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Update on New York’s Community Medicaid Changes

By Brian L. Miller, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP In April of 2020, New York State passed laws significantly changing the Community Medicaid program for all New Yorkers, including the implementation of a thirty-month lookback for all asset transfers.  These laws were intended to take effect in October 2020 but have been pushed back several times since then. As elder law attorneys, we continue to follow any updates and guidance from …

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Guardianship: Fact vs. Fiction


By Laura Brancato, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP In recent months, television viewers have been captivated by docuseries and fictional portrayals of conservatorship, known in New York as Guardianship. As with most on-screen productions, there may be more dramatic fiction at work than factual portrayal. A reasonable viewer would be worried about the prospect of guardianship, and maybe with good reason. A guardianship proceeding is an involved and often expensive process …

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Deciding How to Leave Money to Others

Medicaid Allowance

By Bernard A. Krooks, Certified Elder Law Attorney You have finally gotten around to focusing on your estate planning and have taken that first step by contacting an estate planning lawyer.  Now you have to decide who gets what (or does not get) upon your demise.  These are difficult decisions and are often complicated by the fact that you may not wish to leave your hard-earned assets to someone who …

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Beneficiary Designations for Retirement Accounts

By: Bernard A. Krooks, Certified Elder Law Attorney Estate planning is so much more than filling in the blanks on a few forms that you have printed out from the internet.  In addition to having the proper documents and fiduciaries, you need to make sure that the estate plan is coordinated so that your beneficiary designations do not upset what you think is a perfectly drafted estate plan.  For example, …

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A Primer on Estate Tax Returns

By Stephanie L. Goldstein, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP When a resident of New York dies with a will in place, the nominated executor must file a petition to probate the will in the Surrogate’s Court to obtain authority to administer the decedent’s estate.  If a resident of New York dies without leaving a proper will, a petition must be filed in the Surrogate’s Court to appoint someone as administrator of …

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The Pitfalls of an Online Will

By Joel Krooks, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Many companies currently provide people with the opportunity to create a Last Will and Testament and other various legal documents online. These online Wills have various issues that can cause your estate to not be distributed as intended, can create excessive legal fees during the estate administration, and make life on your family and friends even more difficult after you pass away. I …

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The Impact of Blended Families on Estate Planning and Litigation

By Laura Brancato, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Comprehensive estate planning is essential for every adult. Your plan should address the needs of all your loved ones at your death, regardless of whether you are single, married or divorced. It is crucial however, to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney if you belong to a blended family. A blended family is one where the parents have children from previous relationships, …

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Plan Now to Minimize Impact of Estate and Gift Taxes

By Amy C. O’Hara, CELA It is essential for families with significant wealth to be aware of estate and gift tax limits. An important part of estate planning is making sure that as much of your wealth as possible goes to your heirs rather than to pay taxes. The good news is that both the federal and New York State estate tax exemptions have risen quite a bit over the …

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Changes To The Power of Attorney Regulations in New York State

By Laura Brancato, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Long awaited changes to the New York State Power of Attorney regulations were signed into law by Governor Cuomo on December 15, 2020. The bill, a major overhaul of the existing power of attorney legislation, will substantially change the format and enforceability of the current document in a few key ways. Most significantly, the power of attorney will be condensed from the current …

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The New York Probate Process

For many, creating a will is the first step in the estate planning process. However, many people are surprised to learn that, even with a will, the distribution of estate property is not always straightforward. In large part, this is due to the New York probate process. A will is a legal document in which a person outlines how they want their property distributed after their death. When someone who …

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