Live chat- online now

We are here to assist you. Chat with us now.

Chat Banner

Can We Help You?

Menu
Squarebtn

contact us today

516-561-6645 718-350-2802 631-319-8262

free consultation

Child Custody Issues

To watch today’s video blog, please click on the link below:

Elliot S. Schlissel is a child custody attorney. He has been representing parents for more than 35 years in all aspects of custody litigation. He and his associates are available for consultation by contacting one of the attorneys at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Guardianship Attorney

elder care attorney medicaidGuardianship, in the State of New York, refers to proceedings to help individuals who are either in declining health, are unable to take care of their personal needs and/or financial needs, or who have been taken advantage of by third parties, fraudsters, friends, neighbors, or other loved ones. The purpose of a guardianship proceeding is to help a senior, a debilitated person or a special person deal with their personal and financial needs and see to it they are not taken advantage of. In cases where there have been inappropriate transfers, violations of powers of attorney, or where the individuals were simply taken advantage of financially, a guardianship proceeding can be utilized to protect the rights of these individuals. Assets taken through fraud, duress, or undue influence can be returned to their rightful owner through legal action.

Expedited Guardianship Proceedings

Sometimes friends, family members and other loved ones find the senior or special person has an emergency situation which requires immediate action. In these cases, expedited proceedings can be brought for the appointment of a guardian either of the person or of the property of this individual.

Two Types of Guardianships

Guardianships for senior citizens are brought under Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law. These guardianships are brought in the Supreme Courts of the county where the individual resides.

Guardians for special individuals can also be brought under Article 17(a) of the New York Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act. These types of guardianships are brought in the Surrogate’s Court of the county where the individual resides.

Helping Seniors

Helping another who can’t help themselves is an altruistic course of action. Helping a sick individual, infirm individual, or mentally challenged individual protect their assets and their health and well-being requires the skill and attention of dedicated attorneys with experience in these matters. The guardianship lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have more than 100 years of combined experience helping clients with these types of cases. For more than 30 years, our attorneys have helped seniors, special individuals and their families with regard to guardianship proceedings.

elder law attorney on long island Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Elliot and his associate attorneys maintain a sophisticated practice bringing numerous guardianship proceedings each year. He can be reached for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Running Out of Money in Retirement

retirement planning for seniorsRetirement is supposed to be the golden years. However, today the issue of how much money you need in retirement is becoming a much more complex issue. Although it is important to save for retirement, you shouldn’t scrimp and deprive yourself for a retirement that may never happen. The big problem is running out of money while you are retired.

How Much Do I Need?

To start with, you must take into consideration what your financial assets are. Then you must develop a plan that is practical with regard to an individual or family with your assets.

On the other side of the balance sheet you must look into what your income will be in retirement. Do you have annuities? Do you have a pension? Do you have a 401(k) you can draw from? Will your only income be from Social Security benefits and returns on retirement investments?

If your living expenses during the term of your retirement are greater than your income, the only way of making ends meet is to draw down the principal of your savings and investments.

What Type of Investments?

Investing for long term income is the approach you should take with regard to retirement planning. This means you should avoid speculative investments. I suggest that you invest approximately 60-70% of your assets in income producing investments and the balance in dividend paying blue chip stock.

You should not assume that your investments will produce a seven, eight, nine or ten percent return. You should use a very conservative number of either a four or five percent total return on investments.

The Length of Your Retirement

Traditionally, Americans had been retiring between ages sixty and sixty-five. However, with greater life expectancy and smaller amounts of savings, many Americans are considering retiring at much older ages. If you retire at sixty-five you must take into consideration that you have enough assets to last you twenty-five or thirty years. However, if you retire at an older age, the term of your retirement will be shorter and the length of the payout in your investments will be shorter.

Investment Scams

There are tricksters and scam artists who prey on senior citizens. Be careful with regard to investment advisors who promise high investment returns. If you are not sophisticated with regard to investments, you should find a well thought of investment advisor to help you. You should counterbalance the suggestions from your investment advisor with a certified public accountant.

Investing for retirement can be difficult. Hopefully you will be successful in accumulating enough money and investing it properly to actually have those golden years in retirement.

assistance in elder care planningElliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He assists his clients in all types of elder care issues related to medicaid planning, drafting wills and assisting the clients and their family members regarding probating of wills.

President Obama Orders the Creation of New Retirement Accounts

elder law attorneyOn Wednesday, January 29, 2014, President Obama gave his State of the Union address. During the course of his address, he ordered that a new type of employer sponsored saving account be created for the purpose of helping people save for retirement. The President suggested creating this new class of retirement saving account would help middle class Americans bridge the growing income equality gap.

Starter Retirement Savings Program

The new saving program created by President Obama is called the “MyRA”. The name mimics the Individual Retirement Account (IRAs) that first came into existence to help Americans save for retirement in the 1970s. These new accounts operate similar to the Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (Roth IRAs). Married couples with adjusted gross incomes of up to $191,000 and individuals with incomes up to $129,000 will be able to put away $15,000 in after tax dollars for a maximum of 30 years.

Currently the Roth IRAs will allow working individuals to save up to $5,500 per year, or if they are over 50 in 2014 $6,500 per year. Contributions can be withdrawn tax free.

The MyRA funds are subject to being withdrawn at any time without paying an income tax penalty. However, if the money is removed from the MyRA said funds will be subject to the same restrictions that currently exist for Roth IRAs.

Investment Options for the MyRA

There will only be one investment option for the MyRA. The United States Treasury is going to create a security fund modeled after the Federal Employees Thrift Savings Plan Government Securities Fund. This fund will have a variable rate of interest return on the funds deposited in it. This will prevent any individuals making deposits in the MyRA avoid losing any money maintained in this retirement plan.

The purpose of the MyRA is to allow lower income Americans to accumulate up to $15,000 towards retirement. Although this is not a significant amount of retirement assets, it is a start in the right direction.

estate planning assistanceElliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He drafts wills and trusts and handles estate and probate matters for clients.

Foreclosure Action Stopped by Death

Nettie Francis had executed a mortgage. The holder of the mortgage brought a foreclosure lawsuit against her. In May of 2010, the court had declined to sign a proposed judgement of foreclosure and sale. The court took this action because there had not been a submission of an order showing the mandatory residential foreclosure court conference had been held in the case.

Husband Seeks to be Named Administrator of Wife’s Estate

In July 2010, Nettie died. Nettie’s husband brought an action to intervene in the case. In this proceeding he submitted, to the court, a death certificate proving Nettie died in July 2010. His paperwork also showed since her death he had been taking care of the home. He indicated in his motion he was in the process of bringing an application in the Surrogate’s Court to be appointed the administrator of Nettie’s estate. He brought this action as an intervenor to be named a defendant in the foreclosure lawsuit.

Counsel for the financial institution argued against Nettie’s husband being allowed to intervene in the lawsuit. He claimed this application didn’t set forth a claim or defense for which the intervention in the suit was sought. He also claimed the motion being made by the husband was not made in a timely basis.

Supreme Court Justice Robert McDonald sitting in Queens County held the death of a party divested the court of jurisdiction. Upon Nettie’s death the proceedings were automatically stayed. The proceedings could not proceed without the substitution of a personal representative or an executor for the deceased party.foreclosure advocate

Spousal Refusal And Medicaid Planning

elder care attorney medicaidIn the States of Connecticut, Florida and New York spousal refusal to pay for a spouse’s medical expenses can be an acceptable Medicaid planning technique. The spouse of an individual who goes into a nursing home and applies for Medicaid is referred to as the “community spouse.” This spouse can keep approximately $3000 a month of the family’s combined income. In addition the community spouse can keep about $100,000 in assets which is referred to in Medicaid jargon as “resources.” Exempt assets such as car and the home the parties reside in are not included. The spouse that is going to go into the nursing facility is referred to as the “institutionalized spouse.”

$3000 A Month Is Not Enough

In a situation where the community spouse cannot live on the $3000 a month which is exempt from Medicaid, spousal refusal becomes an important option. The first step is the moving of assets from being held jointly to being solely in the name of the community spouse. An elder care attorney can prepare a document indicating the community spouse is refusing to contribute his or her income and assets to the care of the institutionalized spouse. The document provides reasons for the community spouse needing more than $3000 a month to live on. If the community spouse exercises spousal refusal and then meets other requirements to qualify for Medicaid benefits, the New York State benefit program must pay the expenses for the institutionalized spouse.

Department of Social Services Suing Community Spouse

The Department of Social Services can institute a law suit against the community spouse to recover all of the expenses paid by Medicaid. The purpose of the law suit is to force the community spouse to reimburse the Department of Social Services. So why should a community spouse risk this law suit? There are good reasons for this. To start with there is no guarantee the Department of Social Services will be successful in the law suit. Even if the Department of Social Services is winning the law suit, these law suits are often settled for less than the entire amount which is due and owing. In the event the Department of Social Services is successful in the law suit, it may only obtain payment for the Medicaid reimbursement rate and not for the much higher private pay rate the institution would charge for taking care of the institutionalized spouse. The private pay rate is usually $3000 to $5000 a month higher than the reimbursement rate for Medicaid.

Elder Care Planning: The Best Route

The first option should be to purchase long term care insurance. If this is not a viable option, the next best way to deal with elder care related issues concerning Medicaid is to hire an elder care lawyer to prepare an irrevocable MAPT trust at least five years before any potential need for Medicaid benefits.

elder care planning and medicaid

The Right To Die

long island attorneyThere was a recent case in Long Island, New York concerning issues surrounding “the right to die.” Sungeon Grace Lee, age 28, decided her life was no longer worth living. She advised her doctors she wanted to end her life by cutting off the life support system keeping her alive. Her parents, who are deeply religious, vehemently opposed their daughter’s wishes

Tumor On Her Brain

Ms. Lee had a tumor on her brain stem. She had been suffering from seizures. During one of her seizures she was rushed to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York. The seizure left her paralyzed from the neck down. At that time, she was hooked up to a life support machine that allowed her to breathe.

Parent’s Sue To Keep Daughter Alive

Ms. Lee’s mother, Jin Ah Lee, and her father, Man Oh Lee, a Pastor of the Antioch Missionary church in Flushing, Queens, were both deeply religious people. They retained an attorney and obtained a restraining order preventing their daughter from ending her life. After protracted litigation, both the trial court and appellate court set aside the petition of Sungeon Lee’s parents. In their decision, the courts indicated that the daughter was competent to make her own medical decisions. However, in the end, Ms. Lee agreed to withdraw her request to be allowed to die and complied with her parents’ wishes.

Ms. Lee has been moved from North Shore University Hospital to her parents’ home where she is competently taken care of.

About The Author

elder care helpElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is an Elder Law Attorney with more than 35 years of legal experience. He represents individuals concerning Medicaid planning, wills, trusts and estate matters, end of life issues and estate planning matters.

Amending Irrevocable Trusts

estate planning attorneysIrrevocable trusts are an invaluable estate planning resource. However, due to tax changes (fiscal cliff) and other issues, irrevocable trusts with an estate plan in mind, need to be changed related to subsequent modifications of estate tax laws. Can irrevocable trusts be amended? The answer to that is yes, in certain circumstances.

New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law, section 7-1.9, provides a means to modify, change or amend an irrevocable trust. This section of law allows the settlor, the individual who made the trust, upon written consent of all trust beneficiaries, to amend or revoke the trust in whole or in part. In the event that one beneficiary refuses to agree to the modification or is unable to consent to the modification, this section of the estate law cannot be utilized to amend or modify the trust. Examples of situations, where trusts cannot be amended are when one of the beneficiaries is a minor, an incompetent or the settlor has died.

In the event the settlor becomes incapacitated but has previously executed a Power of Attorney, the individual with the Power of Attorney can provide consent on behalf of the settlor to the amendment or modification of the trust.

Decanting A Trust

Section 10-6.6 of the New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law allows trusts to be decanted. Decanting involves the moving of trust assets from one irrevocable trust to another trust. The new trust can be modified even if a necessary person under EPTL section 7-1.9 was unable to get consent for an amendment under this section.

Conclusion

Should you have an irrevocable trust and wish to make changes, modifications or alterations, New York law allows various routes to accomplish these goals. You should consult with an experienced estate planning attorney if you or other family members face this issue.assistance in planning your estate

Reverse Mortgages

estate planning attorneyA reverse mortgage is a means by which seniors utilize the equity in their homes. The equity is turned into cash. It can be used to supplement social security, pension payments, and 401K plan withdrawals. In most situations, the proceeds of a reverse mortgage are taken out in a lump sum. Arrangements can be made to have periodic payments over the period of your life, too.

The big benefit of a reverse mortgage is you don’t have to repay it during your lifetime. It gets repaid upon your death. The drawback of a reverse mortgage is it tends to have a higher interest rate than conventional mortgages. In addition to interest payments and an annual insurance charge, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s home equity conversion reverse mortgage program level an initial one time insurance premium from 2% to .01% on your home’s value. It should be noted as with any mortgage, there will be closing costs regarding reverse mortgages.

New York Estate Planning Lawyers

Whether you take out a reverse mortgage or not is a complicated question. You should meet with an estate planning attorney. Discuss your finances and the consequences of a reverse mortgage before proceeding to take one out.assistance in planning for retirement

Retirement Financial Pitfalls

Planning for retirement is difficult.  Today, nest eggs are much smaller than they have been in the past.  Many individuals and families plan for retirement at the last minute.  This can cause problems.

Save And Invest

Americans need to save today, not tomorrow.  It takes a lot of will power to forego today’s pleasures and have money for the long run.

Retirement Is Not A Permanent Vacation

Some TV advertisements present retirement as a permanent vacation.  You see pictures of individuals playing golf in a Shangri-La type atmosphere.  Americans are living longer today.  The Shangri-La atmosphere presented in those pictures can become boring and stale.  Even if you can afford living in a retirement community of that type, life expectancy can stretch retirement for as long as thirty or forty years.

Unanticipated Expenses

A Study by Fidelity Investments indicates a couple who are 65 years of age when they retire will need more than $250,000 to pay for medical expenses throughout their retirement.  These medical expenses do not include nursing home care.  The study found the average medical expenses for a 65 year old couple amounted to more than $530 per month.  It should be noted Medicare is not free and doesn’t cover all medical expenses!

Be Careful With Your 401K Plan

A 401K Plan is retirement plan.  Many people borrow large sums from their 401k plans and are not able to pay these sums back. Depleting your 401K plan can have a significantly negative impact on your ability to retire.

Be Careful Of Your Priorities

Steven Cuhna, a certified financial planner with Bay Street Financial Services, suggests you remember the 5 P’s regarding retirement,  Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.  You should have a plan that analyzes your financial goals, retirement needs, investment and estate plan.  You may live a long time but you will not live forever.  Having a will and/or irrevocable trust may be necessary to help you preserve your assets.  Another solution is to never stop working!

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore

  • banner-changes
  • image5
  • image6
  • image7