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Elder Law

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Do You Have to Pay Back Medicaid in New York?


Many rely on Medicaid to cover things like the often substantial cost of long-term care. A need-based program, Medicaid benefits are only available to those with limited assets and financial resources that fall below the qualification limits. With proper planning, a person can plan to qualify for Medicaid without having to spend down a lifetime of savings first. Medicaid planning, however, should also take into account Medicaid Payback as Medicaid will seek repayment for benefits distributed from a person’s estate.

Do You Have to Pay Back Medicaid in New York?

Family members morning the loss of a loved one may be more than surprised when they receive notice from the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) that requests payment for benefits their deceased loved one received prior to passing away.


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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Signs Your Elderly Parent May Be Ready for Memory Care


It can be a difficult thing to watch an elderly parent struggle with memory issues. Unfortunately, it can advance to the point where it is safer for your parent to enter into memory care. Those seniors with memory issues, whether it be due to dementia, Alzheimer’s, or something else, can be best served in specialized facilities equipped to handle the complexities associated with caring for a person with memory issues. If you have concerns about when the right time to have your parent move to memory care, here are some signs you can watch for that may signal they are ready for the transition.

Signs Your Elderly Parent May Be Ready for Memory Care

As we age, we may struggle with memory problems.


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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Is It Time For Your Elderly Parent to Stop Driving?


For many older Americans, driving provides a much needed outlet to the outside world. It helps them remain connected to the community, go to the grocery store, and can come to represent what they may feel is dwindling freedom in their golden years. For these reasons, it can be difficult to talk to your elderly parent about the fact that it may be time for him or her to stop driving. There is likely to come a point where your elderly parent cannot safely operate a vehicle anymore. Despite how difficult giving up driving may be, the safety of your parent and others should be put first.


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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

What to Do When Your Siblings Cannot Agree On What to do With an Elderly Parent


It can be difficult to watch our parents age. The ones that once cared for our every need may have developed care needs of their own. As parents advance in years, there are unique challenges that will need to be faced and you and your siblings may not be fully prepared to handle it all. It can sometimes feel as though the care demands of your parents seem to have come out of nowhere. When the caregiving demands of your parents escalate to a point where they need a more dedicated caretaker or more comprehensive care, such as moving to a nursing home, getting everybody on board with a decision can be more difficult than you think.


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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Have You Ever Heard of the Elective Share?


Have you considered trying to disinherit your spouse in your estate plan? While some may not understand why a person would want to do this, it is actually quite common and there can be many reasons behind it. Many, however, will be thwarted in such an attempt to disinherit a spouse because of New York’s Right of Election, also referred to as its elective share law. Here, we will go into more detail about the elective share and its potential implications for your estate plan.


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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

What Is Medicare Advantage?


Medicare is a federally administered health insurance program that is primarily for people 65 or older, as well as those below that age threshold that have disabilities, and those with end-stage renal disease. It can be difficult to understand and unravel the complexities of Medicare coverage, but finding the right Medicare coverage can be very important to ensure you are maximizing this resource. Here, we will discuss one aspect of Medicare and that is Medicare Advantage.

What Is Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage is a rather unique Medicare plan as it is a type of Medicare health insurance that is offered by private companies, as opposed to the federal government, that have been approved by Medicare. Also referred to as Medicare Part C plans, it is offered as an alternative to Original Medicare.


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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse


If you have an older loved one in a nursing facility, it can be difficult to trust that others will look after them with the level of care, attention, and compassion that you want. Unfortunately, elder abuse and neglect are not as uncommon as we would all like to think. Here, we will discuss some warning signs to be on the look for that may mean your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse.


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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

When Siblings Cannot Agree on What Should Be Done with an Elderly Parent


Has the time come when you can no longer provide your aging parent with the care he or she needs? Is it time to move them to a nursing home or other long-term care facility? These are difficult questions to confront. The fact that a parent is getting older and has increasing needs can also be tough to process and everyone may do so in a different way. These are just some of the reasons talking to siblings about what should be done with an elderly parent can easily lead to disagreements and heated arguments.


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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Ways to Help Your Elderly Loved One Feel Less Isolated During the Pandemic


The past year has been one for the books, for sure. The persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives on so many levels. Unfortunately, the social distancing measures, while an integral part of keeping our loved ones safe and healthy, has had some intended consequences. For instance, the elderly population, at risk for feeling isolated even under the best of circumstances, has started feeling more isolated than ever. With friends and family under tight restrictions from visiting, your elder loved one may have been feeling increasingly lonely and isolated during the pandemic.


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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Preparing Your Loved One for a Nursing Home During the Pandemic


It has never been easy to find the proper medical setting for an elderly individual you love. Knowing it will be difficult for your relative to live away from home in a communal setting, especially with medical and perhaps mental or psychiatric issues, you naturally want the very best care possible. Add to this the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging the world, having hit nursing homes especially hard, and the task of finding a home for your loved one may seem overwhelming.

At Merlino & Gonzalez, where we frequently have clients from Staten Island and New Jersey facing this challenging situation, we have some advice about how to proceed. We know that once your relative reaches a point at which round the clock care is necessary, very few people have the time or stamina to tend him or her at home, and even fewer can afford to pay for ongoing private nursing care.


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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

What Is the Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?


Both Medicare and Medicaid are government-sponsored, taxpayer-funded programs that are intended to help Americans cover the costs associated with healthcare. Additionally, both programs were established back in 1965. With similar-sounding names and the fact that both are intended to cover healthcare costs, many people confuse the two. There are, however, important distinctive qualities between the two programs. Here, we discuss the differences between Medicare and Medicaid.


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