... that if you are a Medicare or Medicaid patient who received nursing home services (skilled nursing care under Medicare or institutional nursing home care under Medicaid) that you cannot be sued for the nursing home bill? Even if the nursing home obtained a judgment against you, it can be set aside in most cases. If you are a victim of a nursing home that engaged in this practice, we can advise you on the proper course of action for you, which could include an award of attorneys fees and costs.
... that if you are a U.S. veteran who served active duty, including at least one day during wartime, and your discharge was other than dishonorable, you, your spouse or your children may qualify for V.A. pension benefits or Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits? Veterans and their families comprise about 20% of the U.S. population, yet many are unaware of the benefits available to them when they need it most. Let us explain the benefits available to you in your hour of need.
... that if you do not have a will, your property does not go to the State when you die? The State will only take estate property (the property will "escheat to the State") as a last resort when no other heirs can be found. If you do not have a will or other estate plan, the State will decide who will inherit your property. Why let the State decide? Let us draft a will for you that will reflect your wishes and desires.
... that if you are properly qualified for Medicaid, you will not lose your house? While the Department of Social Services has the right to place a lien on homestead property under certain circumstances, planning in advance can avoid this from happening -- and allow you to pass your legacy onto your children or other heirs. Let us help you properly plan for Medicaid or other long-term care while preserving the maximum amount of your assets.
... that there are good things and bad things about making Florida your home state? Sure, it's sunny and hot there all year 'round; sure, the cost of living is lower (in many ways); and sure, there is no state income tax. But remember, you get what you pay for: Florida's Medicaid system, for example, is barebones, and it is harder to qualify there. Before you decide to make the big move, talk to us about your goals and desires for your retirement years, and the different Medicaid programs available in Florida and New York. We can help you make a decision you won't regret.
... that Florida has strong laws that protect debtors and their property from the claims of creditors? (Don't think we were picking on Florida above.) Florida has a lot of positive attributes besides the sun and warm weather. For example, Florida's Constitution protects homesteads from the claims of creditors, one of the strongest such protections in the country. Let us explain how making the move to Florida may indeed be the right decision for you or your loved one.
... that the "look-back" period for Medicaid has been extended to five (5) years? Congress in 2006 passed new laws designed to combat what they called "rich people on Medicaid" by making it more difficult for people to qualify for it. Prior to February 8, 2006, the "look-back" period -- meaning, the length of time Medicaid looks back in your financial records to see what you owned and what you transferred out of your name for less than fair market value -- was three (3) years for most assets. (It was always five years for trusts.) Transfers within look-back periods create "penalty periods" that disqualify an applicant from assistance for a formulated period of time. Let us help you with your Medicaid qualification and application by reviewing what transfers may create a "penalty period" for you, and what you can do to reduce a penalty period.
... that nursing home care (also called "chronic care" or "institutional care") is not the only Medicaid program available for seniors? New York State has one of the most ambitious "community" or "at home" Medicaid programs in the country, which is designed to keep seniors out of nursing homes or meet the needs of those who do not qualify for institutional care. Let us advise you on the different types of Community Medicaid, and help you determine which program is best for you or your loved one.
... that if you are the spouse, child or parent of a veteran, you may be entitled to survivors benefits from the VA? Spouses, children and parents may be entitled to benefits derived from a veteran of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard) who has died, usually from a service-connected death or disability. If you feel you may qualify for these benefits, let us help you find out for sure.
... that if you own a property jointly with another person, and you no longer wish to be a co-owner with that person, you can't be forced to stay in ownership with them because of the way the deed is titled? The law allows you to extricate yourself from a situation involving real estate that no longer serves you. Let us advise you on how you can deal with this problem.
There is a lot of talk "on the street" by people who are not lawyers and not qualified to advise you about your legal rights, obligations and entitlements -- and their "talk" is usually "hot air". You will only obtain the proper advice from someone qualified to give it -- a licensed member of the Bar. Let us assist you with your legal needs in a way that beats "street talk". We have almost 30 years' experience advising clients in our areas of practice and will be happy to assist you with your legal issues, whether they are in New York or Florida.