Estate Planning Techniques | White Plains Trusts & Estates Law Firm

Estate Planning Techniques that Ensure Your Wishes are Maintained

There may be a time when you are no longer able to manage you own affairs. It can be because of a physical or cognitive issue, like Dementia or other impairments. At a time when you no longer can make sound decisions for yourself, you will no longer be able to sign contracts, make medical or financial decisions or decide on a variety of other issues central to your life.

In these cases, someone else must step in and act on your behalf. Without the proper Estate Planning techniques, i.e. Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and Living Will, a guardian or conservator must be appointed by a judge. While judges attempt to act in your best interest, the simple fact is they don’t know your specific wishes concerning medical care, finances and your division of assets.

A comprehensive  estate plan will allow you to establish who you want to make decisions, what decisions are made and even end of life matters. Estate Planning is done while you are well and have the capacity to make the decision as to whom will be your agent, often negating the need for a court appointed Guardian or Conservator.

An agent can manage many aspects for you, including, but not limited to:

  • Utilizing your assets for your needs;
  • Medicaid Planning;
  • Making medical decisions; and,
  • Assisting you with proper housing.


Guardianship is not, as many think, an inevitable part of growing old. It’s a last resort, something enacted only when someone is missing the paperwork dictating how you should be cared for. The establishment of an estate plan protects your interests and those of your family. It provides guidance to those you trust making decisions for you, making your last years as comfortable and stress-free as possible for all involved.

We assist our clients with their Estate Planning, such that they understand and appreciate the choices that they have and the potential challenges that we face.  Please feel free to contact us to schedule a free consultation.

This article in no way constitutes legal advice of any kind and should not be relied upon as such. If you need legal advice about this or any such matter, you should hire a competent attorney.

About Author

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  • Michael LaMagna, LNHA, MPA, JD concentrates in the areas of Medicaid and Advanced Asset Protection Planning, Elder Law, Trusts and Estates, Probate and Probate Litigation, Guardianships, Health Care Regulatory Matters, Nursing Home Placement, Long Term Care Insurance, Medicare Appeals, Social Security/SSI Litigation and Special Needs Law. If you have a question for Mr. LaMagna, please call him at (914) 437-5955.