The Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare,” has caused a great deal of confusion since enacted on March 23, 2010. We have put together the following information in an effort to relieve some of the uncertainty surrounding this health care reform, and to hopefully ease the inevitable anxiety many of our clients will face in the coming months.
For the past two years, the number one post closing issue relating to home sales has been septic system failures. Many septic systems in Western New York seem to have reached the age of around 50 years, which seems also to be about the end of life for many of its parts – tank, leach field, filters.
A recent survey shows that more couples are opting to secure prenuptial agreements; 63% of matrimonial lawyers surveyed reported an increase in the number of prenups over the last three years. Whether this is a result of people getting married older, having more wealth going into a marriage, or general concern for the protection of assets, a common trend among growing prenups is the desire to protect real estate. This is evident in the survey results, which show that the most common coverage areas within prenuptial agreements are:
In order to continue to receive a Basic STAR Exception, homeowners in New York State must register with the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance by the end of this year. Senior Citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR Exemption are not affected by this new requirement to register.
This past Saturday, I had the privilege of attending the opening of the northtowns satellite branch of theFamily Justice Center. The Center helps domestic violence victims finds the resources that they need to move on with their lives.
On Wednesday, October 30th, the Social Security Administration announced that monthly Social Security and Supplementary Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase by 1.5 percent beginning in 2014. This increase affects nearly 63 million Americans.
The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, also commonly known as the “NYS SAFE Act,” was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 15th, 2013. The legislation has resulted in some important changes to the regulation of firearms in New York State. The SAFE Act includes these new provisions:
On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court decided United States v. Windsor, a case involving a same sex couple married in New York, where such marriages are authorized. One of the women died leaving a substantial estate. An estate tax return was filed and the surviving spouse, because of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), was not entitled to the unlimited spousal deduction that heterosexual couples could take advantage of generally reducing the estate tax on the first death to zero. The spouse filed the return, the IRS disallowed the spousal deduction, and the surviving spouse sued for a refund of taxes paid.
Join me at the Adam’s Mark Hotel, 120 Church St., Buffalo, NY 14202, for Elder Law Day 2013.
Free seminars on legal issues of interest to older adults and their families.
- Grandparents’ Rights
- Avoiding Financials Scams
- Wills, Trusts, and Small Estate Planning
- Medicare, Medicaid & Long Term Care
- LGBT Legal Issues
- Veterans’ Benefits
- Elder Abuse & Mistreatment
Clients should beware of a recent scam in which companies are recommending that all homeowners obtain a copy of their current Grant Deed. Contrary to this advice, securing a copy of the deed is not necessary once the original has been recorded (having a copy of the deed is not necessary to prove ownership as long as the deed is recorded in the county clerk’s office). The companies involved in this scam have been contacting property owners via letters and emails, offering to provide a copy of the deed for a fee that ranges anywhere from $50 to $80. Though not required, if a homeowner does wish to obtain a certified copy of the deed, this can be done through the county clerk’s office for a smaller fee, usually between $4 and $10 depending on the length of the original document.