Elder Law Attorney

Drafting a trust or a will. Setting aside money to pay for long-term care. Preserving your assets and identifying ways to avoid the probate process. Getting older in New York means making various plans as your life’s needs and circumstances change. Luckily, you don’t need to make those plans alone.

A Riverdale elder law attorney from Amoruso & Amoruso LLP can help you develop a comprehensive plan for your future. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to elder law planning, so we will review your situation carefully and provide recommendations that make sense for you and your family.

Not sure how to get started? Top-quality legal representation and peace of mind are available now. Call or contact our law office today for a consultation with an experienced elder law attorney.

What Is Elder Law?

Elder law focuses on crucial matters that affect people as they age. Such issues may include:

  • Determining how to pay for long-term care
  • Preserving assets and deciding how to distribute them properly
  • Planning to apply and qualify for government benefits like Medicaid
  • Identifying who will have legal authority to make crucial decisions if you become incapacitated or die

At Amoruso & Amoruso LLP, addressing elder law matters is part of our comprehensive estate planning service. We focus on building holistic estate plans that protect you while you are alive and preserve the legacy you leave behind for future generations. You can enjoy your golden years knowing that a proactive plan is in place to safeguard your financial security, healthcare needs, resources, and rights.

Why Should I Contact a Riverdale Elder Law Attorney?

There are various reasons to get in touch with a Riverdale elder law lawyer. They include the following:

  • Estate planning – Estate planning is one aspect of elder law. An attorney can help ensure your wishes are specified and carried out properly after your death.
  • Providing for long-term care – You may need long-term care in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or at home as you get older. A Riverdale elder law attorney can help you plan for them financially.
  • Protecting assets and qualifying for government benefits – Medicaid and other government programs could help you cover your healthcare expenses as you age. However, many of these programs are income-and needs-based. You may not qualify for them if your assets are too substantial. An elder law lawyer can identify strategies to preserve your assets while ensuring you meet the criteria to qualify for Medicaid.
  • Dependent care – If you are a caregiver for a vulnerable, special needs child, an attorney can assist with special needs planning so they are cared for once you are gone.

Sometimes, those who most need elder law attorneys are reticent or incapable of contacting them. Elder law lawyers also advise family members on protecting their loved ones by considering options for long-term care costs, crisis planning, guardianship, and powers of attorney.

How Can Elder Law Planning Preserve My Assets?

The best way to preserve your assets can vary depending on your goals, financial circumstances, and other relevant factors. A knowledgeable attorney can assist with:

  • Drafting a will
  • Creating trusts to protect your assets
  • Tax planning
  • Structured gifting
  • Advising on purchasing long-term care insurance to pay for elder care
  • Restructuring assets to qualify for Medicaid

A Riverdale elder law lawyer from Amoruso & Amoruso LLP will customize your estate plan based on your needs. They can also set up advance directives (such as health care proxies and powers of attorney) and assist in executing beneficiary designations.

How Can I Plan For Long-Term Care Expenses Now?

You can prepare for long-term care expenses you may incur in old age now. An experienced elder law attorney can discuss your long-term care options, assess your finances to determine what types of long-term care you can afford, and discuss how Medicaid planning may help you pay for the considerable expense of nursing home care or care at home. Part of the discussion can include financial planning and how to put away money now to help finance your needs later.

You may also consider purchasing long-term care insurance. According to the New York State Department of Financial Services, this form of insurance helps to cover some or all of the costs of nursing home or in-home care.

Is Long-Term Care Insurance Necessary?

Long-term care insurance can help cover the costs of both nursing home care and in-home care. It may help you by:

  • Protecting your assets so you don’t have to use them to cover long-term care expenses
  • Reducing the financial burden on any family member who may serve as a caregiver in the future
  • Helping you reduce the costs of long-term care when you don’t qualify for government benefits or other forms of assistance

However, long-term care insurance is not necessary or feasible for everyone. In some circumstances, the cost of insurance may outweigh the cost of any care you will need. Pre-existing conditions may preclude you from eligibility for this type of insurance. Discussing this matter with an attorney can help you determine if buying long-term care insurance in New York is worth it.

What is Medicaid Planning?

Medicaid is a needs-based program that could help you pay for certain medical expenses in old age, including nursing home or home care. However, you might not qualify for it due to your income or assets. This could leave you in a Catch-22 — too wealthy to qualify for Medicaid, but not wealthy enough to afford long-term care without public assistance.

Medicaid planning involves considering how you can meet the criteria to qualify for Medicaid while preserving your hard-earned assets. An elder law attorney can restructure your wealth using various legal tools so you not only meet the eligibility requirements, but you can also enjoy the benefits of asset protection.

What Strategies Can Help Me Qualify for Medicaid in New York?

Some assume qualifying for Medicaid when their assets are too substantial is as simple as making transfers to a trusted family member. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

As 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 on March 31, 2024, unless that law is revised or repealed.

There are legal ways to preserve your assets to meet Medicaid eligibility criteria without depleting your resources. However, every situation is unique. A Riverdale elder law lawyer can develop an appropriate Medicaid plan that helps you qualify for benefits while safeguarding your assets.

Can I Wait Until I’m Older to Hire an Elder Law Attorney?

We all get older, and life has no guarantees. Coordinating with a Riverdale elder law lawyer now helps you plan for unexpected contingencies like:

  • Physical and cognitive limitations that may prevent you from communicating your wishes to your family members, doctors, or an attorney in the future
  • Emergencies
  • Elder abuse, financial abuse, and exploitation
  • Fraud

Getting a head start on planning for your later years gives you extra time to explore your various options for preserving assets, avoiding probate, funding long-term care, and more. You and your loved ones may experience less stress as you approach old age if you’ve already made comprehensive plans for the future.

What Can a Riverdale, NY, Elder Law Lawyer Do for Me?

The elder law attorneys at Amoruso & Amoruso LLP can help you develop a focused strategy to manage the estate planning, financial, healthcare, and related concerns that come with aging. We will leverage our in-depth knowledge of New York law to create a sound plan that stands the test of time. A careful look at your elder care needs can ensure you have the resources you need down the line.

Why Should I Choose Amoruso & Amoruso LLP?

Amoruso & Amoruso LLP is an award-winning law firm providing elder law and estate planning services to Riverdale residents. We stand by senior citizens through leadership in elder law organizations and have received state and national recognition for our efforts.

Michael J. Amoruso is a past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and past chair of the Westchester County Bar Association Elder Law Committee and New York State Bar Elder Law Section. He has been named on the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Lawyers in America for Elder Law annually since 2014. Best Lawyers in America also honored Michael J. Amoruso as a 2023 Lawyer of the Year for Elder Law and Trusts and Estates. In 2009, he earned a U.S. Congressional Proclamation for his work in Elder Law and Special Needs Law.

Sreelekha Chakrabarty Amoruso is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section. Super Lawyers Magazine named her a New York Metro Super Lawyer for Elder Law three years in a row.

Our experience and accolades reflect our values. Our law firm is dedicated to ensuring vulnerable members of our population have a voice.

Contact a Riverdale, NY, Elder Law Lawyer Today

As you approach old age, making plans for the future doesn’t need to be complicated. Contact Amoruso & Amoruso LLP today to speak with a trusted Riverdale elder law attorney.