Archive for the ‘Asset Protection Attorney’ Category

Raskin & Makofsky | Experts in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Medicaid and More

Here at Raskin & Makofsky we are experts in the field of elder law. Serving the Long Island area we care about helping you with Medicaid, estate planning, wills, trust, asset protection and more. Whether you are helping an elderly loved one or getting your own affairs in order at Raskin & Makofsky we have the expertise and experience you need.

Super Lawyers

Ellen Makofsky was named one of the Top 50 Women in the New York metropolitan area of New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County for the third consecutive year.  She is the only attorney concentrating in Elder Law included in the list of Top Woman Attorneys.

 

Additionally, both Judy Raskin and Ellen Makofsky were named as Super Lawyers in the Elder Law category.

The Super Lawyers designation begins with nomination by one’s peers and factors in credentials, experience and awards.  The designation represents the top 5% of lawyers in New York State.

 

Medicaid recovery in NY: Where are we?

Several months ago we blogged about New York’s emergency regulations which expanded the definition of “estate” for Medicaid recovery purposes. These regulations, allowing recovery from interests such as jointly held assets and life estate interests, enhanced Medicaid’s ability to recover its costs from a decedent’s estate.

The emergency regulations expanding the definition of “estate” expired last fall.  New York law referring to this expanded definition of “estate” is still in place without regulations to clarify what the new definition is.

We are hearing two possible alternatives going forward. The first is that final regulations will be issued effective for Medicaid recipients dying after July 1, 2012. These would be similar to the emergency regulations that have expired with some changes. The second alternative which we think is more likely is the elimination of the law expanding the definition of “estate” and going back to the original law. This would mean that for Medicaid recovery purposes, only assets passing from the decedent pursuant to a court process (probate or administration) would be available for recovery.

We will keep you posted as we know more about New York’s attempt to expand estate recovery.

2012 Medicaid Income and Resource Allowances

Medicaid income and resource allowances for eligibility change every year. The  numbers effective January 1, 2012 are:

Nursing home resource allowances

Applicant: $14,250

Applicant’s spouse in the community: $74,820-$113,640

Nursing home income allowances

Resident: $50 (plus cost of health insurance, if any)

Spouse in the community: $2,841

Community Medicaid resource allowances

Single care recipient: $14,250

Married care recipient: $20,850 (this includes resources for both spouses)

Community Medicaid income allowances

Single care recipient: $792 (plus $20 if over age 65

Married care recipient: $1,159 (including spouse’s income)

Anyone considering a Medicaid application whose income and or resources exceed these figures should consult a knowledgeable attorney.  There are many opportunities to achieve Medicaid eligibility when these allowance are exceeded.

Congratulations to Monica!

Congratulations to Monica Ruela. She passed the Bar Exam given in July, 2011.

Monica has been working for us since she was a high school student of 16. She managed to work for us almost full time while attending Nassau Community College and then St. Johns, doing very well in her studies. After graduation she attended Touro Law School while continuing to work at our firm part time.

Monica will now be our second associate,  joining Anne Dello-Iacono who has been with us for 3 1/2 years. We have always valued Monica’s excellent work over the years. We look forward to working with Monica as an admitted attorney.

Alzheimer’s Assoc. LI Chapter to Honor Judy Raskin

I am pleased to write that I will be honored tonight at the Gala for the Alzheimer’s Association, Long Island Chapter.  I will be honored as a past chair and long time member of the Chapter’s Legal Advisory Committee along with the other members of the committee.

The chapter’s Executive Director, MaryAnn Ragona, continues to enhance the programs and services provided by the Chapter. You can get more information at the Chapter’s website: www.alzheimersli.org.

A Retained Life Estate May No Longer Avoid Medicaid Recovery

A retained life estate is itemized in new Medicaid law and regulations as a type of non-probate asset now included in the definition of “estate” for Medicaid recovery purposes. Therefore, a deceased Medicaid recipient’s interest in a retained life estate may now be available for Medicaid recovery on the death of the Medicaid recipient.

The potential recovery of this interest was not anticipated when many parents even years ago transferred their home by deed to a child or children and retained a life estate.  We expect that Medicaid’s legal right to recover from a life estate interest will be challenged in court in the near future. However, we do not know what the results of that litigation might be and as of now the retained life interest is a recoverable asset.

The owner of a retained life estate may have options available to protect the life estate interest.  This will depend upon the individual’s particular situation.

2011 SuperLawyers Both: Ellen G. Makofsky and Judith B. Raskin

I am honored to announce that I have been named one of the 2011 TOP 100 SuperLawyers and one of the 50 TOP WOMEN SuperLawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. This is the third consecutive year that I have received the SuperLawyers designation , second  time I have been named to the 50 Top Women Lawyers list but the first time I have been named to the Top 100 Lawyers.

Judy Raskin, my partner at Raskin & Makofsky, has also been named to the 2011 SuperLawyers list for the second consecutive year in the Elder Law category.  In fact, she is spotlighted in the SuperLawyers publication counseling other lawyers on how to create a client-friendly office.

The SuperLawyers list is created by peer nominations and recognition plus an analysis of the nominated lawyers background, credentials, experience, honors and awards. The final SuperLawyers selection represents the top 5 percent of lawyers in New York State.

We are very proud of the work we do at Raskin & Makofsky, and are honored to have both of our firm’s partners recognized in this way.

Budget includes expanded Medicaid Recovery

We now have the wording of the NYS Budget Bill in regard to the expanded recovery from estates of Medicaid recipients. The legislation states that in addition to assets passing under a valid will or by intestacy,

“..an individual’s estate also includes any other property in which the individual has any legal title or interest at the time of death, including jointly held property, retained life estates, and interests in trusts, to the extent of such interests;…”

The legislation takes effect April 1, 2011. There is no reference to grandfathering such  assets created prior to the effective date. There will be efforts made to modify the legislation to include grandfathering. Hopefully these efforts will be successful.

Medicaid planning will be significantly affected by this new legislation.

New NAELA Leadership Position

My colleagues recently elected me to the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) New York Chapter at the group’s January 2011  Annual Meeting.  One of the main functions of the Chapter is to advocate and lobby for legislation which will benefit older adults and the disabled and their families.

Now is an especially auspicious time to be in a leadership position within this organization because there is much work ahead for the NAELA New York Chapter.  New York State is in the midst of a budget crunch. Governor Cuomo recently created a Medicaid Redesign Team whose purpose is to find ways to save money within the Medicaid program.  In the Governor’s 2011 proposed New York State budget he slashed $2.8 billion in spending for Medicaid programs. The likely loss of Federal matching funds will roughly double these proposed cuts to the Medicaid program.  In searching for ways to implement these cuts it is possible that spousal refusal will come under attack and that penalty periods will be proposed for those applying for Medicaid at home.

 I look forward to assisting  NAELA in advocating for the protection of those individuals who rely on the Medicaid program.  I will keep you posted on what happens next.