Elder Law Attorney Yonkers NW

Many Americans are living longer than ever before. While this is excellent news, it also makes careful planning for your senior years crucial. Aging presents legal, financial, and emotional challenges you can address through elder law.
Elder law is a practice that addresses the issues older individuals face. Retirement planning, tax planning, asset protection, long-term care needs, and preparing for potential incapacity are important considerations that individuals can map out in a well-crafted estate plan.
The experienced elder law attorneys at Amoruso & Amoruso LLP have over 60 years of combined experience working with older adults and their families in Yonkers and neighboring New York communities. We incorporate the elements of elder law into our comprehensive estate planning service, leaving you and your family with a customized plan for your financial security and peace of mind.
Not sure where to start? Contact us today to speak with a skilled Yonkers, NY, elder law attorney.

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Why Is Elder Law Important?

It’s easy to go through much of your life without considering your later years. However, your senior years can be rife with pitfalls, especially if you do not have guidance from a knowledgeable and trusted advocate. Ensuring that you can access healthcare and afford long-term care needs is critical. With proper planning, an elder law lawyer can optimize your ability to get the care you need.
Elder law is also important because older individuals are often the targets of dangerous and insidious scams. An elder law attorney can help you understand how to protect your assets from financial abuse. Your lawyer can also discuss strategies for safeguarding your resources and outlining your end-of-life wishes so your rights are respected and you leave a lasting legacy.

Why Should I Contact an Elder Law Attorney in Yonkers, NY?

Contacting an elder law attorney is highly recommended for people at any age, especially for those approaching or having reached retirement age. A skilled elder law attorney can provide you with peace of mind as they handle such issues as:

  • Retirement
  • Financial planning
  • Medicaid planning
  • Long-term care
  • Guardianship
  • Advance directives such as a Power of Attorney & a Health Care Proxy

At Amoruso & Amoruso LLP, we have extensive experience helping older individuals and their families deal with the financial and logistical challenges of aging.

How Will Elder Law Protect My Assets?

An elder law attorney can employ several strategies to prepare you to pay for medical and long-term care without dipping into your estate. Various tools can protect your assets and preserve your wealth, such as:

  • Financial power of attorney – Appointing someone you trust to make decisions about your assets can allow you to benefit from asset preservation planning even if you become incapacitated later on.
  • Trusts – Creating an irrevocable trust can help protect your estate while Medicaid funds your long-term care. A living trust can give your spouse income and help your family home pass directly to your heirs, bypassing probate and saving them time and money.
  • Planned gifting – With careful planning, gifting can get your assets to the people you want while reducing the estate tax burden they may face upon your death.

Do I Need Medicaid?

Do I Need MedicaidAs people age, many will eventually need some form of long-term care, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. These types of care can become extremely expensive over time. Medicaid is a needs-based program that can help pay for long-term care costs for those who meet eligibility criteria.

You may want to consider applying for Medicaid if:

  • You have limited income and assets.
  • Your health is declining, and you need daily assistance.
  • You cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for long-term care.
  • You want to preserve assets for your spouse or heirs.

An elder law attorney can analyze your financial situation and determine whether Medicaid makes sense in your circumstances. They can also guide you through the application process.

Is It Hard to Qualify for Medicaid in New York?

Medicaid has strict eligibility requirements. An experienced elder law attorney can review your situation and use strategies such as trusts and asset transfers so you may qualify for Medicaid without depleting your resources.

If you are a nursing home Medicaid applicant, you cannot “give away” your property to qualify for benefits. Medicaid uses a five (5) year lookback rule to see if you made non-exempt transfers of assets.

This means the state will review your financial records over the last five years. Any gifts or transfers made during that time may trigger a penalty period of Medicaid ineligibility, making you responsible for paying for nursing home care for that penalty period.

The rules for home care Medicaid are less stringent. New York does not use a lookback period for home care Medicaid at present. However, the law establishes a thirty (30) month lookback period unless it is repealed.

What Is Long-Term Care Planning?

Long-Term Care Yonkers NYLong-term care planning involves proactively making arrangements for care in case of illness, disability, or incapacity. Steps in planning may include:

  • Discussing care preferences and values with family members
  • Setting up financial and legal arrangements, such as powers of attorney
  • Exploring whether long-term care insurance is advisable and affordable
  • Reviewing eligibility for Medicaid and other public benefits
  • Considering veteran’s benefits (if applicable)
  • Choosing the optimal long-term care setting that fits your needs and budget

An essential purpose of long-term care planning is to alleviate the burden on loved ones and put important decisions about care in your own hands. A Yonkers elder law lawyer can provide guidance tailored to your situation. They will ensure all aspects are handled properly so care is available when needed.

Is Long-Term Care Insurance Necessary?

A long-term care insurance policy can fund your long-term care if you become physically or mentally incapacitated. In general, the younger and healthier you are when you buy a long-term care insurance policy, the better the terms and premiums will be. However, this does mean that you will be paying premiums longer. Nevertheless, you may find that the benefits outweigh the costs. Some of the benefits include:

  • Providing coverage for long-term care services, such as nursing homes or home health aides
  • Reducing the financial burden of long-term care costs
  • Providing relief for family members who act as caregivers

However, long-term care insurance can be expensive, and pre-existing conditions could impact your ability to purchase a long-term care insurance policy. Speaking with a knowledgeable elder law attorney can help you understand whether purchasing long-term care insurance might benefit you.

How Can a Yonkers Elder Law Attorney Help Me?

An elder law lawyer from Amoruso & Amoruso LLP can assist in preparing you for your golden years through:

  • Comprehensive estate planning – We can draft essential documents like wills, trusts, and powers of attorney to protect your assets and wishes. This can help you avoid probate later.
  • Medicaid applications – Our attorneys can review your situation to help with Medicaid planning, applications, and any necessary appeals.
  • Care planning – We can advise on making care arrangements and choosing facilities/providers to meet your needs.
  • Financial management – If your capacity declines, we can assist your family with managing finances to pay for care costs responsibly.
  • Elder abuse prevention – Our attorneys can prepare documents and plans to help prevent financial exploitation and physical abuse.
  • Guardianships – If your decision-making capacity declines, our attorneys can represent you in legal guardianship proceedings.
  • Long-term care insurance – We can advise whether long-term care insurance fits your situation.
  • Veteran’s benefits – Our firm can help you access assistance programs like VA Aid and Attendance if you’re a veteran.

When Should I Contact an Elder Law Attorney?

It’s best to start planning for your senior years as soon as possible. You can always change your estate plan as your financial, health, or family situation changes. But having no plan leaves important decisions up to your family or the state of New York, which may not align with your preferences.

Planning for late-life care with an attorney can provide significant peace of mind. They can make preparations to protect you, guide your medical and financial choices, and help your family if necessary. Taking these steps earlier on while you’re in good health can save a lot of stress down the road.

Contact a Yonkers Elder Law Lawyer Now

yonkers ny elder law attorneysAt Amoruso & Amoruso LLP, we want you to enter your older years feeling confident that your future is secure. Our legal team is dedicated to providing personalized elder law services to you and your family.

With attorneys Michael J. Amoruso and Sreelekha Chakrabarty Amoruso on your side, you can maximize your chances of receiving the care you need while protecting your assets. Seniors in Yonkers can attest to the comfort our elder law lawyers have added to their lives. Contact us today to speak with a compassionate Yonkers elder law attorney.