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Stephen J. Silverberg, Esq.
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Thank you to The Island Now for including my article on trusts in a recent issue – “Trusts – Marketing machine or genuine estate planning tool.” The article was written to inform readers about the difference between trusts that are used as part of a comprehensive asset preservation plan and those that I believe are being marketed to seniors inappropriately. Continue reading
On May 23, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would significantly change estate planning for retirement benefits from qualified plans and IRAs. It also contains provisions that impact Elder Law planning. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the "SECURE Act") received overwhelming support in the House, passing 417-3. The SECURE Act extensively amends the Internal Revenue Code relating to retirement benefits, including provisions that apply during the life of the account owner as well as provisions applicable to Retirement benefits inherited by the account owner’s beneficiaries. Continue reading
I was pleased to be included in a recent article in Newsday about Special Needs families and how they can use Special Needs Trusts to plan for the time when their adult children are grown and their parents have passed away. A Continue reading
In 2019, we celebrate Passover and Easter holidays on the same weekend, and so we are sending our best wishes to all of our friends, colleagues and family members. Whether you are celebrating Passover, Easter or the Spring Equinox, we hope this holiday finds you surrounded by those you love and the joys of the spring season. Continue reading
If the first time you think about needing a will is when you take your first vacation without kids, then you need to get started, soon. With the two of you on a plan to a remote island destination, what would happen if you never returned? Who would raise your children, be in charge of their finances, and make sure they grow up according to your aspirations? Continue reading
Losing the local and state tax deduction has more than a few New Yorkers thinking about making a lower tax cost state their primary residence. For many, that means Florida, especially if they already own a second residence in the Sunshine State. A move to Florida can save a New York resident up to 9% in income taxes and up to 16% in estate taxes. Continue reading
Protecting the family home is one of the biggest issues that people worry about when discussing Medicaid eligibility. Let's look at some of the basics: While you generally don't have to sell your home in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, it is possible the state... Continue reading
Nursing home and long-term care costs continue to rise and it is difficult to qualify for Medicaid to pay for nursing home costs. Long-term care insurance can help cover expenses, but long term care insurance contracts are notoriously confusing. How do you figure out what is right for you? The... Continue reading
More of your neighbors own guns than you think; yes - even in suburban Long Island’s North Shore. However, unlike other parts of the county where gun ownership is more public, transferring firearms upon death is rarely a part of anyone’s estate plan. Continue reading
This is the last year that spouses who are turning full retirement age can choose whether to take spousal benefits or to take benefits on their own record. The strategy, used by some couples to maximize their benefits, will not be available to people turning full retirement age (FRA) after 2019. The claiming strategy -- sometimes known as "Claim Now, Claim More Later" -- allows a higher-earning spouse to claim a spousal benefit at full retirement age by filing a restricted application for benefits. Continue reading
I read the New York Post every day. It’s an old habit that keeps me in touch with a part of New York City that many people, including my colleagues, may have forgotten. One of my favorite reads is John Crudele’s column. For those who aren’t familiar with him, John... Continue reading
Nick Mangold, former Jets football center and seven-time Pro Bowl selection, was my larger-than-life judge in a tailgating cookoff at Sunday’s Jets game - - and I’m thrilled to say that I won. My amazing portable pizza oven (thanks and a shout-out to Roccbox) and decades of dedication to BBQ paid off big time! Continue reading
I’ve been practicing elder law for many decades, but there’s always something new and unexpected in any area of the law. Here, it was a decision in a Medicaid coverage matter skillfully handled by Scott Silverberg, an associate at the firm and also my son. It was a great reflection on the firm, and an important win for our client. Continue reading
The FTC says there’s yet another phone scam, this one from thieves saying they are from the Social Security Administration. It’s not the Social Security Administration (SSA). Like the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), the SSA does not call. Continue reading
I am proud to announce I have been awarded the Accredited Estate Planner® Designation, by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. The AEP designation is the only graduate-level designation in estate planning. The designation is administered and is awarded only to estate planning professionals who meet special requirements of education, experience, knowledge, professional reputation, and character. Continue reading
Some changes recently announced will have significant changes on planning for VA pensions, and others brought a sigh of relief to veterans and their advocates. The good news was the announcement that changes in the adjudication of VA pension claims in the final rule are NOT retroactive. Continue reading
Congratulations to my colleagues who share with me the prestige of being named to the New York Metro Super Lawyers list for 2018 in Elder Law. It is an honor to be have been selected for the past eleven consecutive years. Continue reading
On September 14, I’ll present a webinar for the National Academy of Elder Law attorneys on the new planning opportunities available through Qualified Disability Trusts (QDisT) as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The webinar is from 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST and is free to NAELA members. Non-members are welcome to participate for a $99 fee. Continue reading
Being named for the fourth year in a row to the 2019 Best Lawyers in America© in Elder Law is quite an honor, and I want to thank the colleagues who nominated me and continue to support my being in this select group of Elder Lawyers. Continue reading
In the past, Americans relied on family members to take care of aging parents or grandparents. You’d build a small apartment onto your suburban house if you could, or move Mom or Dad into the spare bedroom. Today, families are facing a different kind of late-life care picture, and it... Continue reading
I gave a presentation on the “new and improved” use of QDiSTs under the new tax law and the information was very well received at the Estate Planning Council of Nassau County’s Study Group. My colleagues were excited to learn of the tax savings possibilities that the QDiST now presents for their clients, and I have been invited to speak on this topic for the full group meeting in the Fall. Continue reading
From an estate planning perspective, the suicides of two successful and talented people share another commonality- both were estranged from their spouses. When most couples separate, they usually try to move the divorce along quickly. However, Spade and Bourdain’s lives were more nuanced. They had not moved to the next... Continue reading
This post still rings true: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO DECORATION DAY? While anticipating the upcoming weekend, I started thinking about the trips and other activities our family planned every year at this time. I still remember my parents discussing what we should do for the Decoration Day Weekend. I clearly remember... Continue reading
We read a lot about AARP – the programs they run for seniors, the local events, the TV ads that say “You don’t know AARP,” which, when you think about it, is a corporate slogan alluding to a mild profanity. But here’s something you don’t know about AARP – this... Continue reading
A recent article in John Crudele’s New York Post column shared a heartbreaking story about an elderly man whose son allegedly stole from him. I sent a note to John alerting him to the fact that the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) could be a source of help... Continue reading