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Am I Responsible for My Spouse’s Medical Debt?

One of the most common questions our Brooklyn elder law litigation lawyers are asked is whether a surviving spouse is responsible for their deceased spouse’s medical debt. Generally, the answer is no. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule, many of which vary according to state law.

Exceptions to the General Rule

In general, people are not required to pay other’s debts.  » Read More

What is a Special Needs Trust?

Establishing a special needs trust can provide security for a loved one with a disability. If the loved one is receiving benefits from a government program, these trusts can supplement them while allowing beneficiaries to receive trust assets.

Choosing a responsible trustee is important for special needs trusts, since this person will have authority to use the funds as they see fit.  » Read More

Letter of Instructions

“Put it in writing” is a familiar term that carries a lot of weight. Why? Because when specific instructions and details are written down, it is concrete evidence that is less likely to be questioned. A well-written letter of instructions can be an invaluable tool in estate planning, as it can ensure that the person’s final wishes are carried out.  » Read More

How Estate Planning Protects Families

Fans of television star Luke Perry were saddened to hear of his passing last March. Although his death from a stroke at age 52 was traumatic for his family, he had the foresight to plan for his final wishes. Perry had a sizable estate, which Forbes reported to be at around $10 million, an ex-wife, a fiancé, and two children.  » Read More

Elder Wandering and Elopement Liability

For nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and similar conditions, the risk of wandering and elopement are ever-present. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that around 60 percent of people with dementia will wander at some point. Individuals may wander out of their own space into other residents’ rooms or leave the property altogether.

Elopement puts seniors in danger of getting lost,  » Read More

What is the Medicaid Eligibility in New York?

Medicaid is the government program that assists low income patients with their medical expenses and provides them with healthcare that would otherwise be unaffordable. Services such as doctor visits, hospital stays, prescriptions, supplies, home health care, nursing home care, and more are covered for beneficiaries of the program. In New York, patients must meet certain criteria set by the New York State Department of Health to be eligible for Medicaid.  » Read More