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In most cases, getting copies of documents about a trust in which you have an interest, even a contingent one, should not be difficult unless the parties involved are estranged or hostile to one another. If you are a contingent beneficiary whose parent or other close relative is already a vested beneficiary, then, typically, you can easily direct the trustee to provide you with the trust information that you desire....

To ensure someone makes the most informed decision about the best instrument to use in planning how their own estate will be set up, they should understand how wills and trusts work, how they differ from one another, and what advantages and disadvantages each instrument offers to both the settlor/testator(rix) and the beneficiaries. In this blog post, we’ll focus on how a revocable trust can serve as a tool to transfer tangible personal property or other assets to the next generation or to other parties you wish to endow....

If you are named as the executor of a person’s will, or you plan to administer the estate of someone who died without a will, you will be assuming a role of great responsibility as an estate fiduciary. How you perform your new duties will be subject to the oversight of the New York Surrogate’s Court, and the scrutiny of all those who stand to benefit from the decedent’s estate....

An ABLE Account is a special bank account that enables certain people with disabilities to save more money than they would otherwise be able to, in tax advantaged savings accounts -- while continuing to receive benefits from Medicaid, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI), or housing assistance....

Soon, the New York Community Medicaid program will implement a new eligibility requirement that you need to know about. The new eligibility test will apply a look-back period to Medicaid applicants seeking community-based or in-home care and assistance. I say “soon” because the date it will go into effect was delayed several times and may be delayed again. ...

An administration C.T.A. is a process ordered by the court when the person named as executor in a Will is unable or unwilling to fulfill his/her fiduciary responsibilities. An important part of writing a Will in New York is the designation of someone to act as the executor of the Will when the time comes to submit the Will to the Surrogate’s Court for probate....

When a young couple is starting a new life together, estate planning is probably the last topic on their minds. But, the birth of a child should change that. Suddenly, new parents become responsible for the life of another person, one who will depend on their good judgment and planning. There are immediate estate planning steps new parents should make upon the birth of their first baby....

A Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT) is an effective tool estate planning and elder law attorneys use to prevent estate and gift taxes from consuming the assets their clients intended for their families and other beneficiaries to receive. Essentially, it is a mechanism to minimize the tax burden on large financial gifts that exceed the annual gift tax exclusion limit....

The New York Medicaid Estate Recovery Program may place a lien on property owned by benefit  recipients at the time of their death when it is part of an estate being administered in the Surrogate’s Court. That means that any property that is transferred either through a last will and testament (Will), or through the law of intestacy (if the deceased Medicaid recipient made no Will), is subject to being attached....

By invoking spousal refusal, only the income and assets of the spouse who needs care is considered in the Medicaid eligibility examination. The refusing spouse can keep or distribute assets to family members, or otherwise dispose of the financial assets as they please....

The New York Medicaid Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) is an innovative program that enables disabled and elders who live in the Community but who need in-home healthcare or personal assistance to recruit family member or friends to provide their care as they direct. The work they perform will be paid for by the state Medicaid program....

In New York, removing an executor requires substantial evidence of specific grounds set out in the statute that governs their disqualification. Our state’s courts treat the removal of an executor as a very serious step to be taken only in rare circumstances. The courts have ruled that removing an executor annuls the testator’s choice, and should be granted only when the grounds are clearly established or on a clear showing of serious misconduct that endangers the safety of the estate....

At Ely J. Rosenzveig & Associates, our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients who become involved in the probate process. In some cases, we have acted as legal counsel to the personal representative appointed by the court to execute a decedent’s will. In other cases, we’ve represented a beneficiary who wanted their interests protected, or a beneficiary who challenged the authenticity or validity of a decedent’s will. ...

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