Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC is a Estate Planning, Elder Law, and Medicaid law firm with a long track record of helping clients use important and versatile legal tools to plan for a more secure future for themselves and for the people they care about most. Our office is conveniently located on 415 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205 and serves the Capital District and surrounding areas.
Planning ahead is vital so you can have a secure retirement, build assets, and protect your growing nest egg. By taking control over your financial future, you can set yourself up for financial security and can change the legacy of generations of family members. You also need to prepare for what might happen if things go wrong by planning for incapacity, addressing end of life issues, and making an estate plan to determine what your legacy will be.
Our firm can help with all of this and more. Our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team will work closely with you to understand what your goals are and to use tools like a last will and testament, trusts, powers of attorney, and more. Whatever your situation and whatever phase of life you are in, if you live in the Albany area, you should reach out to our firm for help.
Life in Albany, NY
The city of Albany is the capital of the state of New York. Albany is considered to be the economic, cultural core and heart of the Capital District within the state of New York, which includes Albany, Schenectady, and Troy. The city of Albany is located on the west bank of the Hudson River just 150 miles to the north of New York City, and it had a population of almost 100,000 people as of the most recent census. The Capital District which Albany is set within had a population of 1.1 million, making it the third most populate metropolitan region in New York and the 38th most populated metro region in the country. Albany is home to Fortune 500 companies, as well as to several colleges and universities.
Medicaid in Albany, NY
As you grow older, it also becomes important to consider what would happen if you need nursing home care. Nursing home care isn’t typically paid for by Medicare except in limited situations where skilled nursing care is needed. This means you may need to either pay privately for your care — which is very expensive – or you may need to make a plan to qualify for means-tested Medicaid.
To find out more about how Medicaid works and how to qualify for it in New York, you can use these important resources:
- The website of the New York State Department of Health: This website has detailed links providing information on all different aspects of the Medicaid program. This includes important phone numbers to call, qualifying requirements for getting benefits, and details on the different kinds of Medicaid services available.
- The Medicare website explaining skilled nursing care: This website will provide you with details about the circumstances under which Medicare might provide coverage for your care. If and when Medicare considers the care you require custodial care instead of skilled nursing care, you will receive no coverage at all.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC helps you to make a plan to protect assets so you can qualify for Medicaid’s nursing home coverage without having to impoverish yourself first.
Seniors in Albany, NY
As of the most recent census, 13.4 percent of the population in Albany was 65 years of age or older. There were also 11.5 percent of households in the city of Albany that were comprised of someone 65 or older living alone.
Seniors may need extra support and assistance to maintain their independence and maintain their quality of life, especially if they live independently. Fortunately, there are lots of different services that Albany seniors can take advantage of. For example, seniors can find social activities, benefits programs, and other supports and services through:
- The Department for Aging in Albany County: The Department for Aging in Albany County indicates that its mission is to help seniors 60 and older to “maintain an independent and self-directed lifestyle by providing the highest quality of supportive services to seniors, their families and caregivers.” The Department for Aging provides help obtaining benefits such as heating bill subsidies and nutritious meals. There are also social and educational events for seniors offered through the Department of Aging.
- The New York State Office for the Aging: This website provides details on local offices where seniors can find support, as well as news from the Office for Aging, publications of interest to seniors, and details about benefits and programs. Programs and services offered include healthy living benefits, preventions and screenings, and details about employment and volunteering.
If you come to a point in your life where you require more help than can be provided through community-based benefits and programs, you can also reach out to Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC for help finding out about gaining access to Medicaid benefits. Medicaid can pay for nursing home care and for long term care provided at home by a home care service – provided you are eligible for Medicaid.
Probate Courts in Albany, NY
As you get older, you also need to think about how estate assets are transferred if something happens to you. In most cases, assets are transferred through the public probate process, which means going to court. If you don’t want your loved ones to have to cope with probate proceedings, you can make advanced plans to pass assets outside of probate using other means such as trusts. Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can help.
If a death occurs in Albany, the Albany County Surrogate’s Court is the court where probate proceedings will take place.
These resources can help you to learn what to expect in probate court and how the probate process works in Albany:
- The general website of the Albany Surrogate’s Court. This website provides details on the court location and court hours. The Surrogate’s Court for Albany County can be found at the Albany County Courthouse. The address for the County Courthouse is 16 Eagle Street, Room 123 in Albany, NY 12207. The court can also be reached via telephone at 518-285-8237. Opening hours for the court are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 PM, but the court is closed on all state holidays.
- The Form’s section of the Albany Surrogate’s Court: Here you will find links to DIY Surrogate Court forms, as well as links to other forms that you may require to go to court within the third judicial district.
While forms are available online that you can fill out yourself, taking care of all of the paperwork associated with the probate process can be challenging – and you cannot afford mistakes when there is so much money and property at stake. You should make sure you are represented by an Albany probate lawyer so you do not have any problems ensuring that assets are quickly and effectively passed on to new owners.
General Probate Resources in New York
In addition to probate resources specific to Albany, you can also take advantage of some general probate resources that apply throughout the entirety of the state of New York. Examples include:
- The New York Court’s probate website: This site explains exactly how probate works and provides a step-by-step guide for what you can expect during the process. You will learn what an executor is, how and when property passes through heirs, and much more about the logistics of probate.
- The New York Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act: This is a part of New York law that details exactly what happens during the probate process. You can learn about the jurisdiction and powers of the surrogate’s court, how trials and hearings take place, how court appearances work, and what the process is for proceedings and pleadings.
Attorneys at Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC know the probate laws inside-and-out and we take care of the technical legal details and processes for you so you do not have to try to navigate the legal system on your own.
Getting Help from Albany, NY Estate Planning, Elder Law and Medicaid Attorneys
Whether you need help avoiding probate, navigating probate proceedings after death, or addressing the issues that affect your life as you age, you can reach out to Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC to find a knowledgeable advocate ready to work on your behalf. It is not just older people we help either — our firm is here for all Albany residents who are ready to make use of the tools available to them to protect themselves and their loved ones.