Entries by Darrin Williams

Biden Administration May Spell Changes to Estate Tax and Stepped-Up Basis Rule

A new administration usually means that tax code changes are coming. While it remains unclear exactly what tax changes President Biden’s administration will propose and what Congress will approve, two possibilities are that estate tax exemption will be reduced and the stepped-up basis on death will be eliminated. The first would affect only multi-millionaires, but the second could have an impact on more modest estates and their heirs.

New York Delays Restrictions on Medicaid Eligibility for Home Care

APPLICANTS SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ‘EXTRA TIME’ TO APPLY WHILE FAVORABLE RULES REMAIN IN EFFECT by Louis Pierro and Frank Hemming III For many years, New York didn’t have a look-back period for Medicaid home care. That’s right, an applicant could give away all his or her assets and then apply for Medicaid community-based care […]

Q&A with Peter J. Strauss, Esq. – Transferring a Life Estate

My parents have a life estate in a home that they gifted to me six years ago. I want to transfer the home to my brother. My parents own a dog that has been deemed dangerous, and I don’t want the liability of owning the home. If we transfer the house, will the Medicaid look-back include this change?

There are two issues here. First, the basic question is whether you have any liability if the dog were to bite and harm someone. The answer is no. It’s their problem.

Held Captive in a Pandemic

Take yourself back to December 31, 2019, there is excitement and hope throughout the world for the upcoming year. The possibilities seem endless. There are investments to make, businesses to expand and goals to conquer. Nothing can stop your pursuit of achievement…

Well, almost nothing. Suddenly, in the early months of 2020, we are faced with the challenges of COVID-19 and the world is forever changed. Governors across the country issued executive orders mandating all nonessential businesses to close in-office personnel functions and banning all nonessential gatherings of individuals.

Estate Planning When You Live in Two States

Many people have homes in two states. Legally, you do not need separate estate planning documents for each state, but it may make sense from a practical perspective.

The Constitution of the United States requires that states give “full faith and credit” to the laws of other states. This means that your will, trust, durable power of attorney, and health care proxy executed in New York (Just to pick one state) should be honored in the state where you have a second home. That’s the law.

States May Not Terminate Medicaid Benefits During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Access to affordable medical care is especially important during a global health crisis. You should be aware that federal law prevents states that have accepted increased Medicaid funding from terminating Medicaid benefits while the coronavirus health emergency continues. New York is among those states, by accepting $323 million in enhanced Medicaid matching funds provided in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Elder Law Q & A: Naming Beneficiaries in a Will

I have seen many cases where a client wants to leave money to a professional adviser – lawyer, accountant, financial adviser, physician – and in many cases there may have been overreaching, or perhaps more.

A person can leave her or his property to anyone under the terms of a will, trust or “beneficiary designation.” You can do whatever you want with your money: give it to a family member, a neighbor, friend, lover, your church, your lawyer, accountant or financial adviser, or the society for the protection of beetles. You can do this during your lifetime or have it take effect after your death.