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5 Things to Know About Guardianship Cases Involving Older Adults

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

Realizing that your elderly parent or other elderly relative is struggling to make important decisions as a result of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it could be time to find out about adult guardianships.  An adult guardianship can allow you to protect your elderly loved one’s interests when that person is incapacitated…. Read More »

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EstPlan11

Estate Planning Updates After a Divorce

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

If you are planning for a divorce or have recently gotten divorced, you need to reevaluate your estate plan.  Even if you have been divorced for a year or two and have not spoken with an estate planning lawyer about updating your Will or changing beneficiaries, it is not too late.  In fact, now… Read More »

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ElderPlan

Can a Creditor Reach My Joint Checking Account After I Die?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

In a New York probate proceeding, the creditors of a deceased person (the decedent) have priority over any heirs. That is to say, any debts owed by the decedent must be paid before the heirs receive anything under the will. But what about non-probate property, i.e., assets that do not pass under the decedent’s… Read More »

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Newlywed

How Can Getting Remarried Affect Your Estate Planning?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

Getting remarried can raise a number of estate planning issues, particularly if you have children from the prior marriage. Some people think they may not need to alter their estate plan at all–assuming they had one to begin with. Indeed, one common argument we hear is that “my new spouse will take care of… Read More »

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WillDocument

Why Does a Will Need to Be Witnessed?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

New York law requires a valid will to be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses. The witnesses must also sign the will, although they do not need to read it first or know its specific contents. The testator–the person making the will–must, however, declare the document they are all signing is… Read More »

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Couple

What are the Benefits–and Potential Risks–of a Joint Tenancy Bank Account?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

There are a number of estate planning tools that can help reduce the size of your future probate estate. One such tool is a joint tenancy. This basically refers to property that is co-owned by two individuals with the understanding that the survivor inherits full ownership outright. For example, let’s say you set up… Read More »

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Guardianship

When Is It Appropriate to End a Guardianship for an Adult with Developmental Disabilities?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

In New York, a guardianship may be established for a developmentally disabled person who reaches adulthood. A parent commonly seeks appointment as guardian, which allows them to continue managing the person and property of their child into adulthood. At the same time, however, the child does retain certain basic legal rights, including the ability… Read More »

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CouplePlanning

The Role of a Guardian ad Litem in the Probate of New York Estates

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

When a probate matter is pending before a New York Surrogate’s Court, all “interested parties” have a right to be notified and to appear in the case. An interested party is basically anyone who stands to benefit from the decision to admit, or not admit, the Will. This commonly includes the children of the… Read More »

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ElderLaw

How Far Can New York Officials Go in Forcing Me to Repay Medicaid Benefits?

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

Many elderly New Yorkers depend on state Medicaid benefits to pay for their health care. But Medicaid always comes with strings attached. One of them is that if agency officials later decide they overpaid your benefits, they can take any necessary legal action to force you to repay Medicaid. Of course, you still have… Read More »

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EstPlanning

Dealing with Paternity Claims During the Probate of a New York Estate

By Meyer & Spencer, P.C. |

Contrary to what you might think from watching movies and television, it is actually quite uncommon for anyone to contest a Will. For one thing, not just anyone can challenge the validity of a Will. Under New York law, only those persons “whose interest in property or in the estate of the testator would… Read More »

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