Monday, January 26, 2015

Q: Is it legal to record conversations?

Both NY and NJ are “One Party Consent States,” meaning that as long as you have the consent of one person who is party to a communication (or if you yourself are party to the communication), it is legal for you to record (or “intercept”) said communication.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Changes in New York Estate Tax Law

New York recently passed changes to its Estate Tax laws. These changes will affect the Estates of individuals who are domiciled in New York State dying on or after April 1, 2014.

The biggest change is an increase in the Basic Exclusion Amount (BAE)—i.e., how large your Estate can be before you will owe Estate taxes.

For those dying on or after:                         The Basic Exclusion amount is:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ten Tips When Caring for a Parent or Other Loved One

It is always difficult when your parent, spouse, aunt, uncle, sibling, or other loved one becomes ill or aged. Below are ten helpful tips to help you prepare for, and even avoid, a bad situation.


It is imperative that you review and confirm that your loved one has a valid Will, Living Will, and Power of Attorney. These are especially important in light of recent privacy laws, health insurance policies, and multiple marriages.

     (a) Will: A will ensures that a person’s assets are distributed pursuant to his/her wishes. Titling of assets can affect the Will’s distribution (see #2 below).

     (b) Living Will: A Living Will ensures that a person’s wishes regarding life sustaining treatment are known and effected.

     (c) Power of Attorney: A Power of Attorney (“POA”) appoints an Agent to handle financial affairs, medical decisions, tax planning, Medicaid planning, etc. It must allow for unlimited gifting for Tax and Medicaid Planning. Under the privacy laws, doctors are not allowed to speak to anybody but the patient unless there is a valid POA.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Medicaid Eligibility for Green Card Holders (a.k.a. "Permanent Residents")

Requirements are different for certain special categories of permanent residents (“PRs”) (e.g., asylee, refugee, etc.), but assumes the person does not fall into one of those categories, and that he/she received their Green Card after August 22, 1996.

There are two types of Medicaid: Emergency Medicaid and Full-Scope Medicaid.