Posts Tagged ‘will’
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.
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 publically 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?
We often name beneficiaries on different funds including retirement accounts, insurance policies, bank accounts, brokerage accounts. It is very important to properly designate the beneficiaries on these accounts in order to assure they will ultimately go to the intended beneficiaries.
For example, bank accounts with beneficiaries are called Totten Trusts. If the account owner of a Totten Trust dies with two named beneficiaries on the account, one of whom predeceased the account owner, the result is that one half of the account will go to the surviving beneficiary and the other half will fall into the account owner’s estate. If the account had been set up with the beneficiaries names as joint with right of survivorship, then the full account on the account owner’s death would pass to the surviving beneficiary.
Beneficiary designation forms provided by insurance companies and brokerage firms must be read very carefully. The account owner may inadvertently indicate beneficiaries in a way that was never intended. These forms may have default provisions which may take over if the account owner did not sufficiently or clearly indicated how the account is to be distributed.
It is very important to give careful consideration to naming beneficiaries, and when unsure of the proper way to accomplish estate objectives, ask for guidance.
At a recent networking event I met a woman who is an attorney and licensed social worker. She currently provides mediation services for couples seeking a divorce. She is considering using the benefits of mediation in elder law matters. I think that such a service might be very valuable in matters such as contested guardianships, family issues in estate planning matters, disagreements over medicaid planning strategies, conflicts when 2 agents under a power of attorney, executors under a will or trustees of a trust must act together and cannot agree.