We have an office on 415 New Karner Road in Albany, so we can be easily reached by people that live in Troy, New York. This beautiful city is a fantastic place to live, work, and play, and it is well known as the home of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The institutions was originally founded back in 1824, and this makes it the longest standing engineering school in the entire country.
Troy is a historic city with a great deal of stately Victorian architecture. Notable structures include the Hart-Cluett Mansion, The Emma Willard School for Girls, the McCarthy Building, and Russell Sage College, just to name a few. Many famous people have called the city home at one time or another, including Moby Dick author Herman Melville.
People in Troy enjoy a very high quality of life, and we enjoy the time that we spend with locals. Our doors are always open, and we provide comprehensive assistance to our neighbors that want to be fully prepared for the future as they craft meaningful legacies.
Elder Law Services in Troy, New York
Speaking of legacies, it is important to take the right steps to preserve the inheritances that you would like to leave to your loved ones. There is a looming threat in the form of long-term care costs. The majority of senior citizens will need living assistance eventually, and Medicare does not pay for a stay in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
In our area, the average cost for a year a nursing home is well in excess of $100,000. Long-term care communities are also very expensive. If you are married, living assistance expenses would be doubled, and a significant amount of money could wind up in the coffers of a long-term care facility.
Fortunately, there is a widely embraced solution in the form of Medicaid. This government health insurance program will pay for living assistance if you can qualify. There are low asset and income limits, but it is possible to establish a trust or give gifts to your loved ones to stay within them.
However, this takes careful advance planning, because there is a 60 month look-back period. You have to complete your gift giving at least five years before you submit your application. If you were to violate this rule, you would be penalized, and your eligibility would be delayed. To explain by way of example, if you gave away enough to pay for two years of nursing home care, your eligibility would be delayed by two years.
We assist people that want to position their assets wisely with future Medicaid eligibility in mind. If you take the right steps in advance, you can be fully prepared if you ever need to enter a nursing home. This is one elder law issue that should certainly be addressed, but there are others, including elder financial abuse.
If you reside in Troy, you would need to work with the Rensselaer County Department of Social Services. (http://www.rensco.com/departments/social-services/).
Rensselaer County for Aging (http://www.rensco.com/departments/department-of-aging/)
The Rensselaer County Unified Family Services Department for the Aging has been in existence since 1973 (its predecessor, a model project, began in 1969) and serves the 26,521 residents of the County who are sixty (60) years of age and older. The primary goal of the Department is to provide a network of supportive and preventative services, which enable the County’s elderly to maintain themselves productively and independently within the community
The Department is funded by the Federal Older American’s Act, the New York State Community Services for the Elderly and Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program, and the County of Rensselaer. The Older American’s Act divides the areas of service delivery as follows:
- Services (A-6772) – including access, legal and home care;
- Nutrition (A-6773) – including congregate and home delivered meals;
- Community Services for the Elderly and Caregiver Support (A-6775) – assistance to allow seniors to remain at home and support services for caregivers; and
- Expanded In-Home Services for the Elderly Program (A-6777) – provides Homemaking/Personal Care, Housekeeping/Chore and Lifeline services.
The Department works in partnership with R.O.U.S.E. Inc. (Rensselaer Organization United for Senior Endeavors) and ROUSE, RPC (Rural Preservation Corp.) to target its resources to meet the needs of the elderly; working closely as advocates for the elderly and as their liaison with local governments.
Troy, New York Estate Planning Attorneys
There is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all estate plan that is right for everyone. You have options with regard to asset transfer vehicles, and you should explore them thoroughly so that you can make the right decisions. Many people think that a last will is the only logical choice if you are not extraordinarily wealthy, but this is not the case at all.
There are irrevocable trusts that are used by high net worth individuals that are exposed to estate taxes, and there are trusts that can satisfy different complex goals. However, another type of trust called a revocable living trust can be the ideal estate planning tool for a wide range of people.
As the name would indicate, you do not permanently surrender control of the assets that you convey into the trust, because you have the right of revocation. Plus, you can act as the trustee and the beneficiary while you are alive.
In the trust declaration, you name your heirs as successor beneficiaries, and you name a successor trustee. This can be a person that you know, but you can alternately choose to utilize a professional fiduciary like a trust company or the trust department of a bank.
After your passing, the trustee would follow your instructions and distribute the assets in the trust to the beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes. These distributions would take place outside of the costly and time-consuming process of probate.
If you use a will instead of a living trust, it would be admitted to probate, and the Surrogate’s Court would supervise the administration of the estate. Probate avoidance is one advantage that you gain when you utilize a living trust, but there are a number of others.
Probate Courts in Troy, 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 Troy, the Rensselaer 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 Rensselaer County:
- The general website of the Renssealer County Surrogate’s Court (https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/3jd/rensselaer/3JD-Rensselaer%20Surrogate%20Court.shtml). This website provides details on the court location and court hours. The Surrogate’s Court for Rensselaer County can be found at the Rensselaer County Courthouse. The address for the County Courthouse is 80 2nd St, Troy, NY 12180. The court can also be reached via telephone at 518-285-6100. 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(https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/3jd/Forms/3JD-Forms.shtml) of the Rensselaer 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.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
We are here to help if you would like to discuss these matters with a licensed Troy, New York estate planning and elder law attorney. You can schedule a consultation right now if you give us a call at 518-389-6020. There is also a contact form on this website that you can use to send us a message.