Archive for the ‘Elder Law Attorneys’ Category

Delegation to Cuba

On December 14, 2012, Ellen Makofsky and Judy Raskin returned from a fascinating trip as members of a delegation to Cuba on behalf of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. to analyze the long term care system in that country. We met with Cuban officials and attorneys regarding how Cuba delivers and finances services to its elderly and disabled population. Particularly interesting was the cultural perspective and how that affects the way care is provided. We will be writing about our trip and what we learned in the near future.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

Super Lawyer 2010

I have just returned from a New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section Meeting where I addressed Section Members on the newest developments regarding surrogate health care decision-making. This happened to roughly coincide with the publication of the Top 50 Women SuperLawyers List, and many of my colleagues at the meeting congratulated me for making the list.  I feel honored, though I have to say it is an unusual feeling to be publicly acknowledged in this way.  Our firm works hard to help people with their problems, so it’s a funny thing  when word gets around!

It has been a great year for our firm, Raskin & Makofsky, because  both my partner Judy Raskin and I were named to the SuperLawyers List in the Elder Law category. We are very proud to have both firm partners named and to be two of the twenty nine listed Elder Law attorneys in the New York Metropolitan area. The SuperLawyers List, which begins with nomination by one’s peers and factors in credentials, experience, and awards, represents the top five percent of lawyers in New York State. That must also mean that our clients are in the top five percent as well, doesn’t it?

NY SUPERLAWYER

I am honored to have been selected as a 2010 New York Superlawyer in the area of elder law.  There are only 28 other elder law attorneys designated as New York Superlawyers this year.  Ellen Makofsky has also been named as a New York Superlawyer. It is satisfying to know that our time and effort and commitment to our work and our clients is recognized.

Veteran’s Administration Aid and Attendance Pension a Boon to Eligible Veterans

The Veterans Administration Aid provides a monthly benefit to eligible veterans and their spouses. The veteran must have served on active duty during a period of wartime, must meet the allowable resource and income levels, and be 65 or older or permanently disabled.

The program is particularly beneficial to veterans and spouses paying home health aides or residing in assisted living facilities. Applicants with higher income often qualify because medical costs such as these are subtracted from the applicant’s actual income in determining eligibility.

We are authorized by the Veteran’s Administration to assist veterans and their spouses in filing applications for the Aid and Attendance Pension.

Great Meeting!

I’ve just returned from the NYSBA Elder Law Section Summer Meeting in Philadelphia which I co-chaired. I am very pleased that the many months of work in putting this meeting together were well worth it. Judging from the very positive comments of the attendees, the meeting was quite a success. The 141 attorneys in attendance heard great speakers on topics including irrevocable trusts, annuities and promissory notes, Medicaid issues, power of attorney issues, special needs trust cases, and waivered services. Ideas and information were freely exchanged, particularly in the interactive sessions. Our evening event and dinner at the Constitution Center was a highlight for all including the 33 children of all ages who accompanied their parents.

Family Health Care Decisions Act

Legislation was recently enacted to expand the possibilities for surrogate health care decision-making in New York State. The Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA) allows family members or other persons close to a patient (health care surrogates) to make medical decisions for a loved one even if that person has not signed a Health Care Proxy.  While the Health Care Proxy has been available since 1991, allowing for appointment of a health care agent to make medical decisions for us, many residents have failed to execute Health Care Proxies. The FHCDA is helpful because it provides for the appointment of an agent to make medical decisions in the event someone is unable to make these decisions and has not executed a Health Care Proxy.