Cona Elder Law

Businesswoman signing a document about estate taxes

Governor Cuomo Protects Seniors and the Disabled with Homeowner’s Tax Benefit: Have You Taken Steps to Protect Your Home?

Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order today providing homeowner’s tax support for low-income seniors and the disabled, both of whom have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Executive Order eliminates the in-person renewal requirement for property tax exemptions for low-income senior citizens and persons with disabilities. Accordingly, vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities who own their homes do not need to appear at their town hall to file for the tax relief, putting themselves at risk of infection from COVID-19 in order to secure or maintain their real property exemptions.

For most of us, our home is our most valuable asset. It is critical to take steps to preserve and protect your family home. Often, the best way to protect your home is by transferring the home to a trust. This will protect the value of your home for asset protection and Medicaid purposes. Only an irrevocable trust will protect your home.  A revocable trust will not.

You may want to retain a life estate within the trust. This means you retain the obligations and rights regarding the property while you’re alive. For instance, you will keep the absolute right to live in the home throughout your life. You will also be responsible for any taxes, all upkeep, and will remain eligible for all real estate tax exemptions. You’d continue receiving any Veterans’ real estate tax benefits or Enhanced STAR tax benefits. Because you will continue to be obligated to pay real estate taxes, you’ll still be able to realize these tax benefits as an itemized deduction on your personal tax return.

There are Medicaid planning consequences as well as tax consequences when you transfer title to your home. Because of this, it’s critical to work with our knowledgeable and experienced Cona Elder Law attorneys.  

Today’s Executive Order is a win for seniors and the disabled. Now take additional steps to make sure your home and your assets are protected.

As always, contact us if you have any questions. Our Elder Law attorneys are always available to address your questions and concerns. Call us at 631.390.5000 or click here.

About the Author Cona Elder Law

Cona Elder Law is a full service law firm based in Melville, LI. Our firm concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, special needs planning and health care facility representation. We are proud to have been recognized for our innovative strategies, creative techniques and unparalleled negotiating skills unendingly driven toward our paramount objective - satisfying the needs of our clients.

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