Selling Real Property Belonging To An Estate In NY

When you are the named fiduciary of an estate with real property such as a house or a condo, you will likely be charged with selling the property and distributing the proceeds to the estate’s beneficiaries.  However, it is more complicated than simply listing the property for sale and certain steps must be taken to do it properly.  

Unoccupied real property can quickly become a financial burden on an estate as there will continue to be maintenance costs and inherited real estate taxes that must be paid.  Even real property that is occupied by a tenant and thus carrying itself financially can cause hardship for those not wishing to deal with the headaches associated with being a landlord. Because of this, it is usually in the best interest of the estate’s beneficiaries to see the property sold as quickly and efficiently as possible.  In order to begin the process, an Executor or Administrator must be appointed by the Surrogate’s Court. This process can take up to six months in some New York Counties because of a back-log of cases clogging up court dockets and therefore it is wise to begin the process as soon as possible.   

The process of appointing an Executor or an Administrator is called Probate (in cases where the decedent left a will) or Estate Administration (in cases with no will).  A petition must be submitted to the Surrogates Court where a judge will review its contents to ensure that all relevant family members of the decedent have been notified and that the will, if any, was properly executed.  The court will then issue Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration to the Executor or Administrator of the Estate. 

Once you have been officially appointed as the fiduciary of the estate, you will then have the authority to enter into a listing agreement with a real estate agent and subsequently into a contract with a prospective buyer of the real property.  It is important to have an estate fiduciary appointed as even in cases where a buyer is willing to enter into a contract with only an affidavit of heirship, a title company is unlikely to clear title to a property without Letters Testamentary. Your probate attorney will need to be in communication with your real estate attorney to advise you what documents you will need to bring with you to the closing.  This will include your current Letters Testamentary and your photo ID.  

While the estate’s beneficiaries may be expecting to receive their share of the sales proceeds at the closing, this is not usually what ends up happening.  The estate likely has taxes to file as well as other reimbursements and outstanding expenses that must all be satisfied before any distributions can be made.  Always consult your estate or probate attorney before writing any checks to beneficiaries as improperly settling an estate can be a costly mistake.

Getting Yourself Medicaid In NYC, What To Know

New York, just like every other American state, makes room for providing basic medical care to its residents who can’t afford to foot the bills. However, the State of New York’s expenditure on health insurance is considerably higher than in most states. This is not far-fetched, as the state offers a broader range of benefits and flexible terms of eligibility on the New York medical buy-in program.

If you ever think of getting yourself a Medicaid in NYC, this brief write-up best summarizes the requirements for qualification and answers other pertinent questions that you need answers to before delving head into the NY Medicaid.

So, What’s The Objective Of This Program?

The Medicaid program for New Yorkers‘ was set up to create improved access to premium health care services for all low-income residents, women, children, families, disabled individuals, the senile populace.

So, It Covers All The Health Bill?

Not entirely. Although the Medicaid program settles several health services as it concerns health insurance. Its scopes include home health care, consultation with doctors, care in nursing homes, payment for prescribed drugs, and others. However,vast its coverage might be,there are some restrictions like age factor, financial status, family status, and others. Minute co-payments also comes with some services.

Who’s Eligible For This?

To qualify for the New York Medicaid, you need to score right in some boxes. Generally, the eligible populace includes pregnant women, children, families, individuals, and the disabled. As this program is designed for low-income individuals/families whose income falls below certain levels, you can bet to encounter stiff requirements.

The category of people that can qualify for this program include adults whose income does not exceed 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. Pregnant women also have to reach some determined income level. Besides these, you’ve to show evidence that you’re a resident of New York, a citizen of America, or a legal immigrant. A prove of living situation, and your Social Security Number also comes to play here. Senior residents must also reach the threshold age of 65. Never forget to get your local attorney involved, as he may come to the rescue if things get messier.

Ok, What’s The Coverage Range?

New York Medicaid takes charge of most of your medical service bills, including the medications. Once you qualify for this program, it will cater to your health services such as; regular medical checkups, follow-up care, clinic visits, lab tests and x-rays, and immunizations. Emergency care, nursing home care, medical supplies and medications, dental and eye care, medical equipment or appliances, and hospital stays are not left out.

To apply for the New York Medicaid, you simply have to write, call, or visit the local Department of Social Services office. You might as well apply online via their user-friendly website.

Elder Law 102: Planning A Secure Long Term Health-Care Plan

Take it or leave it, planning for long term care is one sacred topic we rarely care to broach. What many fail to understand is that this subject needs to be addressed long before the need arises. Before your bones fail you, you need to have made adequate plans. The problem is that most Americans don’t take time to plan for their long term care needs. Others simply assume that Medicare and Medicaid are just sufficient to cover for their long term care needs.

As pertinent as planning for a secure long term health care is, getting a much effective plan is where the bulk of the workload lies. You may have yourself surrounded by myriads of long term care plans. The question, however, remains, how effective are these your health care plan? Having ideas A, B, down to the last alphabet for your future health care may sound promising, but it can be confusing at the same time and energy-sapping.

As there’re many health care plans focused on catering for you at old age, taking your time to analyze the one that suits you most or settling for one or two at most could be at your own best interest.

Long Term Care Insurance And Long Term Care Contributions

Today, many options are waiting for you to exploit. Amongst the numerous options include the Long term care insurance and long term care contributions. This plan has shown to be peculiarly promising and rewarding in the long run (especially when followed through the right way).

Quite a handful of Americans have been sold to the thought that keeping a part of their earnings (via payroll deductions) into different government laid out health care structures for years is enough. Thankfully, current happenings and economic woes facing the world economy have shown that this could never be enough.

What’s even more disheartening is that a good number of working-class Americans are yet to understand the clear difference between health care plans and long term care insurance.

Medicare or Medicaid

Due to the increasing number of challenges facing the health care system, those in lower-income brackets are usually disadvantaged when it comes to gaining access to proper health care services. One of the most viable options that they’d ever have to rely on is the Medicaid and Medicare program. However, to be qualified for this, you need to meet up with some requirements. A handful of people,in the end, usually fall out of the qualified category.

Medicare and Medicaid recipients have now been subjected to make co-payments that are gradually becoming enormous for their lean purse. This is one reason why you may want to weigh out other options.

Does Buying Long Term Care Insurance Make The Difference?

Some people still find TLCi as a big scam. You can’t blame them. With the amount of pushy insurance salesman knocking on your door everyday, paranoia is bound to creep in. If buying insurance for your home, car, or businesses is essential, ensuring to secure your health care is twice much important.When it comes to securing your health, don’t take it as a wasteful venture, but consider it as a noteworthy investment that requires detailed planning and swift decision. Whichever path you decide to trod, never forget to get your local attorney involved, as he may come to the rescue if things get tough.

New York State Inheritance Laws: The After Born Child

Dealing with the loss of a parent is a traumatic, emotional process that can be complicated by legal matters. These issues include a division of assets, equitable management of the decedent’s estate, and even, to whom things from a favorite pen to a sentimental spatula, will go. Despite the sensitive nature of death and loss, it is clear that these phenomena are not only replete with matters of the heart, but the wallet, too.

The legal issues that inform the ways in which one’s possessions are distributed to surviving children is complex, even within the most loving and supportive families. These matters can seem even more obscure however, when there are surviving children who were born or adopted after the execution of the decedent’s will. This is known in legal nomenclature as an “afterborn child.”  Fortunately, there are a host of New York State estate laws that guide all surviving children, no matter when they were born, through the intricacies and legalities of estate law.

The After-Born Child Defined

An afterborn child is defined as a child born to a parent after the will of said parent has been executed. This includes children born during the deceased parent’s lifetime, as well as those who were in utero when their parent passed away. The status of an afterborn child is not predicated on their parents’ marital status, nor upon whether or not they are biological or legally adopted. In short, the afterborn child was born or adopted after the decedent created their will, likely without considering they might have additional children thereafter.

Legal Significance of an Afterborn Child

New York State’s Consolidated Estate, Power, and Trust Laws provide for children born or legally adopted by the decedent, even if they are not mentioned in their parent’s will. A scenario in which a child named in the will learns that they are to divide their parent’s assets with a sibling not previously known or mentioned in the will, can in some cases, prove difficult and troubling. Certainly there are families for which equitable asset distribution is both assumed and considered “the right thing to do.”  For families for whom this is not the case, particularly ones in which legal inheritors suddenly appear after their parent has died, things can become complicated, arduous, and grievous at best.

Accidental Disinheritance

When a parent forgets to add a child to their will, it is often not the result of malice or intentional disinheritance. Day-to-day life requires us to multitask on a myriad of responsibilities, making it sometimes difficult to tend to items that are part of a longer term, bigger picture. It is this kind of situation for which these laws were created, as they guide and support the rights of the afterborn. Children born or legally adopted after a will’s execution who have been explicitly disinherited however, are not classified nor protected as afterborn.

When It’s Time to Call an Estate Lawyer

Although most of us understand the importance of wills and their ability to speak for us when we are no longer able to speak for ourselves, the mere prospect of actually writing one can be overwhelming. Not knowing what a loved ones’ wishes are after they have passed however, can most assuredly be both overwhelming and stressful. Mercifully, the laws governing inheritance and wills in New York State include provisions for these kinds of situations and more.

Whether you are preparing a will that includes all the people you want it to, or need the law to guide survivors who may be accidentally disinherited, you need a local elder lawyer who is well versed in estate law and compassionate towards his clients.

Using Legal Zoom Vs A Lawyer For A Will

A will is a legal document that sets out your wishes for what will happen to your property, assets and children after you die. It’s really important that you get one written so that your family know what to do when you pass away. A will is also know legally as a “Last Will & Testament”.

If one dies without a will , you end up Intestate- meaning the government will take care of distributing your assets for you. While this may not seem a big deal, it could potentially end with the sale of shared family homes or property- leaving your loved ones in a bad situation. If you have young children, you’ll want to make sure they fall into the best care possible. By writing a will, you can carefully choose who is best to look after them. For example, you may have a long-term partner who would be the most natural carer for your kids- but if you aren’t married, the state wouldn’t hand them over by default. Should you have specific wishes for your funeral, or what happens with your body- this will all be lined out in the will too.

There are a few ways you can get a will written up. Most people go to a lawyer to get a will written up, but in recent years it’s been a growing trend to use online legal companies like LegalZoom. LegalZoom allows their customers to create certain legal documents online- without the need for hiring a lawyer. LegalZoom offers these documents at a really low price compared to lawyer fees, but at what cost?

While LegalZoom’s website may seem promising, it doesn’t hold a penny to hiring a real lawyer, who has spent years studying the system. While LegalZoom gives customers the impression that they’re in the safe hands of a lawyer- they aren’t really. All you’re doing with LegalZoom is filling in the blanks on standard document templates, and there’s no customization to fit your personal situation. These documents are known as ‘canned’ documents.

By writing your will with LegalZoom, it’s likely that you’ll miss out important information. Even worse, the will could end up invalid, leaving your family members without their deserved assets. Once you’re gone, there’s nothing you can do to fix the situation- so it’s better to spend that extra bit of money on a lawyer to make sure it’s done properly.

On the subject of money, LegalZoom doesn’t actually work out as cheap as it is advertised. While the initial fees may be low, the company have been known to hit customers with big surprise fees. They like to reel people in with a ’30 day free trial’ which leaves customers paying a monthly fee. Even if you do end up getting a will written for a bargain price- it won’t be sufficient, and you’ll end up paying lawyer fees down the road to amend it. To save your time and money, find a reputable lawyer- don’t get caught up by sites like LegalZoom.

I’d like to include this quote from estate lawyer Joanne Fanizza. This is what she had to say about canned documents like the ones provided through Legal Zoom.

“I have had several clients come to me with pre-prepared documents that were either completely invalid, didn’t do what they were supposed to do, or required a lot of legal work afterwards to fix the mess they got the clients in. Some were wills, others were trusts, some were corporation papers and other were contracts. In each case, the client wound up paying more.”

Instead of risking your money, time, and even problems in court- find a reputable lawyer that specializes in estate planning. Yes, it will cost you more than a canned document on LegalZoom, but not really. A simple will drawn up by a lawyer can cost between $100 and $220, which isn’t that expensive at all. The price of your will increases depending on what needs to be covered. For example, the price will go up if you’ve been divorced, had children, or own trusts/ oversea properties. It might cost extra, but at least you’ll have peace of mind that everything you need is included.

Once your will is written, a solicitor will usually store it away in a fireproof safe. This means your will is safe, and there’s no risk of it being invalidated. Another benefit of hiring a solicitor is that you’re protected if something goes wrong. Since solicitor’s firms are a regulated industry, you won’t be out of pocket if something isn’t right with the will and needs amending. With big online companies like Legalzoom, it’s much harder to resolve issues. They don’t have anywhere near the customer service a law firm has. You’ll have to email to get in touch with them, and they won’t get to you as quickly.

Your will should be reviewed every 5 years, or if there’s a big change in your situation, for example, marriage, divorce, becoming a parent or moving to a new house. You also need to update your will if your executor dies. An executor is somebody you place in charge of taking care of your remaining financial matters- such as bills and taxes. To get a will amended, you must sign a codicil- which is just a fancy word for ‘official alteration’. Any alterations to a will must be signed by a witness. Your lawyer will advise you on all of this when you create a will with them, and they’ll provide guidance you could never get from an online company.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with some valuable information for when you start to write your will. It’s important to realize that quick-fix, cheap legal websites such as LegalZoom should really be avoided. A will is a very important document- and so needs to be written properly, personalized to your individual circumstances. If you are worried about what will happen to your assets after you’re gone- start thinking about your will today.

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Negligence In Nursing Homes: The Sad New Trend

As elderly medical centers look to cut costs, nursing home, rehabilitation center and hospital negligence is on the rise. As the old saying goes, “when the cat’s away, the mice will play”, the nurses being the mice and the patients children the cat. Senior citizens are often neglected because they are not in a cognitive state to complain or fight back. Lazy and or cruel staff members take advantage of this weakness to dangerous points. For example, many of the falls and bed sores in nursing homes are completely attributed to nursing malpractice. We hear these stories on the news all the time and we always think that they will not happen to our loved one, that’s simply not true. Everyone has to wake up and take action. For every doubt you have regarding the care of your loved one simply pick up the phone and call a nursing home or senior care lawyer that will fight for your legal rights. Even if your senior care practitioner missed just one potential opportunity where they could of moved your loved ones body part and did not you should take action. Just one missed body move that could have led to the bedsore. Let’s all fight back and make sure that Queens, NY residents will not fall victim to senior care negligence. Let’s get aggressive and protect our loved ones. You can also complain about nursing home negligence to the NY department of health.

Good news folks, our top rated legal services are available at various locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City. That means you are only a short ride away from our “AVVO Superb Rated” estate law team. Get directions and information below.

1600 Avenue M, Brooklyn, NY 11230, United States

147-17 Union Tpke, Queens, NY 11367, United States

260 Madison Ave STE 204, New York, NY 10016, United States

105 Maxess Rd, Melville, NY 11747, United States

54-14 74th St, Elmhurst, NY 11373, United States

35-37 36th St, Astoria, NY 11106, United States

2270 Grand Ave, Baldwin, NY 11510, United States

215-03 Jamaica Ave, Queens Village, NY 11428, United States

118-35 Queens Blvd #400, Forest Hills, NY 11375, United States