Morgan Legal Group PC Glossary of Legal Terms Estate Planning Assets Valuable belongings of a person or an entity, whether tangible or intangible such as intellectual property, painting or real property. Durable power of attorney A document having legal value and allowing an individual to make decisions for another, in case the one who granted her durable power of attorney becomes unable to make decisions for herself. Estate Planning Corpus of documents and process to organize a person’s succession upon her passing. Estate The total value of a person’s assets. For example, the person’s net worth. Estate Plan A tailored corpus of documents drafted by a specialized or experienced Wills and Trusts attorney. An estate plan is individualized and tailored to your specific needs. Estate Tax An amount deducted from the value of a decedent’s estate prior to its transfer onto decedent’s heirs and distributees. Healthcare Power of Attorney A document having legal value and allowing and individual to appoint a person of trust (“Trustee”) to make health care or medical decisions on the grantor’s behalf, in case the one who granted her Healthcare Power of Attorney becomes unable to make such decisions for herself. ELDER LAW and MEDICAID PLANNING Child Health Plus A funded program providing health care assistance to children under the age of eighteen. Dual Eligibility When an individual qualifies, or is eligible, to both Medicaid (reserved to the poorest) and Medicare (reserved to the elderly). Elder Law The laws pertaining to older people and the situations they are often facing as an elderly. This includes Estate Planning, Last Will and Testament, Trust agreements, Social benefits issues, Pension benefits, and protection against abuse against older people. Family Health Plus A program designed for adults aged between nineteen and sixty-four and who do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot obtain medical insurance coverage by their own means. Home Care Assistance, care and support for older or disabled people within their own residence. Individual Retirement Account (IRA) A bank account where a person can put money as savings to be used for the person’s retirement. An IRA will not be taxed at all or will be less taxed. Life Insurance An insurance which, upon the death of the contracting party, will pay a beneficiary. Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) A program to guarantee long term health care to individuals being ill for an extended period of time or people suffering from a disability. Medicaid A simultaneously Federal government and State Government program providing medical coverage to the impoverished. Medicaid Planning The assistance to an applicant to Medicaid benefits, for the application. Nursing Home Planning To legally plan the admission of an elderly to a nursing home while protecting the elderly’s property. Senior Citizens Older individuals, referred to as “Seniors” who are often aged over 65 years. WILLS AND TRUSTS Beneficiary The person receiving funds, assets, personal property or real property from a trust. Coercion and Undue Influence We talk about coercion and undue influence when an individual, who is now deceased, made decisions regarding his assets and their distribution through fraud, force, duress or threats. In other words, the decedent did not make a free and informed decision with regards to his Last Will and Testament which may be considered invalid. Codicil Pages or documents to amend or modify a Last Will and Testament. Decanting (of a Trust) When a second Trust receives the property of another first or prior trust. Decedent An individual who has passed. Donor’s tax A tax on property or assets received from an Estate. Executor The person that was named under a Last Will and Testament to follow all directions set forth under said Last Will and Testament. Fiduciary A person of trust. A trustee is a fiduciary. Living Will A document, usually drafted by an attorney who is an expert in this field, stating an individual’s wishes regarding healthcare treatment and decisions. Testator The person who signed and executed a Last Wil and Testament under her/his name. The “Sound Mind” Requirement Under the law, a person who will sign a Last Will and Testament must have an understanding of (a) what she possesses and owns; (b) which persons constitute her family and how they are related and (c) what her Last Will and Testament means. Trust A relationship between a Grantor/Trustee or Fiduciary/ and a beneficiary or beneficiaries set by a Trust Agreement. A trust is not subject to a court proceeding by itself. Dynasty Trust A Trust that will be transferred from a prior generation to a younger generation of beneficiaries. This type of Trust has the same advantages in terms of taxes as other types of trusts. First Party Special Needs Trusts (Self-Setlled) A kind of Trust set to preserve the property and assets of a person with specific needs (ie: disability or illness) although this person is eligible for social security or other public assistance. Irrevocable Trust A Trust agreement which cannot be altered, revoked, changed, amended or modified without the express consent of all beneficiaries. Revocable Living Trust A Trust agreement executed as the grantor is alive. This type of Trust can be changed, altered or modified as the person is still alive. Trustee An individual who is “trusted” and “entrusted” by a grantor to take care of the property and assets to be held in trust and for the enjoyment/use/profit of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Trustor/Grantor An individual who creates a Trust and transfers her property to a Trust and a trustee for the enjoyment/use/profit of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Last Will and Testament A document with a legal value and authority if executed properly and under the conditions prescribed by the law. A Will sets the way the decedent’s property will be distributed and to whom it will be distributed. PROBATE Administration of Estates An administration proceeding will occur when the decedent did not execute a Will prior to his or her death. The Court will appoint an individual to distribute and supervise the division of the decedent’s assets as per the applicable law. Estate Litigation The legal dispute over a decedent’s estate to contest claims of a creditor or am heir. Estate litigation can occur when a will is claimed to be invalid by an interested party. Intestate When the decedent had no Last Will and Testament at the date of his or her death. Letters Testamentary The certificate or “Letters” granted by the Court to confirm that a person named under a Will is appointed as the legal executor of an Estate. Letters Testamentary will be granted if the will is valid but the named executor failed to qualify, resigned, died or renounced. Probate The legal proceeding to admit the validity of a will or to refute it. This proceeding can take time and have a high cost. Surrogate’s Court The specific Court that handles estate matters in New York State. Tenancy by the entirety Real Estate usually owned by two spouses entirely. This means that each spouse owns the entirety of the property, along with a Right of Survivorship. This means that the death of one of the spouses will have the effect to grant the entire property to the surviving spouse immediately. Tenants in Common Each of the owners (“tenants”) owns a specific portion or percentage of some real estate. When one of the tenants in common will pass, his or her portion will be transferred to his or her estate and heirs. ASSET PROTECTION Asset protection To protect an individual’s assets and property against creditors, parties with opposed interests and individuals having a claim against said assets. Ultimately, asset protection is designed to allow the transfer of assets to heirs. Creditors A person, group or entity claiming to own a debt and to be owed money. Liability An outstanding debt or due. Lien The right to possess, direct and control the property of another until the payment of a debt is satisfied. Litigant A party to a lawsuit. MEDICAID FRAUD Felony An action qualified as a crime of a serious or grave nature. It is punished by imprisonment. Grand Larceny The unlawful taking of another’s property. HRA Human Resources Administration – This is the administration agency which initiates investigations of Medicaid Frauds. Medicaid Fraud A purposeful misrepresentation or manipulation of facts to obtain payments from Medicaid while the person committing fraud is not entitled to benefits or is entitled to less benefits. Unearned Income Financial resources from rents, stocks, support, interests. GUARDIANSHIP An incapacitated person (AIP) A person who lacks the mental and/or physical capacity to take care of herself, her affairs, her personal needs or property needs. Usually, a person will be incapacitated because of an illness or age (ie: dementia). Conservatorship A legal proceeding to appoint an individual (often referred to as a “Protector”) to manage the affairs of a person suffering from incapacities. This proceeding is close to a guardianship proceeding. Article 17A Guardianship This article of law will support an application for the appointment of a Guardian for a person suffering from a developmental or intellectual disability from birth or since the person was a child. For example, a person suffering from autism or neuro impairments. Article 81 Guardianship This article of law will support an application for the appointment of a Guardian for a person suffering an incapacity causing her to be unable to attend her personal and property needs. FAIR HEARINGS Fair hearing A hearing held while maintaining, preserving and guaranteeing the parties the rights they are legally entitled to. Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) A program by the government to provide heating assistance to individual with lower incomes. The purpose is to allow low-income individuals to heat their homes. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program A program of the government to assist low-income individuals in buying food. MISCELLANEOUS Attorney A licensed individual whose legal services are retained by another individual (“client”) to be represented in legal, transactional or business matters. Business Continuation Planning Planning to protect a business’ assets in case of serious and/or unexpected financial losses. Corporate Officer One of the corporation’s highest manager or official. Corporation An entity, also known as a “Moral Person” which is also considered as a legal person. Its members do not have personal liability. Deed A legal operative document which conveys, grants and certifies the transfer of real property from a person (Party 1) to another (Party 2). Lawyer A person who went to law school, is admitted to the bar and practices law. Limited Liability Company (LLC) A corporate entity which induced the characteristics of sole proprietorship and Limited personal liability of its members. Liquidity Conversion of property to cash. Shareholder A person who owns a “portion” or some shares in a corporation. Tax Planning Planning through procedures and documents in order to reduce tax liabilities.