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For millions of Americans, the country’s recent transition to a new administration will have a significant impact on tax and estate planning. This is particularly true for high-income earners and high-net worth individuals, but even those with more modest incomes and assets may be affected. In general, many families who have been safe from exposure to estate taxes and other forms of inheritance tax for the past decade are going to find themselves incorporating estate planning into their overall financial planning strategy.
A will is the cornerstone of an estate plan. In its simplest form it provides instructions for your last wishes and how your assets and estate should be divided. If you die without a will, your estate will be divided in accordance with your state’s intestacy laws.
For years, New York has offered a wide range of Medicaid home care programs and services geared toward differing needs. But the regulations surrounding these programs have undergone a dramatic—and largely unwelcome—transformation, which begins to take effect next month.
Until now, New Yorkers could almost instantly qualify for Medicaid Home Care services by transferring assets one month and being considered financially eligible for Medicaid Home Care services the following month. This made Medicaid Home Care services a very attractive alternative for New York residents in need of long term care at home.
When someone dies with or without a will, the estate may be subjected to probate before any assets are distributed. Probate is essentially the process through which a person’s will is verified to be legal and valid.