Latest Articles

Commercial trucks are a staple for our economy, carrying essential goods across the country. Unfortunately, these trucks are not without their risks. Typically, these vehicles can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds and often lead to devastating and catastrophic injuries if they are involved in an accident. As a result, both the state and federal governments have created hours of service (HOS) regulations to prevent some of these horrific crashes by ensuring that truck drivers drive safely on the road by staying awake and alert. Continue reading →

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that limits the personal liability of the owners. When clients own rental property in their individual name, or are considering purchasing rental property, we advise them to create an LLC to own the property instead. An LLC does exactly what its name suggests, it limits the client’s liability to the asset owned by the LLC. An LLC acts to separate the assets owned by the LLC from the client’s other assets. Continue reading →

25 June, 2021

Trusts Law Articles

A marital trust is a type of irrevocable trust that allows one spouse to transfer assets to a surviving spouse tax free, using the unlimited marital deduction, while providing benefits not available if transferred outright. When drafting Wills for married couples, we usually include a Marital Trust to provide estate tax planning, spousal care, and Medicaid protection. Continue reading →

If you were married, the tax code allows for portability, or the ability to share exemptions with your spouse. With a timely filed estate tax return after the death of the first spouse, you can effectively utilize your deceased spouse’s unused exemption amount. However, if you are single with no plans for marrying in the near future, the planning strategies require a bit more creativity. Continue reading →

14 June, 2021

Elder Law Articles

A Medicaid lien on a home must eventually be satisfied. Typically, a Medicaid lien is placed on real property when an individual is receiving benefits through the Medicaid program during his or her lifetime and still owns a primary residence. Even when the home is exempt, it can become subject to a lien when the Medicaid recipient passes away. Continue reading →

3 June, 2021

Elder Law Articles

To financially qualify for Chronic Medicaid, an individual must show they have countable resources of less than $15,900 (2021 figure that changes annually). When applying for Chronic Medicaid, the applicant and spouse must show that they did not gift or transfer assets within the 5 years prior to needing Medicaid to cover the cost of the facility. Any such transfers result in a “penalty period.” If you or a loved one find yourself in a position where you have resources in excess of that amount, planning will be necessary in order to protect any of your assets. There are certain assets that are not considered a resource for the purposes of eligibility. Additionally, certain transfers are exempt and do not result in the imposition of the penalty. But, for those that have assets that do not fall within these exempt categories, promissory note planning can come into play. Continue reading →

The closing is the final step in a real estate sale where the buyer obtains title to the property. The time between an offer’s acceptance and the closing date—evidenced by a deed from the seller or stock certificate for a cooperative apartment –is filled with activity. Continue reading →

28 May, 2021

Probate Law Articles

A family tree affidavit is an affidavit executed by a disinterested person to prove who a decedent’s distributees are. To be considered disinterested, the person must have no financial interest in the decedent’s estate. A distributee is a legal heir that would inherit from an estate, by law, if the decedent did not have a will. The family tree affidavit must include how and how long the disinterested person knows the decedent and is familiar with his or her family, the person’s relationship to the decedent, who the decedent’s distributees are, and a statement that there are no other persons of the same or nearer degree of relationship who survived decedent. This affidavit is sworn to under penalty of perjury. Continue reading →

There is no such thing as a honeymooner’s will, but maybe there should be. Once the honeymoon is over, the dress put away, and every conceivable photograph posted to social media, it is time to start considering the legal implications of getting married. There may be a name change, joint bank accounts, IRA beneficiary change forms. Most newly married couples fail to check estate planning off their lists because they consider themselves too young to worry about such things The uncertainty of the pandemic has caused almost everyone in the world – no matter what age—to consider their own mortality. A recently married couple needs to ensure that their newly entwined life includes each other in a legal sense, as well as in a practical sense, in that they need to know each other’s preferences under worst case scenarios. Most couples do not need more than a basic estate plan, consisting of Advance Directives and a Last Will and Testament. Continue reading →

Not unlike our homes and yards, our estate plans may be in need of a spring cleanup too! If it has been a few years since you have visited with your estate planning attorney, now is the perfect time to review your plan to ensure that your documents are up to date. Continue reading →

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