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Brooklyn Probate & Estate Administration Law Blog

Do you need a power of attorney as part of your estate plan?

If you have been thinking about your estate plan lately, you may be wondering the same thing that many other people ask, "do I need a power of attorney?"

Of course, you may also be wondering what can a power of attorney do, is one really needed and when would you need to name them?

Keeping your estate plan up to date

When it comes to planning for the future, there is really no such thing as being over-prepared. Creating and maintaining a comprehensive estate plan in New York is an important element of preparing for the future. Once you have established an initial plan, the work is still far from over.

Updating your estate planning documents throughout your life can help avoid a contested probate process and keep your loved ones out of a litigious battle once you are gone. Too many estates end up in a complex, time-consuming probate process simply because they contain irrelevant or out of date information.

ICE agents can't simply come in your home. Know your rights

These days, if you are not a citizen of this country, your ability to remain in this country could be in jeopardy. Even if you have a green card, you could potentially face deportation under certain circumstances.

The sad fact is that anyone who is not a U.S. citizen isn't safe at this point. This means that agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement could come knocking on your door, which can be unnerving. It may help to understand your legal rights.

Can virtual visitation help resolve your custody issues?

Like most good parents in New York, your main priority when deciding to divorce was your children. You and your spouse agreed to devise a co-parenting plan that provides as many tools as possible for your children to successfully adapt to their new lifestyle. You both agree that they should have as much time with each of you as possible. 

The problem is that you won't be living near each other, so visitation schedules will be tricky. You might be interested in learning more about a current trend that many New York parents are implementing to help reduce visitation stress and allow kids to stay in close contact with both parents. There may be legal implications to the system, however, so it's always best to seek experienced guidance before devising a particular plan.  

Trusts may keep you eligible for Medicaid later in life

Many of the baby boomers living here in New York may start to wonder about whether they will need long-term care at some point in the future. If you are one of them, then you may also wonder how to best prepare for the cost of that care.

You may know people who make just enough to get by but too much to qualify for Medicaid. You don't want to find yourself in this position should you reach a time when you need assisted living or nursing home care. Estate planning may help ensure that you have the ability to receive Medicaid and to supplement those benefits as well.

Putting your marriage under a microscope to get a green card

You fell in love with a U.S. citizen and vowed to spend the rest of your lives together. The two of you expect your bond to last forever, but you still face one obstacle to continuing your journey. You need to take the trip to your local immigration office here in New York for your marriage interview to determine whether you receive permanent resident status.

Prior to the current upheaval in immigration law, officials looked at marriages between U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens with skepticism. Now, with the increased scrutiny that every immigrant in the country seems to be under, your marriage will end up under a microscope. Strangers who don't know you or your spouse will want to know the most intimate details of your life together.

Have you seriously considered your long-term care needs?

Though you may not consider yourself old enough to think about needing a nursing home one day, the need for long-term care could affect anyone at any age. True, older individuals are more likely to need this type of attention, but really, a sudden illness or injury could cause anyone to find him or herself needing long-term care.

Because the possibility does exist, planning for future care may be in your best interests. By having a plan, you can indicate how and where you want your care to take place, and you can also begin taking steps to ensure that you can afford the necessary care, which can often prove expensive.

What to do with the house when you divorce

Many of the decisions related to a divorce involve choosing who gets what. Once you and your spouse agree on child custody arrangements, the next consideration is probably the house. Likely the largest financial investment you and your spouse made together, you may be torn about how to deal with it now that you are splitting up.

There is no universal right or wrong answer although some options may be more viable for your situation than others are. Even after considering some of the most common choices couples make when facing a divorce, you may be able to find a unique solution of your own.

Disspelling misinformation about powers of attorney

You may need a power of attorney for any number of reasons. If you are part of the aging population of the country, you may need one due to an age-related illness. Of course, you don't have to be of retirement age or beyond to suffer from a debilitating illness. In the alternative, you could suffer severe injuries in an accident regardless of your age.

If any of these events occurs, you may not be able to make decisions for yourself, even for a short time. During that time, a power of attorney would allow someone to step in and make health care or financial decisions for you until you are able to do so for yourself again. The problem is that a great deal of misinformation surrounds these critical documents. 

Could a trust help you with your Medicaid application?

Throughout your life, you may have always had access to medical care when the need arose. As a child, your parents and their insurance coverage likely covered any expenses associated with your care, and you may not have considered how costly health care could be until you faced your own medical bills as an adult. Though you may have obtained your own insurance, which helps in many instances, you could still have to contend with considerable out-of-pocket expenses.

In particular, if you find yourself needing long-term care in your retirement years, you could face substantial costs that your insurance may not cover. However, before you reach that point in your life -- and many people over the age of 65 do -- you may wish to consider planning ahead in hopes of avoiding a financial burden placed on yourself or your family.