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White Plains Long-Term Care Planning Law Blog

Long-term care planning options and how to pay for it

Estate planning is one of those things that people often neglect to address until it is too late. We encourage New Yorkers to address estate plans early and often because they and their families will be extremely grateful when the time comes for that plan to kick into play. The same holds true with end of life care planning. Although we don't like to think about aging and the potential inability to care for ourselves, planning for the worst case scenario can give one peace of mind.

When it comes to long-term care, most people want to remain in their own home and receive care from their loved ones. While this usually is the ideal, it oftentimes isn't feasible. Sometimes it also isn't in an elderly individual's best interests because loved ones may not possess the time, education and medical experience to adequately care for him or her. In this situations, it may be wise to consider nursing home care.

Lack of qualified dietician may constitute nursing home neglect

Previously on this blog we have discussed malnutrition that occurs in nursing homes. When innocent residents are subjected to inadequate nutrition, their health and well-being can be put at serious risk. Far too often, those who are subjected to malnutrition suffer from worsened medical conditions or death. Recovering from the damages malnutrition can impose can be difficult, but pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may be beneficial.

In order to succeed on one of these claims, though, a victim or his or her family will have to establish that a nursing home and/or its staff acted negligently, which thereby caused the victim's harm. One way to prove neglect is to demonstrate that a nursing home failed to abide by laws and regulations that are designed to ensure residents' safety.

Have you ever thought of creating a pet trust?

Pets are not people, so you can't leave them an inheritance in the traditional sense, but you could certainly make preparations for your cat or dog -- or any other kind of animal -- in your estate planning. One way that New York residents do this is through the creation of a pet trust.

A pet trust is a way for you to set aside funds to benefit your pet by paying for his or her medical care, comfort items, food and to generally relieve the person who cares for your pet of any financial burdens relating to the task.

Millions of dollars may be missing from prominent estate

We all have a general idea of who we would like to have our possessions if we pass. Those who engage in estate planning hope that their assets will be passed on in accordance with their wishes. To do so, these individuals utilize a number of legal tools, including trusts, wills and powers of attorneys. However, even the most iron-clad estate plan can falter when an estate administrator and others involved in the estate distribution process fail to abide by the laws and rules in place to protect estates.

One need only look at an ongoing case that highlights this issue. There, the value of the estate of a small-town doctor who was responsible for opening a number of eye surgery centers has come into question. The doctor, who passed away in a car wreck in 1989, left his estate to his wife. A team of accountants, lawyers, bankers and insurance agents worked together to help the surviving spouse handle the estate. The couple's children were set to inherit the estate after the widow's death, but even prior to her death in 2007, questions were being raised as to how the estate was being handled and its true value.

Family conflict can be a barrier to estate planning

When people think of estate planning, they often think about how they want to leave their assets to their loved ones while at the same time protecting the value of the estate. In a nutshell, this is the entire purpose of estate planning. But there are many considerations that go into the process, which may alter the way in which one engages in estate planning. These considerations can give rise to estate planning challenges.

According to a recent survey of estate planning professionals, family conflict is the number one barrier for adequate estate planning, followed by tax reform and market volatility. More than half of those professionals indicated that designating beneficiaries and guardians is the hardest task for those engaged in estate planning, which makes sense. After all, those who are either left out of an estate plan or receive less than what they think they deserve can wind up being quite angry. Although sometimes this information is not shared until after a planner's passing, sometimes it is disclosed beforehand, which can lead to heated exchanges.

The risk of not modifying an estate plan

There is always something we need to do better our future, but this does not mean it is easy to take these steps. It can take a lot of courage to initiate the estate planning process. It's not easy to address your own mortality, and the thought of how to divide your assets amongst your loved one's can be stressful, especially when expectations are high. Although some individuals feel a massive sense of relief once they complete their estate plan, they are far from being done with the matter. Those who fail to revisit their estate plans may very well be putting their estates in jeopardy.

There are many risks associated with a neglected estate plan. First, one's plan may fail to contain documents that address important issues that have arisen since its first creation. For example, a medical directive may be needed or modified over the course of time. Second, failing to look at your estate plan from time-to-time can mean that you fail to change your beneficiaries as needed. This could result in loved ones being left out of asset distribution. It might also mean that unwanted beneficiaries are still able to claim property against your wishes.

Consider these 7 checkpoints when choosing a nursing home

You'll have a lot of things to think about when choosing a long-term care facility for your loved ones. For one, you'll want the absolute best nursing facility available.

At the same time, however, you may be constrained by financial concerns, availability and other matters that are completely out of your control.

How to choose a nursing home

There is no escaping the fact that we and our loved ones will grow old. In many instances, this means that a loved one may eventually become unable to care for him or herself. When this happens, plans must be made with regard to one's long-term care. There are many options, including home health care, but many New Yorkers wind up turning to nursing homes. Although it may sound easy enough, choosing a nursing home can actually be a challenging endeavor. Yet, it is one of great importance and should not be taken lightly.

Fortunately, by taking certain steps, individuals may be able to select the perfect nursing home for themselves or a loved one. The first step is simply identifying nursing homes in one's area. This can be done by asking medical professionals, family and friends or utilizing resources available through government websites.

Common mistakes when handling estates

Losing a loved one is a difficult thing to deal with. While surviving family members focus on their emotional healing and remembering their lost loved one, they often also have to confront the reality that they have to figure out what to do with their loved one's assets. This process of asset distribution may sound easy enough, but in practice it can be fraught with logistical and legal complications.

However, when it comes to first assessing one's estate, there are some common mistakes to try to avoid. The first is to not waste a lot of time going through the estate piece by piece. Instead, individuals should consider initially separating personal property into categories that are much easier to tackle later on.

New York firm providing care planning services

Most of us do well to plan a week or maybe a few months down the road. However, when it comes to one's health, that may not be enough. Why? Simply put, the cost of long-term care has skyrocketed and those who fail to plan for such care well in advance may be left without the care that they need or want. Also, a lack of planning may leave loved ones responsible for a bill that they may be incapable of handling.

Proper care planning is possible, though. Oftentimes New Yorkers turn to experienced attorneys to learn more about their options and for the creation of pertinent legal documents. Attorneys can help these individuals assess whether long-term care insurance is right for them, as well as give them a clearer sense of the assistance Medicare can provide and its limitations as well. Medical powers of attorney can also be discussed to ensure that an individual's health wishes are followed in the event that he or she cannot make important decisions for himself or herself.

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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