elderly woman - Elder Law Attorney Brewster

Elder law planning is one of the best things you can do to prepare for your senior years. But knowing where to start can feel like an overwhelming undertaking. How can you ensure you will have enough money after retirement? How can you plan for long-term care when you don’t know what your needs will be? Answers to these questions — and many more — can come from working with an experienced Brewster, NY, elder law attorney.

Look no further than Amoruso & Amoruso LLP. Our New York law firm can help you or your loved ones with all elder law matters, including estate planning, Medicaid planning, tax planning, preparing for your long-term care needs, and other legal services. Keep in mind these decisions aren’t set in stone — your life can change significantly as you age. Our elder law lawyers are with you for the long haul, ready to adapt and adjust your plans to meet your needs and goals.

As nationally recognized leaders in estate planning and elder law matters, we are uniquely qualified to develop a plan tailored to you to address long-term care challenges and tax concerns while prioritizing asset protection. Let’s get started today. Call or contact us to speak with a Brewster elder law attorney.

What Is Elder Law?

Elder law is an area of the law encompassing the legal issues adults face as they age. From estate planning and long-term care planning to asset protection to guidance on legal capacity issues, elder law often involves the client and their family members working with an attorney to ensure the needs of the individual are implemented based on their wishes.

Why Should I Contact a Brewster, NY, Elder Law Lawyer?

Contacting an elder law attorney means you are thinking about your future and your family. A Brewster elder law attorney will counsel you and your family with a global approach, addressing estate planning matters, tax consequences, asset protection, and Medicaid planning as they develop the best strategy to suit your personal needs.

The NY lawyers at Amoruso & Amoruso LLP will thoroughly examine your circumstances and wishes to account for your financial, healthcare, estate planning, and potential Medicaid needs. We can also help you and your family if a crisis strikes and you unexpectedly need intensive long-term care.

Our signature service is comprehensive estate planning, where elder law is part of an all-encompassing strategy to support your needs while you are alive and after death. Rest assured, we will fully evaluate your present and future needs and protect you, both now and looking forward.

Can Elder Law Planning Preserve My Assets?

Skilled elder lawyers use various legal strategies and tools to protect their client’s assets, especially in the context of estate planning and long-term care planning. Your attorney will tailor their approach based on your personal situation, goals, and concerns to help preserve your assets and avoid probate. This can eliminate the time and expense of probating an estate so your beneficiaries receive their inheritance sooner without court intervention. Some common strategies your attorney may use include:

  • Trusts A trust may be used to protect your assets while allowing you to retain some control over your property, reduce tax burdens and enable you to pass the trust assets to your beneficiaries without the need for probate. Examples of such trusts include revocable living trusts, Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts, special needs trusts, and irrevocable trusts, all of which serve unique purposes.
  • Medicaid planning An attorney can assist in structuring your assets and income to meet Medicaid eligibility requirements while preserving your legacy for your family.
  • Asset transfers – Your attorney may counsel you to transfer assets to family members or into trusts within certain rules and limitations to avoid penalties and comply with Medicaid or other government programs.
  • Spousal protection – An elder law attorney can help ensure the spouse of someone needing long-term care remains financially stable through spousal refusal or spousal impoverishment rules.
  • Gifts – Your attorney can develop a gifting strategy for you to transfer assets to your heirs or beneficiaries that complies with Medicaid rules and minimize (or eliminate) any tax burden for the recipients.
  • Life estate deeds – With a life estate deed, you can transfer the ownership of your property to your heirs but retain the right to live in the property for the rest of your life, which can help bypass probate, ensure the property passes the way you want, and potentially qualify you for Medicaid.
  • Advance directives – A lawyer can help you draft health care proxies, powers of attorney, and disposition of remains documents so your wishes are followed in the event of incapacity.

How Can I Prepare For Future Long-Term Care Costs?

You can prepare for potential future long-term care costs by retaining an elder law attorney from Amoruso & Amoruso LLP now. We will develop a plan to handle the long-term care costs you may face in the future.

Your plan will be based on your health and family medical history, current financial status, and where you wish to live, whether in a nursing home or your own home. Our experienced elder law attorneys can evaluate your unique situation, determine what strategies would best protect your assets and minimize the tax consequences, and provide guidance on preparing for future long-term care costs.

What Is Medicaid Planning?

Medicaid planning involves taking proactive steps to help you qualify for long-term care without spending down all your assets. Medicaid is a needs-based program, and your assets must fall below a certain threshold to be eligible. An experienced elder law attorney can help arrange your assets so you qualify for Medicaid without violating its rules or limitations.

What Are Potential Challenges When Applying for Medicaid?

Some potential challenges you may encounter when applying for Medicaid involve transferring your property in order to qualify. Because of these potential challenges and the lengthy and complicated Medicaid application, retaining a knowledgeable lawyer is crucial to your successful application.

If you are a nursing home Medicaid applicant, you cannot “give away” your property to qualify for benefits. Medicaid employs a five (5) year “lookback” rule to see if you made non-exempt transfers of assets. The lookback checks whether you have disposed of or transferred away assets without receiving adequate compensation for those assets. The Department of Social Services deems such transfers to have been made solely to qualify for Medicaid benefits. If so, a period of benefit ineligibility will be imposed based on the value of the transfer, which would require you to privately pay for all of your long-term care expenses during that timeframe.

It should be noted that while New York currently does not use a lookback period for home care Medicaid, the law provides for a thirty (30) month lookback period to begin in New York unless that law is revised or repealed.

Do I Need Long-Term Care Insurance?

An attorney from Amoruso & Amoruso LLP can evaluate your options and determine whether you need long-term care insurance. While you can apply for Medicaid benefits to cover the long-term care costs, Medicaid may limit your options for providers. As such, long-term care insurance can provide more choices for the type of care you receive and where you receive that care. Long-term care insurance coverage is one strategy to ensure that most of your assets are not used to pay for expensive, out-of-pocket nursing home costs. However, limitations may apply, and an attorney can advise on whether the costs outweigh the benefits in your case.

Should I Wait to Contact an Elder Law Attorney Until I’m Older?

The sooner you meet with an elder law attorney, the better. Advance planning will give you more planning options and allow you to reduce your covered income and assets to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Moreover, some steps must be taken long before applying for Medicaid to protect certain assets from Medicaid rules and limitations. To avoid the state considering those assets your property, you must take timely steps to preserve your eligibility for Medicaid benefits.

What Can Amoruso & Amoruso LLP Do For Me?

Estate planning, elder law, and long-term care planning are what we do at Amoruso & Amoruso LLP. We are a nationally recognized firm emphasizing elder law as part of our comprehensive estate planning services. We will craft a customized plan to meet your individual needs.

Michael J. Amoruso is a past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and past chair of the New York State Bar Elder Law Section. He has been recognized as a New York Metro Super Lawyer for Elder Law, and U.S News & World Report has identified him as a Best Lawyer in America for Elder Law every year since 2014.

Sreelekha Chakrabarty Amoruso has been named a New York Metro Super Lawyer three years running. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Contact a Brewster Elder Law Attorney Today

As national leaders in elder law, Amoruso & Amoruso LLP is the right law firm for you. We pride ourselves on offering our clients plans tailored to their unique family, financial, and health circumstances. When you work with us, you can expect a holistic plan for long-term care and asset protection that minimizes taxes and allows you to pass on your wealth to your family. We want you to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have a plan in place for you and your loved ones.

Our mission is Empowering You to Care for the Ones You Love™. Contact us today for an initial consultation with a trusted elder law lawyer.