Estate Planning Isn’t Just For The Elderly

Happy, smiling couple in their sixties.

Being Proactive in Retirement: Westchester Elder Law Attorney Anthony J. Enea Emphasizes the Importance of Advanced Planning

Westchester County, N.Y. (January 30, 2024) – While being proactive is commendable at any stage in life, embracing this approach in one’s retirement years is critical to ensuring financial security and peace of mind. Westchester County elder law attorney Anthony J. Enea, Esq., managing partner of Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP in White Plains and Somers, N.Y., recently shared his insights on the importance of timely estate planning.

“While implementing an estate plan at any age is better than not doing so at all, the risks and adverse consequences of waiting are significant,” said Anthony J. Enea, who has spent nearly 40 years protecting the rights of seniors, the disabled and their families. “Delaying the execution of a durable power of attorney with broad gifting provisions and a health care proxy, for example, creates the possibility that if one is incapacitated – mentally and/or physically – and is unable to make financial and personal decisions, they will need to have a guardian appointed for them.”

In New York, a guardianship proceeding must be commenced in the Supreme Court of the county where one resides. It is expensive, time-consuming, and often emotionally taxing on all parties involved, particularly if it ends up being contested. Ultimately, the person appointed as guardian may also still be unable to make the financial transactions necessary to protect the incapacitated person’s assets from the cost of long-term care. This outcome can be easily avoided by executing a broadly drafted durable power of attorney and health care proxy well in advance.

“The failure to be proactive also rears its ugly head if one has not implemented an elder law plan at least five years before requiring nursing home Medicaid and, once the new law is implemented in 2025 or 2026, at least two-and-a-half years before requiring Medicaid home care,” noted Enea. “If one waits until their late 70s and/or 80s to execute and fund a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, they are increasing the risk that they will need to privately pay for their care in a nursing home or at home, which would dissipate their life savings.”

Nursing home expenses in the New York metropolitan area often range from $175,000 to $220,000 per year, with home care costs averaging roughly $150,000 to $175,000 annually. These figures can prove to be especially devastating for individuals of modest financial means. Even for the affluent, the risk of delaying implementation of an estate plan with estate tax planning techniques can be detrimental.

“The benefits of advanced planning cannot be overstated,” said Enea. “Proactive execution of essential documents, such as a durable power of attorney, health care proxy, and appropriate trusts, is pivotal in safeguarding against the potential erosion of assets and ensuring a secure future for yourself and your loved ones.”

An “AV” Rated Preeminent Attorney (Martindale-Hubbell, since 2002), Anthony Enea is the immediate past president of the Westchester County Bar Foundation, past chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law & Special Needs Section and 50+ Lawyers Section, and a past president of the Westchester County Bar Association. His practice areas include wills, trusts & estates; elder law; Medicaid asset protection planning; Medicaid applications (home care and nursing home); special needs planning; and guardianships (Article 81 and 17-A).

Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP is located at 245 Main Street in White Plains, N.Y. with additional offices in Somers, N.Y. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 914-948-1500 or visit

About Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP

Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP is an eight attorney AV preeminent rated elder law firm with offices in White Plains and Somers, N.Y. The practice concentrates on Elder Law; Medicaid Planning; Nursing Home and Home Care Applications; Wills, Trusts and Estates; Guardianships; Estate Litigation; Supplemental Needs Trusts; and Special Needs Planning. Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP serves Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island and Queens and is committed to providing the highest quality legal services to seniors, the disabled and their families. Visit the firm online at

Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP