Anyone who is a recipient of Medicaid benefits and anyone who has engaged in asset protection planning is in for a rude awakening. New York State has just passed a new law expanding Medicaid’s right to make a claim against an individual’s estate, targeting those who have transferred title to their home using a life estate or a trust with a retained life estate.
If you have a life estate or a trust already, what should you do? If you have not yet engaged in asset protection planning, what should you do differently?
On Tuesday, November 1st (October 18th for existing Cona Elder Law clients), Cona Elder Law, an elder law and estate planning firm based in Melville, will sponsor a free telephone hotline to anyone who calls the firm between 9 AM and 7 PM with questions on life estates, trusts, Medicaid and estate planning. Speak to a Cona Elder Law attorney by calling: 631.390.5000.
“The asset protection tools we’ve been using to help most people retain some of their assets for a surviving spouse and/or children need to be reexamined and set up differently,” says Jennifer Cona, Esq., managing partner of Cona Elder Law. “The new law does not provide a grandfathering provision so those who created trusts and life estates already may be subject to a repayment claim if Medicaid benefits are engaged. Ninety-nine percent of our clients have these documents.”
Since each person’s situation is different, it is advisable to consult with an experienced elder law attorney before making decisions regarding Medicaid planning and asset protection. An elder law attorney will be able to guide an individual and their family on the available options that will work best for them based on the new Medicaid laws.
Cona Elder Law is recognized as a leading elder law and estate planning firm on Long Island. The firm provides creative advocacy and cutting edge planning strategies and has been featured in many publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, L.I. Business News, Kiplinger’s, Reader's Digest and many others. Cona Elder Law attorneys are frequent contributors to Newsday’s Act II “Ask the Expert” column and have appeared as guests on WNBC-TV, CNN-fn, News 12, News 55, Channel 21 "Act II With Newsday" and many radio stations including WOR, WCBS AM and WFAN.