Legal Consultations, One Attorney’s Experience

by Linda Marshak, Esq.

Nancy Brady and I (Linda Marshak) have practiced the area of elder law for more than a combined quarter of a century. Boy, saying that makes me feel old!  I wanted to share with you many of the impressions I have formed practicing law in these many years.

The very first thing that comes to mind is the enormous number of myths being shared and repeated amongst the general public as fact! What do I mean by that?  Well, for example, it is commonly said by clients during a consultation that married folks don’t need Power of Attorney documents.  When I ask why not they reply, “because we are married.”  Try telling that to a financial institution, or any attorney for that matter.  Did you know that from an ethical perspective, a well spouse cannot consult with an attorney about a sick spouse without having been appointed as Agent on the sick spouse’s Power of Attorney document?  Right, ladies and gentlemen, marriage does not come with all the privileges we often think it does.

Another often stated myth is if I prepare a Will, it will automatically mean that the Will must be presented to Surrogate’s Court for a probate proceeding upon the death of the Testator. Another related myth is if I die without a Will everything will be given to the State of New York. Neither is true!

People think that it’s quite alright to place a child’s name on the deed to their house, while they are alive, no problem! Yes, big problem.  That’s rarely a recommendation made by most elder law attorneys.

Last, but not least, it is often said that if a parent has a disabled child receiving government benefits, it’s a good idea to leave the disabled child’s inheritance to another child to hold for safekeeping. Bad idea!

Want to know more about these and other myths? Join Brady and Marshak at one of our educational seminars to learn the facts, not the myths, surrounding a thorough estate plane, designed for you, your family, and the circumstances that make your family unique.

The contents of this article are in no way intended to be legal advice, are provided for educational and informational purposes only, and are directed only to those domiciled in the State of New York. Please feel free to call our office if you feel we can be of service to you in any manner.  Our attorneys can be reached at Brady & Marshak, LLP, Attorneys at Law, (718) 738-8500.

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