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Brooklyn Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

The sooner you begin Medicaid planning, the better the protection

Too many people don't think about whether they will need Medicaid until they are actually in the situation where they have to apply for Medicaid's income-based medical benefits. This lack of preparation likely reflects the fact that many people don't realize that the government won't just look at their current income but also at their financial history when reviewing an application for Medicaid benefits.

In other words, if you wait to apply for Medicaid until you desperately need those benefits, you might find yourself denied the benefits you need until you have paid a substantial penalty. Understanding how Medicaid reviews your finances and how they assess that penalty can underscore how important early Medicaid planning is for those who will likely need those benefits later in life.

How your home can impact your custody rights

If you've moved out of your family home following your separation or divorce -- particularly if you've downsized considerably -- you may be concerned that your living accommodations will impact your custody rights. However, you don't have to live in a mansion with massive TVs in every room to be able to provide a good home for your children whenever they're with you.

If you and your spouse aren't able to agree on a custody arrangement and the matter is in the hands of a judge, they'll look at a number of factors unique to you and your children. Let's look at some of those.

Here are the answers to 4 common health care proxy questions

You've been thinking about updating your estate plan, and you want to add to it. You already have a will, but something your spouse has been suggesting is that you choose someone to be a health care proxy.

You're not sure that you want other people making decisions for you when you're capable of doing so yourself. You know that the medical team would listen to your spouse if she was there. Do you really need a proxy?

IRC Section 1031 Real Estate Exchanges: COVID-19 Impact

Real Estate IRC Sec. 1031 exchanges today are very common. With respect to completing a successful 1031 exchange and deferral, there are stringent timelines for forward exchanges. Here are a few relevant timed deadlines:

Michael Strahan, ex in court over child support for twins

It's been 14 years since former New York Giant Michael Strahan divorced his wife Jean Muggli Strahan. However, the relationship between the two appears to still be acrimonious.

They're fighting in Manhattan Supreme Court over Strahan's child support obligations for the couple's twin daughters. The girls, who are 15, live with their mother in North Carolina.

Overstayed? Are you here unlawfully? There's help

Immigrating to the United States is not always easy. You were brought to the United States when you were a young child, and you don't know much about how you came here. You know that you went back to your home country several times, usually around once a year, and you're now back and ready to go to school.

What you didn't realize at the time was that you're not actually a citizen, and you don't have a visa. You're not technically in the United States legally. You don't know what to do, because you can't risk being sent out and deported to a country you don't know where no relatives live. You can't risk waiting 10 years to come back to your home.

What you need to know before leaving your home to your kids

Even if you don't think you have enough money to warrant drawing up an estate plan, if you own a house in Brooklyn, you've likely got an asset that's worth a lot. If you intend to leave your home to one or more of your children, it's essential that you do it correctly. Otherwise, they could end up dealing with time-consuming and expensive legal red tape.

First, whether you have one child or several, you need to determine whether they want the home. If you have one child, it's easy enough to leave the home to them to live in, rent out or sell and take the proceeds.

Gray divorce, blended families among estate planning challenges

What do professionals consider the greatest challenges to estate planning? That was the question asked by TD Wealth at an annual estate planning conference held in January. These professionals included attorneys, accountants, trust officers, accountants, wealth management professionals and elder law specialists.

As in recent years, family conflict was named as one of the leading challenges. More specifically, lack of communication about what's in an estate plan was named by 43% of respondents as the main reason for this family conflict. Blended families came in at 29%. Interestingly, beneficiary designation was listed by only 13% as the reason for family conflicts. That was down considerably from 30% last year.

What's the charge rule in immigration law?

The immigration policies in the United States are often difficult to keep up with. One rule that's going to make a big difference for some applicants seeking admission into the United States is known as the public charge rule. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has recently published new forms for the 12 immigration processes that are affected by the public charge rule.

This rule is one that is meant to prevent people who rely on public assistance from coming into the U.S. The change applies to any applicants that are postmarked on or after Feb. 24, 2020. Because the guidelines are complex, anyone who is concerned about their admissibility based on this point should work with someone familiar with the rules.

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