VIDEO: Guardianships

On today’s video blog Elliot discusses the topic of Guardianships.

Accounting’s in Estates

A calculator and document

The executor in a will or the administrator, in an intestate proceeding, has to fiduciary responsibilities. These responsibilities involve fairly and accurately handling all financial matters regarding the estate. In situations where a beneficiary of the estate has questions concerning the accumulation of assets and the distribution of the assets of the estate, they can bring an accounting proceeding.

Documentation in Accounting Proceedings

When an accounting proceeding is brought the executor must provide a detailed breakdown of all assets received by the estate. In addition, the executor and/or administrator must provide documentation of all income received by the estate. This can include a return on an investment and or losses on investments. In addition all estate expenses and distributions to beneficiaries and or creditors must be documented. In situations where the accounting does not list all of the assets and/or income, expenses, profits and losses, a detailed investigation during the course of this accounting proceeding can be undertaken to look into these issues. In the event where there is mismanagement, improper dealings, failure to act properly and or the estate has losses, the executor and or administrator can be held liable to reimburse the estate with regard to these items.

Fiduciary Responsibilities in Estates

The executor in a will or the administrator of an intestate estate is held to an extremely high standard of conduct. He or she is a fiduciary and fiduciaries must properly handle the estate. In certain situations a lawsuit can be undertaken with regard to fiduciaries mismanagement or mishandling of the estate. These situations involve:

  • The improper handling of estate property;
  • Improper transfer of assets to the fiduciary (self dealing);
  • Failure to the keep beneficiaries informed with regard to the handling of the estate;
  • Failure to follow the terms of the will or intestate distribution scheme.

NY Wills & Trusts Lawyer Elliot Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel and his associates represent clients throughout the metropolitan New York area in all aspects of estate litigation.

Medicaid Explained

Medicaid Explained

Medicaid is a program maintained jointly by states and the federal government. It is designed to pay for home healthcare aids and/or nursing home care for individuals who qualify. How does one qualify for medicaid? Although medicaid is basically a welfare program, estate planning can allow even families with significant assets to qualify for medicaid benefits.

Medicaid Qualifications

In New York State, the department of social services is the government organization an individual must apply to in order to qualify for medicaid benefits. The department of Social Services considers 3 important factors when determining medicaid eligibility;

  • Does the individual applying for medicaid benefits need nursing home care and/or a home health care aid?
  • What is the income of the applicant and his or her spouse? This includes pension benefits, retirement accounts, investment income, rental income, Social Security and all other income received by the individual and or his or her spouse.
  • Both the individual and his or her spouse have assets that can be utilized to pay for home healthcare aids and or nursing home expenses. These assets include, investments, residence, savings and all other assets.
  • Two Medicaid Programs

    There are two types of medicaid programs available to individuals. First is called community based medicaid. This involves having a healthcare aid provide services in the applicant’s home to help the applicant with their daily needs.

    The second type of medicaid benefits is referred to as institutional medicaid. This involves medicaid covering the cost of the individual residing in a nursing home facility.

    Individuals applying for institutional medicaid will have to submit documentation of their finances for the past five years.

    Medicaid Eligibility and Elder Care Planning

    Proper estate planning can help families protect their assets and allow them to be inherited by future generations and still have the state to pick up the cost of community based medicaid and for institutional medicaid (nursing home expenses). Speaking to an experienced elder law attorney is the first step in planning for one’s future and the possibility of needing institutional healthcare services or community based healthcare services.

    Elliot S. Schlissel is an attorney practicing Elder Law for more than 35 years. He has helped numerous clients qualify for both community medicaid as well as institutional medicaid.

    Elder Law Explained

    An elderly person being cared for

    Elder Law deals with the concerns families and seniors have with regard to long term care issues. The population base on Long Island is growing older.  Issues concerning disability, asset protection, estate planning, medicare and qualifying for medicaid are issues that seniors face in their future.

    Guardianship

    Sometimes when seniors age they develop problems in managing their medical
    and financial needs. In these situations it may be necessary for family members or other loved ones to bring a guardianship proceeding to help the senior.

    Advanced Directives

    Elder law planning deals with establishing a long term plan for the distribution of assets and the potential that you’ll be unable to make medical decisions for yourself.

    There are a variety of advanced directives that are utilized by elder care attorneys to help their clients develop long term plans.  These documents are called advanced directives. Advanced directives include power of attorneys, healthcare proxies, and living wills.  These advanced directives are in addition to basic estate planning devices such as wills and trusts.

    Special Needs Planning

    NY Attorney Elliot Schlissel

    Seniors who have children or other loved ones who are not in the position to take care of themselves or handle their own finances should be protected from losing state sponsored benefits. Special needs trusts are designed to help these individuals maintain benefits such as social security disability, and medicaid while having an additional stream of income to provide them with necessities and other personal money to enable them to live a comfortable life.

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