It’s generally good to have a Will, but it is totally ineffective as an Elder Law planning tool. It won’t protect your assets against the catastrophic costs of long-term care, and it will leave your executor and heirs with the chore and the expense of going to court. For estate planning purposes, you might want to consider a trust, which is a private document that avoids probate and allows for the quick and efficient distribution of your estate to your heirs. At the same time, the trust can be designed to protect your assets, and facilitate Medicaid eligibility.

Lamson & Cutner’s attorneys can help you with your Elder Law plan and your estate plan at the same time. Usually, the same strategies and legal documents serve both purposes.

Estate taxes are a concern for only the wealthiest citizens. Only about 0.1% of estates pay Federal Estate Tax. State estate or inheritance taxes might have lower thresholds, but again it will not be a concern for most people. The Federal Gift and Estate Tax exemption for 2015 is $5,430,000 ($10,860,00 for married couples). The New York State basic exclusion amount for 2015 is $3,125,000, and it is scheduled to rise to $5,250,000 by April 1, 2017.

Lamson & Cutner’s attorneys can help you with your Elder Law plan and your estate plan at the same time. Usually, the same strategies and legal documents serve both purposes.

Avoiding probate is probably not the most important concern for seniors, but it is nevertheless a worthwhile goal and is generally easily achievable. Probate is a court proceeding. It can be frustrating, expensive and subject to delays of all kinds. Also, probate sometimes results in a prolonged dispute among disgruntled family members or others, which increases expenses and delays distributions to beneficiaries.

Lamson & Cutner’s attorneys can help you with your Elder Law plan and your estate plan at the same time. Usually, the same strategies and legal documents serve both purposes.

Yes, by all means. Trusts are the main “workhorses” of Elder Law planning. They are the most prudent way to protect assets, create an effective estate plan, and facilitate Medicaid eligibility.

Lamson & Cutner’s attorneys can help you with your Elder Law plan and your estate plan at the same time. Usually, the same strategies and legal documents serve both purposes.

The basic difference is that Elder Law planning seeks to preserve your income and assets for use while you are alive. That way you can continue to maintain your lifestyle if you receive home care, or have the funds available to be as comfortable as possible if you enter a nursing facility. Estate planning is primarily concerned with implementing your wishes and distributing your assets after you pass on, in the most efficient and tax advantaged way. The two go hand-in-hand. Without a good Elder Law plan to preserve and protect your assets and income, you may find that, while you have lovely estate planning documents, you have no estate.

Lamson & Cutner’s attorneys can help you with your Elder Law plan and your estate plan at the same time. Usually, the same strategies and legal documents serve both purposes.