Tag Archives: Ronald Fatoullah

Get your money in shape at the Senior Health & Financial Fitness Expo


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

The word fitness is typically used to describe a person’s physical health, but financial fitness is also important for well-being.

The Queens Courier’s Senior Health & Financial Fitness Expo on Friday, November 22 will feature both — and show how you can keep them in top shape.

At the event, sponsored by The Queens Courier, there will be a panel featuring keynote speaker Ronald Fatoullah, Esq., who will discuss “The Five Essential Documents All Seniors Should Have.”

The speakers will be discussing a range of topics concerning elder law, insurance, home care, medicare and much more.

There will also be networking opportunities, over 30 exhibitors, blood pressure, vestibular disorder and carotid arteries testing, entertainment, free coffee and cake, and the chance to win great raffle prizes.

Admission to the Health & Financial Fitness Expo is free, as well as parking, but limited seats are available, so register today.

To attend or for exhibitor opportunities, please call 718-224-5863 ext. 201 or email aamato@queenscourier.com.

The Queens Courier’s Senior Health & Financial Fitness Expo will be held on Friday, November 22 at 10 a.m. at Towers on the Green in the North Shore Towers, 272-48 Grand Central Parkway, Floral Park.

Elder Law Seminars hosted by Flushing House


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

As in previous years, Flushing House has scheduled “Elder Law Seminars” for this spring.

The seminars will focus on how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid Re‐Design in New York State may impact health care and home care services for older adults. Medicare changes arising from the ACA will also be explored along with asset protection trusts and estate planning.

Ronald Fatoullah, Esq., noted elder law attorney, will give his seminar on Saturday, June 8. Fatoullah will give an overview of the Medicaid program and explain how to protect one’s assets in the event long‐term health care is needed. He will also review five essential legal documents that seniors should have – the importance of a (i) last will and testament (ii) power of attorney (iii) health care proxy (iv) living will and (v) living trust.

AnnMargaret Carrozza, Esq., noted elder law attorney and former state Assemblymember, will give her seminar on Saturday, June 15. Seniors should know how to protect their homes. Carrozza will explore asset protection trusts for primary residences, and estate tax planning, in light of 2013 federal estate tax changes. She will also advise seniors how to get the long‐term care they need through Medicaid while still protecting their assets.

All the seminars will be from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the Flushing House dining room; there will be refreshments available and free handouts from the speakers. The seminars are open to the public – admission is free.  If you wish to attend, RSVP to 347-532‐3025 or torsalant@uam.org.

Flushing House is located at 38-20 Bowne Street, Flushing

 

The Elder Law Minute: How Will The Election Results Affect Seniors?


| rfatoullah@queenscourier.com

By Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. and Yan Lian Kuang-Maoga, Esq.

Now that President Barack Obama has won a second term, what does it mean for seniors? What impact, if any, are seniors to expect with regard to long-term care costs and estate taxes? The good news is that his re-election means Medicare and Medicaid as we know them will likely be preserved for at least the next four years. However, with regard to estate, gift and generation skipping transfer taxes, we will have to wait for the final results. As of the writing of this column, President Obama and John Boehner are busy negotiating these issues. Only time will tell if we go over the so-called “fiscal cliff” or if Congress can put together a responsible fiscal plan that increases revenues while preserving important governmental entitlements that seniors rely on.

One of the biggest outcomes of the election is that the Affordable Care Act (ACA – a.k.a. “Obamacare”), which candidate Mitt Romney had promised to repeal, will almost certainly remain the law in our country. For seniors, the law has already begun to close the gap in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage known as the “doughnut hole,” and has been providing free preventative care for Medicare recipients. The ACA also included a number of provisions aimed at improving long-term care and helping recipients remain in their homes instead of being forced into nursing homes. These provisions will continue to be carried out.

On January 1, 2013, the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 will take effect (commonly referred to as going over the “fiscal cliff”) unless Congress acts to avoid it. Failing to act will bring about automatic tax increases and spending cuts agreed to as part of last year’s deficit reduction deal. Although Medicare and Medicaid will likely maintain their current structures, cuts may be made as a result of current negotiations. President Obama reportedly offered to increase the Medicare age to 67 in last year’s budget negotiations with Republicans.

According to a Reuters article, congressional Republicans are also expected to ask for concessions from the ACA, including delaying and scaling back the planned expansion of Medicaid. In addition, state lawmakers, many of whom are Republican, will decide how the ACA is carried out. Thirty states have Republican governors, some of whom have said that they will opt out of the Medicaid expansion provided for in the ACA. But President Obama’s re-election may boost the prospects for expansion, and prod reluctant states to move forward with the expansion, according to Kaiser Health News

With regard to estate taxes, if Congress fails to act the federal estate and gift tax exclusion is scheduled to be reduced from its current level of $5.12 million to only $1 million ($2 million for a couple). President Obama has proposed to set the federal estate and gift tax exclusion at $3.5 million ($7 million for a couple). New Yorkers must be reminded to engage in estate planning because even if the federal estate and gift tax exclusion does not revert back to $1 million, New York State has its own estate tax and will tax estates over $1 million.

While the re-election of President Obama provides some security to seniors with regard to the preservation of Medicare and Medicaid to pay for long term care costs, much is still up in the air. Now more than ever, seniors owe it to themselves and their families to get their affairs in order and to establish an elder law and estate plan in order to protect assets for themselves as well as their heirs.

Ronald Fatoullah is a leading expert in the fields of elder law & estate planning. He is the founder and managing attorney of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, a law firm concentrating in elder law, estate planning, Medicaid eligibility, special needs, trusts, guardianships, & probate. He is certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, and he is the current Legal Committee Chair of the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association. The firm’s offices are conveniently located in: Long Island, Queens, Manhattan & Brooklyn and can be reached at: 1-877-Elder Law 1-877-Estates. This article was written with the assistance of Yan Lian Kuang-Maoga, Esq., an elder law attorney with the firm.

The Elder Law Minute: Gift tax exclusion will increase to $14,000 in 2013


| rfatoullah@queenscourier.com

By Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. and Debby Rosenfeld, Esq.

The annual gift tax exclusion will increase from $13,000 to $14,000 effective January 1, 2013. In other words, an individual will be able to gift $14,000 per person (a couple may give $28,000) per recipient every calendar year without any gift tax ramifications whatsoever. Therefore, a couple with three children will be able to gift a total of $84,000 without filing a gift tax return. It is important to note that these gifts are not deductible, as is often believed to be the case. If only one spouse makes the actual gift, we advise the couple to elect to split the gift on the gift tax return (IRS Form 709) so the gift will not be attributed solely to the one spouse.

If an individual gifts in excess of the annual exclusion amount, the gift must be declared, and a gift tax return must be filed by April 15th in the year following the year in which the gift was made. In this way, the IRS can maintain a running tab showing how much of the individual’s “lifetime exclusion” has been used up. Many individuals erroneously believe that if they gift in excess of the annual amount, they must pay gift taxes, which is not the case. Rather, if an individual gifts in excess of the annual exclusion, he simply utilizes some of his lifetime gift tax exclusion, which is currently $5,120,000. In other words, he will not incur a gift tax until he gifts in excess of $5,120,000 over the course of his lifetime. It is important to note, however, that this $5,120,000 exemption is due to expire on December 31st of this year. If the current law is not extended, amended or repealed, the $5,120,000 gift tax exemption will revert back to $1,000,000 as of January 1, 2013.

Readers must be aware that there are other exceptions to the gift tax rules in addition to the annual exclusion. For example, there is a “marital deduction” which provides that any gifts to a spouse will not incur gift tax consequences if the spouse is a US citizen. In addition, payments for another individual’s tuition or medical expenses are also excluded, but the payments must be made directly to the education institution, hospital or doctor.

In order to qualify for the annual exclusion, the gift must be of a present interest. A gift of a future interest does not qualify for the gift tax exclusion. Therefore, a gift into a trust that does not give the beneficiary the right to use the gift presently, will not qualify for the annual exclusion.

There is a popular misconception that the recipient of a gift will incur some type of tax. This is not the case. The only tax incurred by the recipient of a gift is income tax on any interest or dividends earned after the gift was received.

It is important to understand the ramifications of making a gift of property that has appreciated in value. The recipient of a gift will take on the “cost basis” (essentially the cost for purposes of determining gains taxes) of the property. As such, the donor of the property should inform the recipient of what the donor actually paid for the property when the property was acquired as well as the cost of any improvements made to the property. In the case of investment property, we would need to know how the property was depreciated for tax purposes. When the recipient ultimately sells the property, if there has been a gain, the recipient will pay income tax on such gain.

Ultimately, the gift tax exclusion is a basic tool used to reduce the value of one’s estate for purposes of minimizing estate taxes. Nonetheless, making gifts in $14,000 increments to an unlimited number of people in a given year may make sense for estate tax planning but may be problematic in the context of obtaining Medicaid eligibility. It is important to discuss any type of gift planning with a qualified estate or elder law attorney.

Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. is the principal of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, a law firm that concentrates in elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning, guardianships, estate administration, trusts, and wills. The firm has offices in Forest Hills, Great Neck, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Cedarhurst, NY. Mr. Fatoullah has been named a “fellow” of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a former member of its Board of Directors. He also served on the Executive Committee of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association for over 15 years. Mr. Fatoullah has been Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Mr. Fatoullah is a co-founder of Senior Umbrella Network of Queens. This article was written with the assistance of Debby Rosenfeld, Esq., a senior staff attorney at the firm. Ronald Fatoullah & Associates can be reached by calling (718) 261-1700, 516-466-4422, or toll free at 1-877-ELDER-LAW or 1-877-ESTATES.

Get your finances in top shape!


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

The word fitness is typically used to describe a person’s physical health, but financial fitness is also important for well-being.

The Queens Courier’s Health & Financial Fitness Expo on Friday, November 30, will feature both — and show how you can keep them in top shape.

At the event, sponsored by the North Shore Towers, there will be a panel, “Planning During Uncertain Times: How To Weather The Storm,” featuring keynote speaker Ronald Fatoullah, Esq., as well as ones from Premier Care, Brandywine Assisted Living, Turnpike Orthopedic, Physician Home Care, Genworth Insurance, Comfort Keepers, Sinai Chapels and Queens County Savings Bank.

The speakers will be discussing a range of topics concerning financial fitness, elder law and home care planning.

There will also be networking opportunities, free coffee and cake, and exhibitors promoting long-term care insurance, health management, estate planning, financial services and more.

Admission to the Health & Financial Fitness Expo is free, but limited seats are available, so call today to register.

To attend or for sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities please call 718-224-5863 ext. 201 or email aamato@queenscourier.com.

The Queens Courier’s Health & Financial Fitness Expo will be held on Friday, November 30 at 10 a.m at Towers on the Green in the North Shore Towers, 272-48 Grand Central Parkway, Floral Park.

 

The Elder Law Minute: Do I Have the Right to Die?


| rfatoullah@queenscourier.com

By Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. and Lian Kuang, Esq.

On October 5, 2012, a New York Appeals Court ruled in support of SungEun Grace Lee (Grace), a 28 year old banker who wanted to be taken off life support and allowed to die. Grace, who has terminal brain cancer, is paralyzed from the neck down and is being kept alive by artificial means. Her family disagreed with her decision and petitioned for guardianship to make health care decisions on her behalf. They argued that she was incapacitated due to her medicated state. The issue of an individual’s right to die is complex, to say the least. While the law does not permit assisted suicide, a patient always has the right to refuse medical treatment. This may include the refusal of life-sustaining treatment which could lead to death. Proper planning and possessing the necessary legal documents can help to enforce our right to refuse medical treatment. In addition, having the proper legal documents can help avoid or minimize conflict between loved ones when the difficult decision pertaining to “pulling the plug” arises.

Health care decisions, including decisions regarding life-sustaining treatments, are made by the individual patient. The issue presented in the case of Grace (and the famous Terri Schiavo right-to-die case), is one in which the capacity of the patient to make such decisions is questionable. In New York State, once a person is deemed incapable of making health care decisions, these decisions can be made by an appointed agent under a duly executed Health Care Proxy.

Planning for health care decision-making, in the event of incapacity, is not an easy process. It is often the most difficult process for our clients who are engaged in elder law planning. The issue requires individuals to delve into grim and morbid topics of illness and whether or not to “pull the plug” and in which scenarios to do so. Understandably, individuals often avoid signing a Health Care Proxy or sign a Health Care Proxy without having an informed discussion with their appointed agent. Having a Health Care Proxy allows one to choose the person he/she trusts to speak on his/her behalf and ensure that one’s rights and wishes are upheld. The discussion about one’s wishes regarding health care decisions is as important as naming the person to make these decisions. Again, the discussion ensures that decisions are made based on the individual’s expressed wishes. It avoids or minimizes conflict that can lead to litigation as in the cases of Grace and Schiavo. It also lessens any guilt on the part of the agent who may have to make the decision about whether or not to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment. Most importantly, the law requires clear and convincing evidence of an individual’s wishes before an agent can have the authority to withdraw or refuse life sustaining treatment. Therefore, having a serious and in-depth discussion with the appointed agent and any successor agents is a vital part of the process of executing a Health Care Proxy.

As of 2010, if an incapacitated person has not appointed an agent under a Health Care Proxy, the Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA) authorizes a surrogate from a prioritized list of individuals to make health care decisions for the incapacitated person. However, relying on the FHCDA is not recommended. One reason is that the FHCDA is only available to individuals who are in a hospital, residential care facility, or in hospice care. Oftentimes an incapacitated person will remain living at home and consequently the FHCDA does not apply. In cases in which the FHCDA is in effect, the surrogate chosen from the list of individuals provided under the FHCDA may not be the person who would have been entrusted with the incapacitated person’s health care decisions. Also, conflict can arise between multiple individuals who may have the same priority under the list, such as multiple children or siblings.

Whether or not we currently feel strongly about our right to live or die, having a properly executed Health Care Proxy is strongly recommended to ensure that our wishes are upheld and to avoid or minimize conflict between our loves ones.

Ronald Fatoullah is a leading expert in the fields of elder law & estate planning. He is the founder and managing attorney of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, a law firm concentrating in elder law, estate planning, Medicaid eligibility, special needs, trusts, guardianships, & probate. He is certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, and he is the current Legal Committee Chair of the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association. The firm’s offices are conveniently located in: Long Island, Queens, Manhattan & Brooklyn and can be reached at: 1-877-Elder Law 1-877-Estates. This article was written with the assistance of Lian Kuang, Esq., an elder law attorney with the firm. Ms. Kuang speaks Mandarin and Cantonese and also assists with Ronald Fatoullah & Associate’s Chinese speaking clients

Queens Courier hosts senior expo


| mchan@queenscourier.com

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The sands are shifting in the extensive world of elder law, but industry experts say the key to security in the changing winds is to “plan, plan and plan.”

“With all this going on, you can’t afford not to plan. Make sure you secure your future,” said elder law attorney Ronald Fatoullah during a Courier-hosted senior expo held at North Shore Towers.

Fatoullah urged seniors on August 24 to think about the importance of long-term care planning and filing legal documents, saying elders — especially over 50 years old — should have a will, a living will, a living trust, powers of attorney and a health care proxy.

Other leaders in the field armed the crowd of close to 200 with tips on avoiding scams and reducing risks for dementia.

James Christopher, the assistant vice president and senior fraud investigator at New York Community Bancorp, said to invest in a shredder to prevent “bad guys” from sifting through garbage and opening up bank accounts with information they find. He also warned seniors not to give their account information to their health care workers and not to fall for the “infamous lotto scam,” in which seniors are mailed a check saying they won the lottery.

“We continuously get these problems,” he said. “You don’t get something for nothing.”

Another frequent problem amongst seniors and their caregivers, said president of Royal Health Care Services Phyllis Ettinger, is mistaking dementia for Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia, Ettinger said, is the “define all” term encompassing loss of brain function that could be cured by remedies, while Alzheimer’s is a specific disease and a form of dementia that gradually gets worse over time.

To lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, Ettinger said the most important thing to do is exercise the body and brain with taking brisk walks each day, reading, doing crossword puzzles and playing mentally stimulating board games. Not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, maintaining a healthy diet, being social and getting a good night’s sleep are also vital, she said.

Christine Feingold, funeral director at Sinai Chapels, also warned snowbird seniors to be aware of differing prearrangement and trust account laws in Florida and New York. Setting up an account in one state, she said, does not necessarily mean it transfers over to the next.

Before the lecture began, seniors had a chance to mingle with leading businesses in the industry, including vendors Fatoullah and Associates, Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Company, Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, Margaret Tietz Center Light Health System, New York Community Bank/Queens County Savings Bank, Catholic Cemeteries, Ramps for Better Living, Senior Source of Self Help Community Services, Atria Senior Living, Samuel Field Y, Senior Bridge, Highland House, Bussani Mobility, The Regency, ProEquities, Family Care Connections, LifeWatch, Turnpike Comfort Shoes, Plan Plus Ltd, Integrity First Senior Care, Prudential and Elderplan.

The Elder Law Minute: The Pitfalls of Do-It-Yourself Legal Documents


| rfatoullah@queenscourier.com

A good portion of our practice is comprised of meeting with new clients, collecting their pertinent information and coming up with a strategy that incorporates both estate and/or elder law planning that meets their specific needs. We typically ask to review a client’s prior estate/elder law documents during the consultation if, in fact, any planning had been done previously. All too often we come across documents that were prepared by individuals without the expertise of an attorney and the results are frequently quite similar. These individually-prepared documents are usually lacking the protection that is required and can unfortunately lead to dire consequences. Documents that ostensibly seem easy to prepare and execute are often subject to specific and frequently subtle nuances that only an experienced practitioner will be familiar with.

Preparing and executing a valid health care proxy provides a good illustration. The health care proxy is a document that allows an individual (the “principal”) to appoint an agent to make health care decisions in case he/she becomes incapacitated. The main purpose of the health care proxy is to appoint an agent. There is a presumption that the agent knows the principal’s wishes.  Nonetheless, according to New York State case law, if a principal’s wishes regarding the withholding of artificial nutrition and hydration are not articulated, an agent will not be able to make such decision. Based on this case law, it is imperative for the principal to set forth his/her wishes regarding the administering of artificial nutrition and hydration either in the actual health care proxy or in a separate living will. Failure to do this can result in unforeseen consequences – which is exactly what the principal was trying to avoid in the first place. Secondly, many individuals erroneously believe that they can appoint more than one agent at a time on a health care proxy. This would make the document faulty because only one agent at a time can make medical decisions. A person drafting a health care proxy can add language to avoid insulting other family members, but again- this requires the help of someone with experience.  Finally, the document must be witnessed by two individuals in order for it to be validly recognized. A person should not have his agent, spouse or child be a witness to the signing.

We see even more problems in the area of powers of attorney. The main thrust of a power of attorney is to appoint an agent to act on an individual’s behalf with respect to financial matters in case such individual becomes incapacitated. Many people innocently refer to this document as one that is “simple” to prepare. This could not be further from the truth. Firstly, New York State passed legislation effective September 2009 in an attempt to create a statutory form that would be uniformly accepted. This legislation was the result of tremendous abuse that was found in this particular area, with some appointed agents taking advantage of the disabled and elderly.

The new power of attorney law results in a much lengthier document, and significantly restricts the actual power given to the agent over financial matters. If transfers are to be made on behalf of the principal, a separate gift rider must be executed. The gift rider must specifically articulate the agent’s power to make gifts to himself/herself or to third parties. Further, any additional powers beyond those enumerated in the statute, must be added to a modification section. Finally, while the law mandates banks, brokerage houses and other financial institutions to recognize the power of attorney, the form utilized must be statutory. Accordingly, if someone decides to cut corners and download a form from the internet, this may result in a tremendous disservice because if the form is not statutory, it does not have to be legally recognized. The power of attorney is an extremely important tool for estate and elder law practitioner. If the principal incorrectly drafts and/or executes this form, his/her ultimate plans regarding Medicaid eligibility or gifting to loved ones could be completely stymied. It is imperative to have this document prepared by an experienced practitioner.

A last will and testament is yet another document that must be prepared under the supervision of any experienced attorney. After the person who executed the will dies (the “decedent”), the will gets admitted to probate through surrogate’s court so that the decedent’s wishes can ultimately be fulfilled. Through the probate process, the will is reviewed and the court checks to make sure the will was drafted and executed properly. The number of witnesses, the affidavit they sign and the way the will is fastened are some examples of what the court reviews. Any mistakes, such as the removal of a staple or an ambiguous bequest can result in unnecessary delays, costly legal fees, and at worse, an inability to complete the probate process.

The examples described above provide a small illustration of how self-drafted documents, perhaps initially done to minimize costs, can result in poor planning and the ultimate outlay of unnecessary legal fees to correct the damage that was done. It makes far more sense to do it right the first time.

Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. is the principal of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates, a law firm that concentrates in elder law, estate planning, Medicaid planning, guardianships, estate administration, trusts and wills. The firm has offices in Forest Hills, Great Neck, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Cedarhurst, NY. Mr. Fatoullah has been named a “fellow” of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a former member of its Board of Directors. He also served on the Executive Committee of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association for over 15 years. Mr. Fatoullah has been Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Mr. Fatoullah is a co-founder of Senior Umbrella Network of Queens. This article was written with Debby Rosenfeld, Esq., a senior staff attorney at the firm. Ronald Fatoullah & Associates can be reached by calling (718) 261-1700, 516-466-4422, or toll free at 1-877-ELDER-LAW or 1-877-ESTATES.

The Elder Law Minute: How End of Life Wishes Can Control Extreme Medical Expenses


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A new study finds that when medical personnel know what kind of care a patient wants at the end of life, fewer Medicare funds will be expended and the patient will be more likely to die at home rather than in a hospital – at least in certain areas of the country.

The study, published in the October 5, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that in regions of the U.S. that tend to spend the most on end of life care, patients with “advance directives” ended up costing Medicare about $5,600 less per person.  Advance directives, such as a Health Care Proxy and Living Will, allow patients to communicate  their end of life wishes if they are unable to do so themselves.  These patients’ quality of life also appeared to be better, as they were more likely to receive hospice care and to be at home when they died.

However, the differences in spending and care were not as dramatic in regions of the country with low to average end of life expenditures. The researchers speculated that in these areas, less aggressive care at the end of life is already the norm and more in line with most patients’ wishes.  In high spending regions, by contrast, an advance directive may embolden caregivers to go against the local norm of aggressive treatment and prolonged hospital care. In 2006, treatment during the last year of life accounted for more than one quarter of Medicare expenditures.

Advance directives typically include a Health Care Proxy and a Living Will. A Health Care Proxy is a document in which an individual appoints another person to make health care wishes on his/her behalf in the event that the individual does not have the capacity to do so. A Living Will is a document that gives instructions regarding treatment that the individual would want, especially if the individual becomes terminally ill or is in a persistent vegetative state. A Living Will may contain directions to refuse or remove life support in the event the individual is in a coma or vegetative state, with no expectation of recovery. By the same token, it may provide instructions to use all efforts to keep the person alive, no matter the circumstances. Most participants in the study who had advance directives specified that they wanted to limit treatment.

Each state has its own laws regarding advance directives. The study highlights the importance of planning for potential incapacity and long–term care needs. In addition to discussing end of life wishes with your health professional, it is advisable to consult an elder care attorney who can memorialize those issues in the appropriate documents.

Ronald Fatoullah is a leading expert in the field of elder law& estate planning. He is the founder and managing attorney of Ronald Fatoullah& Associates, a law firm concentrating in elder law, Medicaid eligibility, estate planning, special needs, trusts, guardianships, & probate. This article was co-written by Stacey Meshnick, Esq. who heads the Medicaid department at the firm.The firm’s offices are conveniently located in: Queens, Long Island, Manhattan& Brooklyn and can be reached at: 718-261-1700, 516-466-4422, or Toll Free at: 1-877-Elder Law 1-877-Estates.