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White Plains Long-Term Care Planning Law Blog

Why should I consider a charitable trust?

Planning for the future can be easier to tackle when there are instruments available to help us and guide us through the process. There are a number of estate planning tools at your disposal. Wills are often utilized a main platform to transfer assets upon death, and trusts can play an integral part, too. In fact, there are so many different kinds of trusts that you are almost certain to find one that meets your needs. This week, we will look at the charitable trust.

A charitable trust, as its name implies, is established for the benefit of a charity. In short, you decide that you want to give property to charity, so you put those assets in a trust. Those assets can be used by the charity, and it will pay back a certain portion of those assets each year. Upon your death, the property transfers to the charity.

We help New Yorkers create comprehensive care plans

Planning for the future is no easy task. Many New Yorkers are so busy that they are lucky to plan as much as a week in advance, let alone years or decades. Yet, failing to engage in proper planning can result in significant financial hardship down the road, not only for an individual but also for his or her family. While estate planning is certainly a key aspect of this endeavor, so, too, is care planning.

As we discussed in a recent post, about 70 percent of Americans will need some type of long-term care. This may include intermittent hospital stays, home healthcare professionals and extended nursing home placement. The costs can be astounding. Individuals can quickly rack up thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars in care-related costs in just a single year. For too many individuals, this financial burden is more than they can handle, leaving families on the brink of financial ruin.

How to watch out for nursing home abuse

If your loved one is going to live in a nursing home, there's probably one fear that is ever-present in your mind: the fear that your loved one could become the victim of nursing home abuse.

While it's true that many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect appear in the news, it's also true that there are many excellent long-term care facilities that take excellent care of their residents. When you're diligent and attentive, you can make sure that your loved one receives the highest level of care and does not become a victim of neglect.

Will long-term care costs affect everyone?

As we age, our planning needs change. While at one time we may have been concerned about planning for a family or retirement, at others we should force ourselves to confront estate planning and long-term care planning. When it comes to care planning, failing to take proper steps can leave loved ones facing exorbitant costs that can be difficult, if not impossible, to manage.

Just how unmanageable can it be? A recently released study from Genworth, a long term care insurer, shows that the costs of long-term care are increasing. Depending on the type of care needed and its intensity, average monthly costs can range from $1,000 to more than $8,000. To serve as an example of how costly this care can be, one man who lived to be 95 and didn't want to reside in a facility racked up $2 million in care expenses in just four years.

Understanding the importance of a living will

Living wills are important documents that you should understand thoroughly. These documents, also known as a directive to physicians or health care directives, contain your wishes for what you'd like to see happen if you're injured and unable to express your opinions and preferences for medical care. This directive generally works when you're incapacitated, like in the case that you've fallen unconscious or are in an induced coma.

Living wills initially began to help those who wanted natural deaths without the influence of machinery and advanced medical techniques. Today, living wills do that and more. They can include health care concerns like what to do if a patient needs resuscitation or how to handle the patient's organs following death.

How can a will be contested?

Planning your estate is an important step to take if you want to ensure that your assets are passed on according to your wishes when the time comes. As this blog has previously discussed, there are many estate planning tools that can come into play throughout the process. The tools chosen are dependent upon the circumstances at hand and the future wishes of the estate planner. One common vehicle used for estate planning, though, is the will. Although most people are familiar with the basic concept of a will, some find themselves unsure of why they need legal assistance when drafting one.

The main reason is to avoid a contested will. When drafted in an unclear way, important issues are left out or the process of drafting the will is drawn into question, individuals may try to claim that the will is invalid. One way that a will can be specifically challenged is by claiming that the individual who created the will lacked the mental capacity to do so. This typically occurs when it is claimed that the individual suffered from dementia or some other mental capacity. It may also be claimed that he or she was under the influence at the time of the will's creation.

Tips for choosing a nursing home

New York residents will have a lot of different options available when selecting an appropriate nursing home for their loved one. In fact, the selection process can be confusing as you try to balance your financial considerations with your wish to find the best facility available.

Having a nursing home checklist on hand is a great way to make sure you've covered all your bases when reviewing different long-term care facilities.

What damages can be recouped after nursing home abuse?

Nursing homes carry a big responsibility. These institutions are entrusted with the care of those who are perhaps the most vulnerable population in our society: the elderly. In addition to ensuring that their residents receive the proper medical care, including the administration of medication, nursing homes must make sure that their residence receive adequate nutrition, are given proper supervision and are protected from abuse by workers and other residents. It is a big task but is one that should be easily manageable with proper staffing, training and oversight. Yet, far too often, individuals are subjected to nursing home abuse and neglect, leaving them with serious harms.

One way to recoup these damages is to file a lawsuit against both the employee responsible for the harm, as well as that individual's employer, which is probably the nursing home. Although this might be obvious, what may not be obvious is what type of damages an individual can recover.

What is the role of a guardian?

The future often seems so far away that many individuals fail to adequately prepare for it until it is too late. While this procrastination certainly includes retirement and estate planning, it also includes care planning. Those who fail to adequately prepare for their future care may wind up facing financial hardship, a difficulty that can be unfairly thrust upon their loved ones. In other instances, a failure to take action could result in action or inaction that goes against one's wishes.

Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to prevent this from occurring. One way is to create powers of attorney, but when those are not in place, it may be appropriate to think about adult guardianship. Guardians are appointed in instances where an individual becomes disabled or otherwise incapacitated. This can leave them unable to make financial and non-financial decisions that further his or her interests. This can include medical decisions, ensuring that the ward's financial matters are handled appropriately, and ensuring that the court is kept apprised of the ward's situation.

Treasury rolls back regulations, easing estate planning valuation

Estate planning must conform to the law. Not only does this mean that wills and trusts need to be drafted in a way that renders them legally valid, but they must adhere to certain restrictions and penalties that may be imposed by the law. By possessing a firm grasp on the applicable laws, an individual who is progressing through the estate planning process may be able to take advantage of options available to him or her that could lead to cost saving.

For example, the Department of Treasury recently announced that it would roll back more than 200 regulations, some of which are directly applicable to estate planning. One of them deals with valuation discounts. Valuation of an asset or a business can be critical in estate planning, as, depending on the determined value, an estate may wind up facing significant taxes.

Office Locations

Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP
245 Main Street
White Plains, NY 10601

Phone: 914-269-2367
Toll Free: 800-724-1327
Fax: 914-948-9316
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Additional office location
in Somers, New York

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