REAL LIFE SUCCESS STORIES
We pride ourselves on delivering real results for our clients - every day. Below are just a few examples of how we have helped our clients and, in the process, have brought them and their families peace of mind.
ASSET PROTECTION & ESTATE PLANNING
THE SITUATION: Jim (a cardiologist) and Margaret (a small business owner) were recently married. It is a second marriage for both of them, and they each have 3 adult children from their previous marriages. They wish to engage in planning to protect their assets and ensure that their respective estates will subsequently pass to their respective children following their deaths.
OUR SOLUTION: We designed a Life & Estate Plan which included specially prepared QTIP Trusts to ensure that the surviving spouse will receive the marital assets in trust and be properly cared for after the first spouse's death, with built-in safeguards to ensure that the first spouse's children will still receive their share of the first spouse's estate after the second spouse's death; and there would be no risk of them potentially losing their inheritance as a result of the surviving spouse squandering the money, re-marrying and deciding to leave everything to the new spouse, or deciding to cut out the first spouse's children and instead leave everything to his/her children only. In addition, the Trust will serve to protect Jim and Margaret's home and financial assets from any potential creditors or lawsuits that may arise as a result of their professions, or in the normal course of their daily lives (e.g., medical malpractice claims, car accidents, personal injury claims, etc.).
THE RESULT: Jim and Margaret now rest easy knowing that their estate is secure and that their specific wishes will be carried out despite the somewhat complex nature of their situation (i.e., second marriage/blended family).
THE SITUATION: After 19 years of marriage with two children, Joyce and her husband went through a long, drawn-out divorce. Given her changed circumstances, Joyce wished to update her Life & Estate Plan.
OUR SOLUTION: After gaining a full understanding of all her goals and wishes, we immediately worked on updating Joyce's Life & Estate Plan including re-titling the deed to her marital home and preparing a new Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Will and Last Will & Testament. In addition, we assisted Joyce with coordinating her beneficiary designations on all her brokerage accounts, retirement accounts and insurance policies.
THE RESULT: Joyce feels a tremendous sense of relief knowing that her affairs have been updated to reflect her changed circumstances, and she confidently looks forward to the next chapter of her life.
THE SITUATION: Ryan and Kate are young professionals with a new home, a toddler and a new baby on the way. They wish to protect their large financial investment in their home and also make arrangements for the care of their children in the event something (e.g., an accident, medical emergency, etc.) should happen to the both of them.
OUR SOLUTION: In addition to preparing advance directives (i.e., Powers of Attorneys, Health Care Proxies, and Living Wills) for Ryan and Kate, we set up a Trust to protect their home, along with a Pour-Over Will which designated legal guardians to care for their children and provide for their personal care and property management needs.
THE RESULT: Ryan and Kate rest much easier knowing that their home investment is fully protected and that there is a legal plan in place to ensure that their children will be properly cared for by the responsible, caring people that they have chosen, in the event something happens to the both of them.
ELDER LAW & MEDICAID PLANNING
THE SITUATION: Mary is a senior who lives alone in her home and suffers from Diabetes, Hypertension and mobility issues. She requires total assistance with daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, walking, toileting, etc. Her adult children have been doing their best by sharing responsibilities to care for Mary. However, Mary's deteriorating condition has become too much for the family to handle - overwhelmed, they have turned to the Law Offices of Michael J. Amoroso to explore their options regarding their mother's ongoing care needs.
OUR SOLUTION: Working together with Mary and her family, we helped re-structure Mary's financial assets and re-title the Deed to her home; we prepared and submitted an application to Medicaid in order to establish her eligibility for home care benefits at the earliest possible date; and we set-up a Pooled Trust to preserve Mary's monthly income.
THE RESULT: By properly re-structuring Mary's assets and vigorously advocating with Medicaid on her behalf, we were successful in obtaining 24/7 home care services for Mary. Now she and her family can rest easy knowing that she could continue to live at home and receive the proper care that she requires. In addition, her home has been fully protected from Medicaid, and the Pooled Trust we set up allows Mary to keep all of her surplus monthly income (i.e., social security, pension, etc.), instead of losing it to Medicaid, so that she could use those much-needed funds to afford her monthly household and living expenses, etc.
GUARDIANSHIP & SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING
THE SITUATION: Barbara (age 83) lives alone in her home and has been suffering from progressively worsening Dementia. Recently, she has been leaving the stove on, wandering from home and, falling victim to telephone scams. Her daughter, Liz, came to The Law Offices of Michael J. Amoroso because she was concerned for her mother's safety and well-being, but didn't have the legal authority to manage her mother's affairs because Barbara didn't have any advance directives (i.e., Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy or Living Will) in place; and Barbara, being unable to appreciate the nature of her situation, was not cooperative and refused any assistance from Liz.
OUR SOLUTION: We petitioned the local court to have Liz appointed as her mother's legal guardian so that she could provide for her mother's personal needs (including health care decisions, etc.) and property management needs (including handling of finances and payment of bills, etc.)
THE RESULT: Liz feels a tremendous sense of relief knowing that she can now effectively assist her mother with all her care needs and protect her from potential harm.
THE SITUATION: Jack and Linda have a 14 year-old daughter, Molly, who has Down Syndrome. They wish to make special provisions for Molly, both now and for in the future when they are no longer around to provide care for Molly. However, they don't want to adversely affect Molly's eligibility for government benefits (i.e., Medicaid, SSI, etc.).
OUR SOLUTION: As part of Jack & Linda's Life & Estate Plan, we prepared a Special Needs Trust that will fully protect the funds for Molly, preserve her ongoing eligibility for government benefits, and provide for a management plan to care for Molly even after Jack and Linda are gone.
THE RESULT: Jack and Linda have peace of mind knowing that there is a solid plan in place to provide ongoing care for their daughter's special needs - both now and for in the future.
PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
THE SITUATION: Several years ago, Diane and her father came to The Law Offices of Michael J. Amoroso for assistance with a somewhat complex issue regarding the administration of her mother's estate after the mother had passed away without a Will. Since that time, Diane's father created a Will (which we had prepared for him) and, now that her father has recently passed away, Diane returned to our office for assistance with the probate of her father's estate.
OUR SOLUTION: As her father's designated Executor, we assisted Diane with probating her father's Will, setting up an estate account, gathering and liquidating her father's financial assets, selling his home, and taking all the steps necessary to distribute her late father's estate to his remaining children and grandchildren in accordance with his wishes as set forth in his Will.
THE RESULT: Diane felt confident and relieved to know that an experienced attorney was there to guide her through each step of the probate process, and she and the family/beneficiaries were appreciative of the care and concern exercised in completing the probate of the estate and promptly distributing the estate assets to each of the beneficiaries in accordance with her father's wishes.
THE SITUATION: Considering the headaches Marty and Claire went through when they had to administer Marty's father's estate, they wished to structure their estate in such a way that it will pass to their children without the hassles of going through the probate process.
OUR SOLUTION: We put together a carefully crafted Life & Estate Plan which included setting-up trust agreements, re-titling the marital home and coordinating their beneficiary designations on all their brokerage accounts, retirement accounts and insurance policies.
THE RESULT: Marty and Claire take comfort knowing that their estate assets will subsequently pass quickly and smoothly to their children, and their children won't be burdened with having to go through the costly and time-consuming court probate process.
REAL ESTATE & HOME PROTECTION
THE SITUATION: Rich (age 57) and Doreen (age 52) own a home in Westchester County, New York as well as a vacation condominium apartment in Florida. They would like to ensure that the homes would be protected from any potential lawsuits (resulting from a car accident, etc.) or creditors (including Medicaid, if they need to access such benefits in the future).
OUR SOLUTION: As part of their Life & Estate Plan, we prepared a Home Protection Trust to shelter and protect both the New York and Florida properties, with provisions for the properties to automatically pass to the surviving spouse; and, after the surviving spouse passes away, to their children in accordance with Rich and Doreen's wishes.
THE RESULT: Rich and Doreen's homes are now both fully protected and, in addition, the properties will automatically pass to their named beneficiaries without having to go through a double probate process in both New York and Florida.
THE SITUATION: Erik was opening a new restaurant and came to The Law Offices of Michael J. Amoroso seeking legal counsel to protect both his business and personal interests.
OUR SOLUTION: We provided Erik with sound legal advice regarding his business formation (including choice of business entity), the commercial leasing agreement for his restaurant space, and the business agreements with his various vendors and suppliers. In addition, we included the valuation of his business as part of his estate plan, while also insulating and protecting his personal estate from any liability related to his business.
THE RESULT: Erik feels secure knowing that his new business venture was well thought-out and that his legal interests, both business and personal, are fully protected.
THE SITUATION: After working many years at a major company, Grace was offered an early retirement package. In addition, she was being offered a position with another company and was presented with an employment agreement to consider. Grace, a former client, returned to The Law Offices of Michael J. Amoroso to review the proposed agreements and discuss her options.
OUR SOLUTION: We carefully reviewed the proposed agreements (and the related documentation) and sat down together with Grace to explain her rights and obligations pursuant to these legal documents so that she could make a fully-informed decision and be assured that she is acting in her best interest. In addition, we created a trust agreement to protect Grace's sizeable retirement payment(s) and coordinated the terms of this trust to achieve Grace's overall estate plan.
THE RESULT: Grace feels confident knowing that her legal interests are fully protected and that her estate plan has been updated to reflect her changed circumstances.
The above information is merely intended to familiarize you with various Life & Estate Planning issues. Please understand that each client matter is unique, and past results do not guarantee future outcomes.