By Stacy Sadove, Esq., and Arshi Pal, Graduate Law Clerk On January 18, 2017, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) revised their Regulations with regard to the evidentiary standard Administrative Law Judges (“ALJ”) use to determine eligibility for disability benefits. The new Regulations became effective on March 27, 2017. Five Step Review Process The revised Regulations maintain a five-step analysis for the appeals process, in determining whether an individual is eligible …

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The NAEPC Education Foundation and the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) are promoting April 2013 as National Financial Literacy Month. The goal of the awareness campaign is to help the American public learn how to keep their financial and estate plans up to date.  Financial Literacy Month was officially designated by a Congressional proclamation.  NAEPC is joining with financial professionals, nonprofit organizations and financial services organizations to promote financial literacy.

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2017 Tax Scams: What You Need To Know

With tax preparation season upon us, seniors should arm themselves with knowledge and be vigilant against con artists. That can be difficult when scammers are constantly changing their tactics. According to the National Council on Aging, these are the top three scams that seniors should be aware of in 2017: Mass Mailing Fraud. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that thousands of victims in the United States have been defrauded …

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Social media profiles are not the top concern for people planning their estate, but, online accounts contain an enormous amount of personal data. What happens to these accounts? Accounting for digital assets, such as social media accounts and hard-drive backups is worth considering. Here is what a few online services provide in terms of planning: Facebook allows you to designate someone as your legacy contact. After your death, this person …

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By Alexis Gruttadauria, Esq. In choosing a final resting place, it is important to clearly document your wishes to avoid further hardship on surviving family members who are grieving for the loss of a loved one. If your wishes regarding a burial place are not documented in a written declaration, it could cause a great deal of familial strife. Such a conflict arose in Frieda L’s family. Frieda passed away …

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By Marion M. Walsh, Esq. In this holiday season, the attorneys and staff at Littman Krooks send thanks and warm wishes to our clients for trusting us with representing your family. You inspire us each day with your tenacity and care for vulnerable loved ones. We pride ourselves in working with you to make a difference in your family member’s life. In a changing legal landscape, advocacy for the elderly, …

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By Alexis Gruttadauria, Esq., When applying for nursing home Medicaid benefits, there is always a review of the applicant’s financial picture of the five years prior to the filing of the application.  This is the famous five-year look-back period. Medicaid reviews those five years of financial information in search of any gifts made by the applicant (and/or his/her spouse) in an effort to get Medicaid benefits. If a gift was …

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Peter Falk’s Law

By Stacy M. Sadove, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP What would you do if someone prevented you from seeing a family member for the holidays, failed to tell you a family member fell sick, or worse, failed to notify you of a loved one’s funeral? Catherine Falk, daughter of the late Peter Falk, who portrayed Lieutenant Columbo on the TV series “Columbo,” faced these scary questions.   Ms. Falk’s stepmother, who was …

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