How to Avoid Conflict Between Your Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy

When assigning people to be your power of attorney agent or health care proxy, you are bound to choose the people who you deem to be the most fit for the role. A health care proxy is someone who you assign in advance to carry out your medical decisions when you are deemed unable to. A power of attorney agent is someone who is also assigned to make financial decisions for you in the situation that you’re unable to. In some cases, they can be the same person for both positions but in other cases, they can be different people. Although a power of attorney agent has different responsibilities from those of a health care proxy, it is not uncommon for the two to occasionally have some overlapping decisions. When this happens, the possibility that there will be conflicts between the two is not surprising. So what are some ways to prevent these conflicts?

Avoid Conflict Between POA and HCP

1.) Choosing One Person For Both Roles.

  • This is the simplest and most popular choice when deciding on who will be responsible for both roles. It allows for just one person to make your decisions for you (both medical and financial) in your best interest without having to go through the trouble of talking- and possibly arguing with another person. 

2.) Pick Two People Who Can Get Along With Each Other. 

  • Sometimes, it’s not reasonable to choose just one person for both roles. Not everybody is good at everything. For example, you may have an ideal person in mind for being your health care proxy but that same individual may not be a good choice to represent your finances. In this case, you would have to get another person to be your power of attorney agent. Although “getting along” may seem self-explanatory, people tend to choose others who are simply suited for the role while overlooking clashing personalities. This can lead to arguments down the line so it is best to ensure that the two representatives can get along and sort out issues in a calm manner. 

3.) Assign a Third Person With The Power To Settle Disputes.

  • If necessary, adding a third person to be a mediator of the two can decrease the number of conflicts that may arise. Additionally, this person’s name should also be included in the documents indicating what their role is. It is best to discuss with all parties involved about your wishes and what you would want to happen in the case you become incapacitated. 

It is never ideal to have people bicker over what you might have wanted. Hopefully, with these tips, disagreements will not occur between your health care proxy and power of attorney agent. If you or a loved on is having trouble figuring out estate planning, please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2395.

How to Prepare for a Meeting With an Estate Planning Attorney

Estate planning can often be an overwhelming process. Aside from having to get your affairs in order, you are also forced to think about things you may have never thought of before. For example, what would you want to happen at the event of your death?  What should be done with your home? Who would you like to give your assets to? Thus, there is a lot to consider and it can get very stressful. This is where an estate planning attorney comes in to guide you.

How to Prepare for a Meeting With an Estate Planning Attorney

What is estate planning? 

Estate planning is the process by which an individual arranges their assets and designates who will receive them at the event of their death or incapacitation. Its purpose is to ensure your wishes and goals are fulfilled in the best way. 

When the time comes to meet with your estate planning attorney, there are a few things you can do to be prepared and make the process smoother:

  • Inventory

One of the first things you should do is review your assets, this can be both tangible and intangible.

Tangible assets may include: 

  • Homes, land, real estate 
  • Vehicles like cars, boats, motorcycles 
  • Collectibles, antiques or other personal valuable possessions  

Intangible assets may include: 

  • Checking and savings account
  • Stocks, bonds, mutual funds
  • Retirement plans like 401K, 403B, IRA’s, etc.
  • Ownership in a business 
  • Life insurance policies

  • Documentation 

Once you have finished inventory of your assets, your next step should be preparing to provide documentation of financial statements, this may include but not limited to: 

  • Bank and investment account statements 
  • Business agreements 
  • Grant deeds to real estate 
  • Life insurance information 
  • Mortgages 
  • Trademark, patent and copyright registration certificates 
  • Divorce agreements 

  • Account for Family

One of the most important steps is to discuss your wishes with your family and consider what you want to leave for them in the event that you are no longer with them. Although it may be difficult, it's important to be clear and open about your decisions, as other family members may have different views than you. Some things you may want to consider:

  • Assigning a guardian for your children if need be
  • Having enough life insurance 
  • Documenting your wishes for your family's care
  • Taking consideration for special care needs of family members with disabilities 
  • Deciding what specific assets you want to leave for each member 
  • It is also important to have information on all family members (names ,ages, contact information, etc.)

  • Establishing Roles

During estate planning, there are different important roles that come into play that you should think about. This includes deciding who you assign to be an:

  • Executor- someone who carries out directions in a will that deals with financial affairs and assets.
  • Beneficiaries- anyone you name in your estate plan to receive benefits.  
  • Trustee- someone who takes legal ownership of your assets held in a trust and is responsible for managing them.  
  • Successor trustee- someone who takes role of a trustee in the event the original trustee dies or becomes incapacitated.  
  • Guardian- if a minor is involved, a Guardian needs to be appointed in the event both parents die before the minor becomes an adult  
  • Agent (health care)- someone you give the power to make medical decisions for you if you are unable or incapacited. (a health care agent cannot override any preferences you have set in a living will) 
  • Durable power of attorney- a person or people you authorize to make decisions on your behalf when you are not physically or mentally capable. 

  • Be Prepared With Questions

Estate planning can be a tricky process, therefore you should never hesitate to ask an attorney any questions you may have. After all, they are there to help you and make this process as simple as possible !

For assistance on your estate planning needs, contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718)-333-2395 for highly qualified advice.

How to Change a Living Trust?

With life’s ups and downs, it is natural for people to go through many changes throughout their lives. Some of these major changes in your life may make you want to change your living trust. To start, a living trust should not be mistaken for a will. The major difference between the two is that wills go into effect after death while living trusts are effective once they are signed and funded. Most people have revocable living trusts which allows for flexibility and change. However, if you have an irrevocable trust, it would be extremely difficult to make changes as they were made to be permanent and unmalleable.

How to Change a Living Trust

As mentioned previously, there are many reasons that may lead you to make amends to your living trust. Some reasons may be:

  • Adding or changing beneficiaries
  • Getting married
  • Change in distribution of assets
  • Major beneficiary dies 
  • Moving to another state 

In addition, if the living trust is a shared trust, both parties are required to consent in writing for changes. Only one party is needed if it is decided to revoke the living will. Furthermore, if one spouse dies, the surviving spouse can only make amends to their own property and not the deceased spouse’s property. 

The simplest way to make changes to your living trust is to fill out a trust amendment form. This form lets you keep the original trust active while making changes to it. In the situation that you have made changes in the past, you must indicate that these changes override any previous amendments or if you want to keep them in effect. When making these changes, be sure to refer back to your original trust and refer to the changes by which paragraph you are intending to change. This way, it will not cause any confusion and ensure the clarity of your new changes. 

If you plan on making major revisions to your living will but you do not want to revoke your trust, a trust restatement is also possible. This redos your entire trust and allows it to be in effect with the new trust restatement document. 

In severe cases, it can be more plausible for you to revoke your trust instead of making amendments to it. The reason for this is because if the changes are severe, adding amendments to an already established living trust may cause confusion. Oftentimes, people do not revoke their trusts since it means that all their assets from the trust will have to be transferred back into a new trust. Although it is not recommended and can be more expensive and troublesome to revoke a living trust, it is worth it considering that you would want your assets to fall into the right hands. 

Changes in life are bound to happen and it is common that living trusts change with those life turning points. It is important that your assets go where you want them to. If you or a loved one needs assistance on creating trusts or any estate planning, please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2395.

What Documents Are Required for a Medicaid Application?

When applying for Medicaid, you must prove that you are within the income and assets threshold to be eligible for long-care services. Prior to applying, you must fully understand what is expected of you in proving your eligibility to submit a medicaid application.

Documents Required for Medicaid Application

Medicaid is a state-run program, so the criteria vary based on your location. It is required to prove that you are eligible for the benefits, placing the burden of proof on you rather than the state. It is your responsibility to provide standard identification of your birth certificate and proof of citizenship. However, when you apply for benefits there is far more to consider:

    • Proof of Income
      • Copy of any pay stubs, Social Security statements, and/or pension checks. Income tax returns for the past five years. Verification of any other sources of income.
    • Bank Records
      •  Copies of bank statements for the past five years. 
    • Property
      • Copy of the deed to any property you owned in the past five years and a copy of the most recent property tax bill. 
    • Retirement Accounts
      • Statements for the past five years of your retirement savings.
    • Insurance
      • Copies of all types of insurance you have.
  • Car Registration
      • Information for any cars you own.
    • Burial Arrangements
      • Copies of pre-paid funeral contracts and/or deeds to burial plots.
  • Transferred Assets
    • There are non-countable assets such as personal possessions, one vehicle, prepaid funeral plans, and principal residence. However, be prepared if the state requests information about these.

The state will verify the information. Intentionally providing falsified information is a serious legal offense. 

When you start to receive benefits, you are not done, as to maintain your Medicaid you must continue to adhere to the eligibility requirements. Verification will be needed, making the Medicaid application process long and complicated. To be as prepared as possible, you will need the help of an estate attorney.

To compile the documents required for a Medicaid application, contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2395.

Medicaid Lookback Period For Long-Term Home Care In NY

Medicaid is the main source of long-term care coverage for many people. There are many factors to consider when applying for Medicaid, and this is widely due to the eligibility requirements that Medicaid has. One of the main components of qualifying for Medicaid is that they look at applicants' previous financial information for a limited period of time. This is commonly called the Medicaid Look-Back Period. In general, while determining Medicaid eligibility, any gifting of assets within the look-back period will deem the person ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time. 

Medicaid-lookback-period-update-in-NY

All states, with the exception of California, have a five-year lookback period on applications seeking Medicaid for nursing home care. However, New York State recently adopted a law imposing a lookback period for long-term home care as well. Therefore, people need to take careful consideration before deciding if they need Medicaid for nursing home care and/or long-term home care in NY. Although the lookback period for long-term home care isn’t as long as five years, it can still negatively impact people who need Medicaid benefits sooner rather than later.

For long-term home care, the Medicaid lookback period is at least 15 months. Medicaid will examine asset transfers dating back at least 15 months before your application. This new NY Medicaid transfer rule will begin on October 1, 2022. After the date, anyone applying for Medicaid long-term home care benefits will be subject to the lookback period and might have to provide records up to 2.5 years before the date of application.

Here Are Some of The New Transfer Rules:

  • Applicants and their spouse filing after October 1, 2022, must provide all financial records within the lookback time frame (at least the last 15 months) even if the spouse does not currently need Medicaid services.
  • The lookback period will, at some point, increase to 30 months (2.5 years). The increase will be gradual. 
  • Any asset sold, gifted, or transferred below a fair market value during the lookback period could result in a period of ineligibility for Medicaid. 
  • Applicants will be required to submit a Department of Health (DOH) medical form. A licensed doctor must indicate their belief that the applicant meets the medical requirements needed to qualify for homecare.  This requirement is especially important because the DOH demonstrates that a transfer penalty can be activated in the month that an applicant is both financially and physically eligible for Medicaid home assistance. A transfer penalty is incurred during the timeframe that an applicant fails to comply with the Look Back Period. When the penalty’s duration ceases, an individual can then reapply for Medicaid. 
  • The Department of Health allows for an exception to the transfer penalty if the applicant’s circumstances fall under the definition of “undue hardship.” Denial of home assistance falls under this definition. However, this definition does not extend to community-based eligibility. 
  • Applicants who file their Medicaid applications before October 1, 2022, will NOT be subject to this lookback and will NOT incur transfer penalties. Early filing is key to getting the benefits you need for home care services.

Exceptions to the Transfer Penalty

Transfer of a Home to:

  1. Spouse
  2. Children under the age of 21 or legally blind/disabled of any age
  3. A caretaker Adult child that resided in the applicant’s home for at least two years and can prove that their care allowed the applicant to live at home rather than in a medical facility

Transfer of Property Other Than a Home to:

  1. Spouse
  2. Individual’s child who is legally blind/disabled
  3. A trust established for the benefit of an individual under 65 years old who is disabled
  4. Transfer of an asset that does not accumulate a penalty
  5. Assets were transferred for a reason other than to qualify for Medicaid nursing home costs 

If you need consulting on Medicaid eligibility for long-term home care, please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2395.

Five Reasons to Protect Your Retirement Accounts

Throughout your lifetime, your retirement account offers asset protection, but as soon as you transfer it to a loved one, that protection ends. Creditors have the right to confiscate your retirement account even if your partner, child, or other close relative inherits it. Therefore, if you lose just one lawsuit, all of your hard-earned savings may be lost and your loved ones can end up without money. Thankfully, there is a fix for this issue. You can shield retirement savings from creditors by using a unique trust called a standalone retirement trust (SRT).

why-you-should-protect-your-retirement-accounts

It is important to make sure that your intended recipients, like your loved ones, are receiving the benefits from your retirement account. Consider using an SRT to safeguard your retirement assets if any of the following apply to you or your beneficiaries:

  1. Your combined retirement plans are sizable. An SRT can be used to protect loved ones' retirement accounts against creditors.
  2. You worry that your beneficiary won't be very responsible with the money. If you are concerned over how your beneficiary might manage an inheritance, you should think about setting up an SRT since you can control the amount and timing of the distribution.
  3. You worry about lawsuits, divorce, or other potential legal proceedings. A properly written SRT can safeguard the inherited retirement savings from those creditors if your beneficiary is embroiled in litigation, is about to be divorced, about to file for bankruptcy, or is otherwise involved in legal proceedings.
  4. Your beneficiaries receive assistance. It's crucial to be aware that inheriting an individual retirement account could result in the beneficiary losing any needs-based government benefits they may be receiving or be eligible for. It is possible to draft an SRT to prevent disqualification.
  5. You have remarried and have children from a prior marriage. Even if you named your children from a previous marriage as the contingent (backup) beneficiaries on your retirement account, identifying your partner as the primary beneficiary of the retirement account could allow your partner to purposefully (or unintentionally) disinherit your children. You can prevent this by designating your partner as the lifetime beneficiary of an SRT while designating your children from a prior marriage to receive the remaining funds after your spouse passes away.

An SRT is a unique kind of trust created for your beneficiaries to inherit your retirement assets after your passing. Your retirement account assets may be shielded from your beneficiary's creditors. In fact, an SRT can incorporate trust clauses that specifically shield your partner from harm in circumstances like:  

  • Remarriages
  • Divorce
  • Failure of business
  • Bankruptcy
  • Lawsuits resulting from auto accidents, malpractice, or evictions

A Standalone Retirement Trust (SRT) that has been effectively drafted can offer creditor protection and help you plan for the future. If you would like assistance with protecting your retirement account, please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2395.

What is Elder Financial Exploitation and How to Prevent it

What is elder financial abuse?

Many of us are probably familiar or have heard the term financial exploitation, which is when an individual uses someone else's money or resources for their own personal benefit. This type of abuse can happen to people of all ages. However, elders that are usually 60 years or older tend to be very common targets as they are usually seen as weak minded, easy people to fool and defenseless. Thus, elder financial abuse is on the rise. According to the National Council on Aging, being a victim of elderly financial abuse can cost as much as 36.5 billion a year. 

What is Elder Financial Exploitation and How to Prevent it

Unfortunately, it can also be a difficult crime to detect as the perpetrators can fall on a range of people such as children, spouses, family members, scammers or even nursing home assistance. It can also be even more difficult to detect when the elderly victim suffers from mental impairments such as dementia. Therefore, it is important to know the signs of elderly financial abuse to know how to prevent it, it may not only benefit you, but maybe even someone you know. 

How to Identify Elder Financial Exploitation?

Though it can be a difficult task to identify elder financial exploitations, here are a few signs to look out for that may help.

  1. Isolation- One common sign to look for is a change in the elderlys mood such as sadness or depression. This may tend to make them want to isolate themselves more from their own family members. Another sign of this can be seen when it is also hard to get a reach of them whether it be by phone or in person. 
  2. Suspicious Financial Account Activity- If you notice new or unusual authorized users for bank accounts or credit cards, this can be a red flag. This can ultimately result in many negative impacts. For example, large withdrawals, debt, fund transfers and missing money. 
  3. Change in Spending Habits- a big sign to look out for is a change in spending habits. This can be noticed if a person is not paying bills, not buying food or necessities and not shopping as much as they regularly do. These are very big indicators that it may be time to investigate where money is going.
  4. Missing or Unusual Possessions- This sign might be one of the easiest to spot, if you notice significantly important or valuable items missing, a good thing to do is ask what might have happened to them. Alternatively, if you notice many new valuable items, it may also be good to ask where they came from and why. It is better to be on the safe side. 

What You Can Do to Prevent Elder Financial Exploitation

  1. If you suspect that an elderly is in immediate danger such as physical abuse or neglect, it is recommended to call law enforcement and get them involved. Working with them not only helps prevent criminal activity but it also ups your chances of holding the abuser accountable for their crimes. 
  2. If the victim is not in immediate danger, contact Adult Protective Services. The agency will then conduct their own investigation into the matter as well as coordinate with other services such as law enforcement and social services. They will also offer assistance when needed. 
  3. Another way to prevent financial exploitation is by reaching out to financial institutions like banks and credit bureaus. They can then conduct their own investigation which can help clarify any discrepancies.They may also help identify if any financial exploitation is occurring, in many cases they are the ones to first notice any exploitation.  
  4. When it comes to elder financial exploitation, it often involves many legal matters which can best be handled by an attorney who specializes in elder law. For example, an attorney may suggest tips to prevent financial abuse from occurring such as setting up a revocable or irrevocable trust. This will help protect your assets and keep ownership over them. 

If you or someone you know needs help preventing financial abuse, contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn, and we can guide and help you determine the best course of action.

Advice on Selecting The Right Trustee For Your Trust

You have worked hard to obtain and protect assets such as your house, car, business, etc…In order to properly protect your assets and to provide for the most important people in your life, you may be advised to put some or all of your assets into a trust.

If you are deciding on establishing a trust, you will need to appoint someone to make sure that the trust is administered in accordance with your wishes. A trustee is a person who takes on the position and responsibilities of managing the trust’s assets. The responsibilities and regulations which the trustee must follow are outlined in the trust. The creator of the trust can be a trustee and even one of the trust's beneficiaries. However, trust creators may also appoint another person or even an institution as their trustee. 

advice-on-how-to-select-the-right-trustee-for-your-trust

After the death or incapacity of the trust’s creator, a person or institution is named as the successor trustee in order to manage the trust’s assets. The person or entity listed in a trust as a successor trustee should also be carefully appointed because an unreliable trustee can both mismanage and waste assets. 

Because trustees have significant powers, a risk exists where an irresponsible trustee could end up harming a beneficiary. Selecting a trustee is a critical aspect of estate planning and many people tend to appoint a trustee without sufficient planning or thought. This article lists some important qualities to look for when selecting a trustee as well as some guidance on who to select as the right trustee. 

Important Qualities to Look For When Selecting a Trustee:

1.) The Capability to Perform the Job

In order to successfully administer and manage a trust, trustees have to be capable of performing various tasks. Trustees must have an understanding of both vocabulary related to trusts as well as the applicable laws. They should know how to successfully manage all types of assets (physical or intangible) as well as be able to diplomatically work with the beneficiaries. A trustee does not need to have experience in areas like finance or trust management, however, whoever is appointed as trustee should be financially responsible and have some dispute resolution skills. The person appointed as trustee should also be capable of making ethical decisions which means acting in the best interest of the trust creator and beneficiaries. 

2.) Remain Impartial 

A trustee has a fiduciary duty to the trust’s beneficiary, meaning that the trustee must act in the best interests of the beneficiaries in mind and not favor one beneficiary over another or engage in self-serving actions. Many older parents decide to appoint their children as trustees. Although appointing your child to be a trustee can be a good idea, it can also cause conflict within the family if the trustee is can not act impartially.  

3.) Willing to Act as a Trustee

Unfortunately, being a trustee is an often unacknowledged and thankless position which is why it is important to make sure to appoint someone who would want to perform the necessary tasks to administer your estate. If a trustee ends up feeling over-burned and loses interest in performing the tasks necessary for trust administration, the chance of your trust failing and your wishes being unmet will increase.

Should My Trustee Be My Spouse Or Child?

You know the strengths and weaknesses of your family members which puts you in the best position to decide if your spouse or your child can successfully carry out a trustee’s responsibilities. Under state law, there are many responsibilities of a trustee. These include, but are not limited to, remaining impartial between the interests of the current and future beneficiaries, properly accounting for all beneficiaries, and prudently investing trust funds. 

Questions to consider:

  • Can your trustee distinguish their personal feelings and interests from those of the beneficiaries?
  • Can your trustee analyze investments?
  • Will there be a temptation for your trustee to take risks hoping for a hefty return at the expense of the other beneficiaries?
  • What if your spouse re-marries?
  • Will all parties be treated impartially if, for example, your children are not your spouse’s children?
  • Will a child who is a trustee be able to exercise good judgment if a sibling is a beneficiary or could tension develop between them?
  • Can your sons-in-law and daughters-in-law and their children work successfully together?
  • Will a child who is balancing their family and career have adequate time to devote to serving as a trustee?

Should My Trustee Be An Attorney, Accountant, Or Other Trusted Advisor?

Attorneys, accountants, and financial advisers sometimes have a special and trusted relationship with their clients. Those who emphasize impartiality may look to their attorney, accountant, or other advisors. If you have an extended relationship with your attorney, accountant, or other advisors then it does not hurt to consider them a possible option to be a trustee. However, just because an accountant or other advisers may understand the nature of your business or your financial goals, they may not fully understand the scope of fiduciary duty or the inherent risks and responsibilities of being a trustee.

Questions to consider:

  • Does your professional adviser know and understand the dynamics of your family?
  • What experience do they have as a trustee?
  • How long have you been a client with the advisor? 
  • Do your immediate family members know of and trust the advisor?

Should My Trustee Be A Bank Or Trust Company?

Banks and trust companies provide professional fiduciary services so they can act independently and impartially. Corporate trustees have procedures and systems that will ensure your properties are being managed and funds are being invested in a fair and consistent manner. Choosing a professional fiduciary could reduce conflicts between family members while receiving experienced and professional investment and administrative management. All fiduciaries are held to a very high standard especially corporate fiduciaries because their business is to provide fiduciary services.

Questions to consider:

  • How much of the trust assets will be spent on fees from a trust company and be unavailable to my beneficiaries?
  • Do the increased investment returns provide value for the fees charged?
  • Will the bank or trust company understand my family and their needs?
  • What can I expect from the administrator making decisions that directly affect my family and meeting the goals of my trust?

Advantages To Choosing More Than One Trustee

You may find it beneficial to choose one or multiple individuals to serve as a trustee along with a corporate trustee. It can be helpful to have more than one trustee in order to balance all of the responsibilities such as recordkeeping, investments, and other trustee duties.

A properly drafted trust agreement can concisely outline the duties of the various trustees, such as the retention of specific investments, the delegation of particular duties, or even the power to remove a trustee. One of the co-trustees could have a particular understanding of a beneficiary’s needs and help the other trustees and/or the corporate trustee in making discretionary decisions.

Choosing trustees for your trust can take time, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Your ultimate decision should be well reasoned. You are the best one to recognize the responsibilities of managing your wealth and assets. You are also best able to understand the needs and capabilities of those closest to you. It is beneficial to consider the people who, when working together, have the knowledge, experience, and compassion to best carry out your remaining wishes.

If you need consulting on setting up a trust and appointing a trustee, please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718)-333-2395.

5 Different Types of Trusts That Can Be Created in New York

There are many different ways a person can set up an estate plan to protect and prepare for the future of their assets after their death. One way that this is done is through the creation of a trust. A trust is a legal arrangement that allows a third party, a trustee, to hold and manage assets on behalf of the beneficiaries until they are able to inherit them. Its purpose is to ensure that a person's assets are protected and utilized in a way they deem fit. There are various types of trusts that serve for different purposes. Therefore, it's important to understand the different types of trusts in order to know which will suit you best. 

Different Types of Trusts That Can Be Created in New York

What are the different types of trusts?

1.) Irrevocable Trust

An Irrevocable Trust is a type of trust that, once executed, cannot be changed or revoked without consent of all beneficiaries or a court approval. Essentially, this means once your assets are in the trust, you no longer have full control over them as well as the freedom to make any revisions you want. However, a benefit of this type of trust is that assets in the trust will not be subject to state or federal estate taxes. In addition, assets are also protected from creditors and legal judgment which avoids lawsuits and false claims. 

2.) Revocable Trust

A Revocable Trust, also known as a living trust, is a type of trust that allows you to modify or change anything at any time you see fit, without needing the consent of any beneficiaries. With a revocable trust you have full and complete control over your assets, how you want them distributed and if you want to add or revoke any. It is also commonly used for those who want to avoid the probate process, which can take months to years. However, assets in this trust are subject to state and federal estate taxes. In addition, assets are not protected from lawsuits and creditors. 

3.) Special Needs Trust

A Special Needs Trust, also known as a supplemental needs trust, can be established as a living trust and is generally designed for a loved one with a disability. It is commonly  used for a dependent such as a child, sibling or parents that are unable to provide for their own financial needs. It is also made to continue caring for a person with special needs without disrupting government entitlement benefits such as SSI or medicaid. 

4.) Charitable Trust

A Charity Trust is an irrevocable trust that is made to simultaneously benefit you, your beneficiaries and a Charity of your choosing that is qualified under IRS rules. There are 2 types of charitable trusts:

Charitable Lead Trust - The way a charitable lead trust works is, individuals are allowed to choose charities that will receive interest from the financial gift they have assigned to them for a specified period of time. Once the period has ended, the remaining assets may either go to their family or beneficiaries. 

Charitable Remainder Trust - The way a charitable remainder trust works is that you, your family or your beneficiaries can receive interest from a financial gift assigned for a determined period of time. Then, once that period has ended, the remainder of the assets go to the charity of your choosing. 

5.) Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

An Irrevocable life insurance trust is designed to help those who have estates that might exceed federal or New York estate tax exemptions. With this, trustors are allowed to exclude life insurance proceeds from the taxable estate. This then allows beneficiaries to be free from any taxes that may be placed on the trustor's life insurance policy in the estate and to transfer death benefits immediately. 

A trust is a very valuable tool when it comes to estate planning. With so many different types available, it can be tricky choosing which one is best for you. If you need an attorney to help determine which trust is best for you, contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at (718) 333-2395.