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New York Elder Law Attorney

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, we recognize the complexities inherent in elder law matters and the impact they have on families. Our goal is to provide support and tailored legal guidance, ensuring that our clients' concerns are met with understanding and expertise. Whether it's navigating Medicaid complexities, shaping robust estate plans, or addressing guardianship needs, our team is dedicated to alleviating the legal burdens so our clients can focus on what matters most: their well-being and that of their loved ones. If you have concerns related to Medicaid planning, estate planning, estate administration, guardian, asset protection, or any other elder law issue, contact our New York elder law lawyers today. With over 20 years of experience, we have the knowledge to help ensure that you and our loved one’s legal rights are protected.

Medicaid Planning

Securing proper Medicaid planning is paramount in safeguarding the financial well-being of seniors and their families. Medicaid planning involves proactively structuring one's assets to meet eligibility criteria while avoiding potential pitfalls. Failing to engage in thorough Medicaid planning can have profound consequences, including significant financial burdens and limitations on available care options.

Without a carefully crafted Medicaid plan, individuals may face unexpected financial strain as they grapple with the costs of long-term care, potentially depleting a lifetime of savings. Inadequate Medicaid planning may restrict access to preferred care options, limiting the quality and range of services available for seniors in need. In addition, failing to plan for Medicaid eligibility can impact the estate, potentially leading to unintended consequences and a diminished legacy for heirs.

Estate Planning

Preserving and transferring wealth to future generations requires careful estate planning. Our New York elder law lawyers are dedicated to helping clients create comprehensive estate plans that align with their unique goals and priorities. From drafting wills and trusts to establishing powers of attorney and healthcare directives, we work closely with our clients to ensure their wishes are clearly outlined and legally protected. By taking a proactive approach to estate planning, we empower our clients to minimize tax implications, avoid probate delays, and provide for their loved ones with peace of mind.

Estate planning matters for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Preserving Family Wealth: Estate planning is instrumental in safeguarding the accumulated wealth of a family, ensuring that it is preserved and transferred efficiently to the next generation.
  • Clearly Outlined Wishes: Through detailed wills and trusts, individuals can articulate their specific wishes regarding asset distribution, guardianship, and other crucial matters, providing clarity for family members and reducing the likelihood of disputes.
  • Minimizing Tax Implications: Strategic estate planning allows for the reduction of tax implications, enabling families to retain more of their assets for intended beneficiaries.
  • Avoiding Probate Challenges: By proactively addressing probate concerns, estate planning helps streamline the transfer of assets, minimizing delays and potential legal complexities.
  • Ensuring Healthcare and Financial Decisions: Establishing powers of attorney and healthcare directives empowers individuals to appoint trusted representatives who can make critical decisions on their behalf, preserving autonomy in unforeseen circumstances.

In certain situations, the appointment of a guardian may be necessary to protect the interests of a senior or incapacitated individual. Our New York elder law lawyers have extensive experience in guardianship matters, whether you are seeking to establish a guardianship for a loved one or facing a situation where your own guardianship is being considered. We approach these cases with sensitivity, understanding the importance of preserving an individual's dignity while ensuring their well-being and financial affairs are appropriately managed.

Reasons that a senior might need a guardian include:

  • Cognitive Decline: Seniors facing cognitive decline, such as dementia or Alzheimer's, may require a guardian to make decisions in their best interests when they are no longer able to do so independently.
  • Physical Incapacity: If a senior experiences a decline in physical health, rendering them unable to manage their affairs or make informed decisions, guardianship may be necessary.
  • Financial Vulnerability: Seniors who are susceptible to financial exploitation or are no longer capable of handling their financial matters may benefit from the protection and oversight of a guardian.
  • Family Disputes: In situations where there are family disagreements or conflicts regarding the senior's care, guardianship can provide a legal framework for decision-making.
  • Neglect or Abuse: Guardianship may be warranted if there are concerns about the senior's well-being, including neglect or abuse, and a legal representative is needed to intervene on their behalf.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, we are committed to providing the necessary legal support to families during challenging times. Contact us today to discuss your specific circumstances and allow us to assist you in navigating the intricacies of guardianship with care and expertise.

Asset Protection

Safeguarding your wealth is an essential element of future planning, and our dedicated elder law attorneys in New York excel in crafting effective asset protection strategies. Our focus is on creating tailored plans that shield your hard-earned assets from potential risks and creditors. Whether your concerns revolve around the financial implications of long-term care, potential legal liabilities, or other financial challenges, our team collaborates closely with you to develop personalized asset protection plans.

We understand that each individual's circumstances and goals are unique, which is why we take a meticulous approach to ensure that your assets are safeguarded according to your specific needs. With our expertise in asset protection, you can face the future with confidence, knowing that your financial well-being is in capable hands. Let us help you navigate the complexities of asset protection and secure a robust financial foundation for the years ahead.

Notable New York Cases Related to Elder Law

Matter of M.L., 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 52160, 901 N.Y.S.2d 907 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2009). The legal issue before the court revolved around the court-appointed guardian's request for authorization to engage in Medicaid planning, specifically the proposal to gift a portion of the incapacitated person's (IP) assets to her niece, V.S. The court had to determine whether this gifting plan, aligned with the IP's testamentary intentions and aimed at reducing assets to achieve Medicaid eligibility, was legally permissible and in the best interests of the incapacitated person. Additionally, the court needed to assess the alternative proposed by the guardian's attorney, Gina Danetti, which involved placing the assets in an Irrevocable Asset Protection Trust, and decide which strategy was more appropriate and compliant with relevant laws. The court granted the guardian’s initial application to conduct Medicaid planning, specifically approving the gifting plan. The guardian was authorized to gift a portion of the incapacitated person.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates we understand the unique legal challenges that seniors and their families face. Our elder law attorneys serving New York are committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate legal services to help you navigate the complexities of elder law with confidence. Whether you require assistance with Medicaid planning, estate planning, estate administration, guardianship, or asset protection, our team is here to guide you through every step of the process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us be your trusted partner in securing a brighter future for you and your loved ones. Contact our office at 800-696-9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Bronx, Long Island, and Westchester County.

New York Probate and State Administration Blog - New York Probate & Estate Administration
Client Reviews
Mr. Bilkis handled both my father and mother's estate issues through very difficult times he was compassionate kind and understanding. In fact the whole firm showed great empathy. Despite the emotional hard time we were having that quickly and efficiently handle all the matters that were necessary to get us the result we desired. Can't recommend them enough. B.B.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin