An overview of legal services offered by the Law Office of Patricia A. George, Esq.
We focus our area of practice in the area of Elder Law, Estate Administration and Real Estate Sales and Purchases. We meet with clients extensively to discuss the drafting of Last Wills and Testaments, Trusts Powers of Attorney and Health Care directives. If a loved one passes away, we work with the family and the Court to ensure the appropriate administration or probate of estate assets in accordance with the terms of the individual’s Last Will and Testament. If a loved one is ill and the need for skilled nursing care is imminent or anticipated, we work with the family to ensure the family’s assets are preserved to the extent possible, while also ensuring Medicaid is obtained to cover the cost of care. We also represent clients in purchase and sales of residential and commercial real property.
Although these are our primary practice areas, we remain available to assist our clients with any of their legal needs.
Probate and Estate Administration
The process of “Probate” (“Administration” in the absence of a Last Will and Testament) is the legal process by which the estate of a deceased person is settled. If a person has a Last Will and Testament, the Executor, Attorney for the Estate and Court all work together to ensure that the Testator’s wishes are carried our in accordance with the terms of the Last Will and Testament. If a person does not have a Last Will and Testament, the person’s family, Attorney, and Surrogate’s Court will work together to distribute the deceased relative’s assets in accordance with New York State law.
Last Wills and Testaments
A Last Will and Testament sets forth your instructions for the distribution of your property after your death. A Will can also specify when you want your beneficiaries to receive their share of your property and can nominate individuals to act as guardians for your children. If necessary to protect a minor or disabled beneficiary, the Last Will and Testament may contain a Trust.
Durable General Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a document in which you state that you give someone else (usually a relative or friend) the authority to make certain decisions and act on your behalf. A general power of attorney is usually used to allow your agent to handle all of your financial/business affairs during a period of time when you are unable to do so. For example, when you are traveling out of the state or country or when you are physically or mentally unable to handle your affairs. If you do not establish a durable power of attorney and you become mentally incapacitated, it may be necessary for a court to appoint a guardian or conservator for you.
Health Care Proxy
The Health Care Proxy is a simple legal document that allows you to name someone you know and trust to make health care decisions for you if, for any reason and at any time, you become unable to make or communicate those decisions. It is an important document, because it concerns not only the choices you make about your health care, but also the relationships you have with your physician, family, and others who may be involved with your care.
A Living Will documents your wishes concerning treatment when those wishes can no longer be personally communicated. For example, a Living Will can set forth your directive concerning artificial nutrition, hydration, respiration and other life-sustaining measures so that your health care agent is aware of your specific wishes in this regard.
Directive Regarding Disposition of Remains
A person should provide written directions for the disposition of his/her remains so that your family and friends can honor these expressed intentions. The directive should include information regarding whether cremation or burial is preferred, the desired resting place (i.e. cemetery plot, mausoleum, etc.), as well as any specific memorial arrangements.
Medicaid Planning and Asset Protection
In the event that a loved one requires residential placement in assisted living or skilled nursing home, it is likely that Medicaid will be sought to cover the associated costs. We work to take advantage of the various Federal and State rules and laws to preserve as much of an individual’s assets as possible, while securing Medicaid Coverage. We work directly with the local Departments of Social Services, Residential Facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities and Families to help ensure as smooth a financial and personal transition as possible.
Special Needs Planning
In addition to traditional Estate Planning, there are some circumstances which require additional consideration, primarily in the event that planning involves individuals with disabilities and their families. A Supplemental Needs Trust may be necessary to protect the interests of a disabled individual who depends on governmental assistance for survival; A guardianship proceeding may be needed to ensure appropriate decisions are made for a person with a disability, whether due to developmental disability, advanced age or other cognitive impairment, we will Petition the Court to make sure the most appropriate guardian is appointed.
We provide representation for buyers and sellers of residential real property. We can also assist with the refinancing of your existing mortgage.