44 THE QUEENS COURIER • QUEENS BUSINESS • SEPTEMBER 13, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
The Elder Law Minute TM
Estate Planning 101
BY RONALD A. FATOULLAH, ESQ.
AND STACEY MESHNICK, ESQ.
Th ere are many things to consider
when one is contemplating “estate planning”.
Prior to meeting with an attorney,
one should consider planning for
various aspects of one’s life. Estate planning
involves more than the reduction or
elimination of estate tax.
Many people avoid thinking about the
possibility of eventual incapacity. No
matter one’s age or health, it is important
to have documents in place should
one become incapacitated. A Health Care
Proxy appoints an individual to make
one’s health care decisions, a Living
Will provides the evidence of one’s specifi
c wishes, especially with regard to
being kept alive by artifi cial nutrition
and hydration, and a Power of Attorney/
Statutory Gift s Rider appoints an individual
or individuals to step into one’s
shoes and to act with regard to fi nances.
A trust is a tool which allows for the
ongoing management of assets by a
trustee should one become incapacitated.
If an individual creates a revocable
trust, that person acts as his/her
own trustee and manages his/her own
assets. However, a successor trustee will
take over management of the trust assets
should the creator of the trust become
Another planning consideration is designation
of benefi ciaries and the division
of assets upon one’s death. A benefi ciary
designation does not address the contingency
of a benefi ciary being a minor
or having a disability. It is oft en inadvisable
to designate as a benefi ciary a person
who is disabled and receiving government
benefi ts. A last will and testament
can be draft ed to include a trust for
minors or disabled benefi ciaries. A trust
can include language allowing the trustee
to hold the assets in continuing trust for a
disabled or minor benefi ciary, which can
be a more advantageous option.
Retirement accounts are another
important factor in estate planning. It
is crucial to understand the way the designation
of benefi ciaries impacts income
tax on the accounts. Th ere are strategies
which can help minimize income tax
ramifi cations, therefore it is important to
seek the proper advice regarding these
types of accounts.
Divorce protection should also be
included as part of a sound estate plan.
A couple can enter into an agreement
that will protect intended benefi ciaries.
Furthermore, if one is in a second marriage,
certain types of trusts can protect
assets for intended benefi ciaries such as
children from the fi rst marriage.
If one has signifi cant assets, especially
a business or investment real property, it
is important to engage in asset protection
planning, which may involve creation of
an entity, such as an LLC. Th e plan will
depend on the nature of the asset as well
as its value.
It is crucial to consider long-term
home care or nursing home care, including
the purchase of long-term care insurance
and/or Medicaid asset protection
planning, in order to avoid depletion of
assets in the event of the need for long
term care. Planning for such an eventuality
may involve a trust, but it is imperative
to have the proper language specifi c
to such planning.
Finally, for those with larger estates,
estate planning does sometimes involve
avoiding estate taxes. In 2018, an individual
can pass $11,180,000 free of federal
estate tax and $5,250,000 free of New
York estate tax. It is important to seek
advice from a knowledgeable estate planning
attorney who may be able to help
mitigate or eliminate the tax, depending
upon a variety of factors.
Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. is the founder
of Ronald Fatoullah & Associates,
a law fi rm that concentrates in elder
law, estate planning, Medicaid planning,
guardianships, estate administration,
trusts, wills, and real estate. Stacey
Meshnick, Esq. is a senior staff attorney
at the fi rm who has chaired the fi rm’s
Medicaid department for over 15 years.
Th e law fi rm can be reached at 718-
261-1700, 516-466-4422, or toll free at
1-877-ELDER-LAW or 1-877-ESTATES.
Mr. Fatoullah is also a partner with
Advice Period, a wealth management
fi rm that provides a continuum of fi nancial
and investment advice for individuals
and businesses, and he can be reached
Attention NYC Employers!
Sexual Harassment Update
Th ere have been several
recent changes to NYS and
NYC laws mandating updated
and training. New York State
and New York City have
passed the following laws,
designed to expand protections
to victims of harassment
1. As of September 6, 2018
New York City will require
employers to display a poster
and distribute a factsheet
to new employees regarding
their rights and responsibilities
with respect to preventing
sexual harassment in the workplace.
Th e poster and factsheet have just
been published by the New York City
Commission on Human Rights.
Here is a link to the new poster you
must display in your New York City
Here is a link to the
«Factsheet». It must be distributed
to all employees
at the time of hire: https://
2. All employers within
New York City with 15
or more employees will be
required to conduct annual
for all employees, as well as
training to all new employees
within 90 days of hire.
Employers will also be required to provide
training to supervisors and managers
regarding prevention of sexual
harassment. Training records and
signed employee training acknowledgments
must be retained for a minimum
of 3 years. Th ese provisions become
eff ective on April 1, 2019.
3. Th e City law extends the statute
of limitation for fi ling gender–based
harassment claims under the City
Human Rights Law from one year to
three years and expands its coverage for
gender-based harassment to all employers,
regardless of size.
4. Th e State law requests the New
York State Department of Labor, in
conjunction with the New York State
Division of Human Rights, to prepare
a “model” anti—harassment policy,
complaint form and training program.
Employers must “publish” the
model policy, or adopt a policy equaling
or exceeding the standards set in the
model policy. Employers also must conduct
anti-harassment training consistent
with the model training program
to all employees on at least an annual
basis. Th is law becomes eff ective on
October 9, 2018.
5. Th e State law imposes new requirements
on eff ectuating binding nondisclosure
provisions in settlement agreements
resolving sexual harassment
claims. Th e law also prohibits employers
from using mandatory arbitration
clauses to resolve complaints of sexual
6. Th e State law has expanded the
class of individuals protected by the
New York State Human Rights Law to
include «non-employees» such as contractors,
subcontractors, vendors, consultants,
or other persons providing services
under the terms of a contract .
If you would like additional information
or want to schedule anti-harassment
training for your workforce, please
contact Mindy Stern SPHR, SHRMSCP
Mindy is the president of AIM Resource
Group Inc. and a trusted HR Advisor
with over 20 years’ experience helping
companies to be compliant with Human
Resource regulations. Please visit the
website at www.aimresourcegroup.com
for more information.